Unfortunately, many families across the United States experience a loss in their family as the result of wrongful death. In legal terms, wrongful death is classified as the death of a singular person caused by the careless, reckless, negligent, and premeditated criminal acts by another individual or business. In many ways, wrongful death constitutes as a form of a personal injury dispute. Similarly, the plaintiff must prove that negligence was committed by the accused party, which led to a wrongful death.
Although wrongful death cases are common throughout the United States, Georgia’s laws include a variety of specific rules of filing a wrongful death claim. In this article, our Greenville wrongful death law firm will explain how you can file a wrongful death lawsuit in the state of Georgia, as well as help you comprehend the unique state statutes regarding wrongful death.
Who Can File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In Georgia?
Georgia law is very clear on which individuals can bring a wrongful death lawsuit to court. Of course, since the injured person is unable to file their own case, they must be represented by a living representative. According to Georgia law, the spouse of the deceased individual may file a wrongful death lawsuit, even on the behalf of their minor children. However, regardless of the number of children, the spouse is entitled to receive no less than one-third of the total compensation.
If the deceased individual lacks a surviving spouse of children, the wrongful death claim may be filed by the surviving parents of the deceased or the designated representative of the deceased’s estate. If the estate representative files the claim, all damages will be held in the estate to be properly distributed to the next-of-kin.
What Can You Receive In A Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Georgia recognizes two entirely different types of wrongful death claims, according to our wrongful death lawyers. Under usual circumstances, many victims file for the first claim, which is known as, “full value of the life of the deceased.” If you successfully file this claim, you could be entitled to receive monetary compensation to both the intangible and financial value of the deceased person’s life. These damages often include:
- Unattained wages and/or employee benefits.
- The loss of a loved one, care, companionship, and all other intangible benefits that the deceased person may have provided to his/her loved ones.
On the contrary, if the deceased person lacks a surviving spouse or children, their estate representative can file a wrongful death claim in order to subsidize any financial losses. In this claim, the damages sought after are, and are not limited to:
- Medical expenses
- Burial and funeral costs
- The pain and suffering the individual endured before their death.
What Are The Time Limits On A Wrongful Death Claim?
In accordance with George’s statute of limitations mandate, the survivors or estate representative only have an allotted time to file a wrongful death before they are ineligible. Under normal circumstances, these individuals only have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit immediately after the date of death.
There are some exceptions to this rule, however, in the event that a deceased person’s estate is not probated, the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit can last up to seven years.
If you have any questions, it’s very important to speak with an experienced Atlanta wrongful death attorney to understand how the statute of limitations may work in your particular case.