Who May Sue
The individuals entitled to sue for wrongful death are enumerated in each state statute. Many statutes provide for recovery by a surviving spouse, next of kin, or children. Some states permit a surviving spouse to bring an action even in the event of a separation, but not if the surviving spouse was guilty of desertion or failure to provide support.
Ordinarily, children may bring suit for the wrongful death of their parents, and parents may sue for the wrongful death of their children. In some states, only minor children are allowed to sue for the death of a parent. Similarly, some state statutes preclude a parent from recovery for the death of an adult child who is financially independent or married.