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How Do I Know if I Qualify for a Wrongful Death Case in Georgia?

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Georgia has a statute that creates a right of action for wrongful death suits. This means the surviving family of a person killed due to someone else’s negligence can sue the entity responsible for their death. If you’re an injured person, you may qualify as a plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit. But you also have to meet specific qualifications to be able to collect damages from a wrongful death lawsuit.

Needless to say, wrongful death cases can be emotionally wrenching and complicated. If you are unsure whether or not you are eligible to file a wrongful death case, don’t hesitate to contact experienced lawyers at the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm for help and guidance. Set up your free consultation with our injury and accident attorneys by calling us at (833) 254-2923 or contact us online.

An Overview of Wrongful Death Cases in Georgia

According to Georgia law, a wrongful death occurs when the death of a human being results from a crime, criminal negligence, or defective property. This civil action may be brought by the surviving spouse, children, or parents of the deceased. In some cases, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate may also file a lawsuit.

A wrongful death claim is a civil case that is separate from any criminal case that may have been filed in connection with the same incident. For example, if someone is killed due to a drunk driving accident, the alleged drunk driver could face criminal charges for drunken driving and vehicular homicide. At the same time, those close to the deceased could file a wrongful death lawsuit against the drunk driver.

With that said, in many instances, wrongful death lawsuits are filed against third parties such as employers and property owners who might have also been responsible for the death.

Who is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Case in Georgia?

Georgia law specifies that the surviving spouse of the deceased is entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If there is no spouse, then the children of the deceased may file the claim. If there is no surviving spouse or children to bring the claim, then surviving parents can receive compensation.

If neither of the parents, children, or spouses survives, then the personal representative of the deceased’s estate may file. No other family members, such as grandparents or siblings, are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit for the deceased person.

In addition to having a direct relationship with the deceased, Georgia laws require that you meet other eligibility requirements before you can file a wrongful death lawsuit. You must also be able to show that your loved one died due to someone else’s negligence or intentional actions.

Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Case

Trying to determine what damages are available in a Georgia wrongful death case can be difficult. No specific dollar amount can be attached to any particular type of damage related to such a claim. Here are a few potential expenses that a wrongful death lawsuit can cover:

  • Medical and hospital costs: When a person is injured, there may be an ongoing need for emergency medical care. A wrongful death claim may seek restitution for these expenses, as well as any future medical costs that would have been associated with the victim’s continued care.
  • Funeral and burial expenses: These expenses are a common element of any wrongful death case. These expenses can be pretty high, depending on the type of funeral and burial that the deceased individual wanted. When calculating the cost of these expenses, you will want to consider the price of any purchased services or products to carry out these arrangements.
  • Lost wages and lost earning capacity: If the victim was employed, they might not have time to recover from injuries suffered in an accident. In many cases, this will leave surviving family members unable to meet their financial obligations. Lost wages can help compensate for this loss of income. Lost earning capacity can apply in a case where the victim might have been able to make money later on in life.
  • Pain and suffering: This damages category is more difficult to define than other losses, but it can cover mental anguish and physical pain if the victim lived after the accident but before ultimately succumbing to injuries.
  • Loss of companionship and consortium: Compensation may also cover the loss of companionship and consortium that results from the death of a loved one. Companionship refers to the value placed on being close to someone else, and the consortium is the right to have physical intimacy with that person. These values may be difficult to quantify in terms of financial compensation, but they can be included as part of a wrongful death claim.

Timeframe to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Georgia

The time limit for filing a wrongful death claim is the statute of limitations. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years from the date of the person’s death. This means you have two years to file your claim after they die.

You must act quickly because your case won’t be heard if you don’t meet the statute of limitations. Two years may seem like a long time, but it goes by very quickly. As soon as you believe that your loved one died due to someone else’s negligence, contact an attorney who specializes in wrongful death claims and start gathering evidence to support your claim.

Get a Free Consultation with a Georgia Wrongful Death Attorney

Death is always hard to deal with when it occurs because of another’s negligence. Things can become even more complicated when you are left with financial concerns due to the death of your spouse or loved one.

At the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm, we understand how difficult losing a loved one can be. Our wrongful death attorneys have fought for grieving family members who faced tremendous financial burdens to recover compensation. We provide compassionate and dedicated legal representation to help ensure that you receive all the compensation you deserve.

We know that this is a tough time, but we will take care of all the legal and procedural details so that you can focus on grieving and spending time with your family without worrying about legal issues. We are happy to provide you with a free case evaluation. Give us a call at (833) 254-2923 or write to us online.

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