What Rights Does a Child Have in a Wrongful Death Case?
Children are considered statutory beneficiaries in the state of Texas. As such, a child can sue for the wrongful death of a parent. However, the law also has specific parameters in place regarding who and who is not included in this statue. Let's take a look at who this provision covers and what rights are available in a wrongful death case.
How the Law Defines a "Child"
The Wrongful Death Act carefully addresses the different kinds of relationships that comprise parent and child as well as giving direction should a child need to prove to the court that they are the descendant of their deceased loved one.
- Biological children - According the Wrongful Death Act, "children" means a filial descendant, or, biological child. If someone questions the parentage of the child during the course of the claim, parentage can be established by the following means:
- blood tests
- evidence of the child's physical resemblance to the parents
- statements by the parents that he or she was the parent, or some other admission
- evidence of dates of conception and gestation
- Adopted children - A legally adopted child can bring suit for the wrongful death of an adoptive parent. If the adoption was never formalized, then the child does not have the legal standing to bring suit. Additionally, an adoptive child cannot bring a suit for the wrongful death of a biological parent.
- Adult children - Under the Wrongful Death Act, an adult child can bring a suit for the wrongful death of a parent. There is no upward limitation regarding the age of the child.
Rights Available to Children
There are many kinds of damages that can be recovered through a wrongful death claim. There are more categories than we'll look at here, but please know we are available to answer any questions you have pertaining to your case or the kinds of losses you might be able to recover with your claim.
- Loss of parental services - A child can recover damages for the loss of the deceased parent's services. A child's damages for loss of a parent's services include the monetary value of nurture, care, education, and guidance.
- Pecuniary losses- These include the loss of the decedent's earning capacity, advice, counsel, services, care, maintenance, support, and reasonable contributions of a pecuniary value.
- Expenses of psychological treatment - The plaintiff can recover pecuniary damages for the reasonable and necessary expenses to treat the plaintiff's emotional trauma.
- and many others.
Why You Should Give Grossman Law Offices a Call
Grossman Law Offices has over 25 years of experience handling wrongful death claims, and we're confident we can help you with your specific situation. We have attorneys available to speak with you around the clock. Give us a call at (855) 326-0000.