Q: What evidence of authority does a parent have to present in order to file a wrongful death claim for child of 18?
Also, if the estate hasn't been opened, does it affect the statute of limitations?
A: There is no prerequisite evidence of authority required to file a wrongful death claim for the loss of your child. If your assertion of parentage is challenged, then the birth certificate of your child showing you as a parent would be the obvious proof to use in response, but other evidence too numerous to list could be sufficient to prove that fact. You hire a lawyer for a wrongful death claim; it is not something you file without a lawyer if you hope to prevail and recover an appropriate amount of damages. Opening an estate is not necessary for a parent to pursue a wrongful death action, but it is recommended because the estate has a survival action separate from the wrongful death action, and should be coordinated with the family's wrongful death claims. The statute of limitations to bring either action is not affected by or dependent upon the opening of the estate.
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