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Can a Minor File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?

At Redkey Gordon, our wrongful death attorneys in Stockton, California understand how difficult it is for someone to suddenly and unexpectedly lose a loved one in an accident caused by another person or party’s negligence.

We also know the grief and anguish become overwhelming long before any signs of financial fallout of their loss becomes apparent.

When the person who suffers an explainable loss is a minor, those losses are compounded, and the obstacles in pursuing a wrongful death claim become even more complex.

Our San Joaquin County and Sutter creek personal injury attorneys can help outline our state’s laws and the survivors’ rights and legal options for pursuing financial recovery after they have lost their parent(s) to negligence, so they can focus on fully grieving without worrying about their financial future.

How Does a Minor File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?

In the State of California, a deceased person’s surviving children are eligible to pursue a wrongful death claim when they have lost one or both parents in an accident that was caused by negligence.

When these tragic circumstances become a reality, legal guardianship of the minor child(ren) will need to be established before a wrongful death claim may be pursued.

This occurs in one of two ways:

  • The parent(s) made provisions for guardianship through a will, trust, or agreement
  • The court will appoint a guardian to act in the children’s best interests

After legal guardianship has been established, the individual may file a wrongful death claim as the child’s representative.

Similarly, lawsuits filed on behalf of the estate may provide awarded damages to the minor children as part of their settlement or jury verdict.

What Type of Compensation Will Be Pursued on the Minor’s Behalf During a Wrongful Death Claim?

There are prescribed damages under the California wrongful death statute that may be claimed on behalf of the child.

They include:

  • Medical and hospital bills, if the parent(s) incurred any before their death
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Lost current and potential financial support
  • Loss of love, attention, affection, moral support, and guidance

If you have questions about pursuing a wrongful death claim on behalf of a minor in California, our Stockton personal injury attorneys are available for free consultations, so you can make an informed decision about how to proceed with your claim.

What are the Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death in California?

Whenever negligence is a factor, people can and will get hurt. In some cases, they can even lose their lives to someone else’s reckless actions or inaction.

The most common types of wrongful death in California includes, but is not limited to:

If you are the legal guardian of a minor who has suffered the loss of their parent(s) and are considering a wrongful death claim on their behalf, contact our Stockton, California personal injury lawyers at Redkey Gordon today by calling (209) 267-1685 to schedule a free consultation. We will outline the steps necessary to protect the child’s interests and pursue their legal options, so we can get started on their important claim.