It is already heart-wrenching enough to find out that a loved one has passed away, but when their passing comes as a result of someone else’s actions, it can be even more difficult. The state of Georgia allows protections for surviving family members to help grant them rightful compensation to lessen the financial impact of their loved one’s passing.
What Constitutes a Wrongful Death?
The state of Georgia defines wrongful death as the death of an individual caused by the “negligent, reckless, intentional, or criminal” acts of another individual or entity, such as a business.
The most important aspect of proving wrongful death claims is by proving the defendant took negligent actions. Though this may seem similar to a personal injury claim, the injured individual is not able to present their case to the court, and must instead rely on evidence brought forth by their family or legal representative.
Keep reading to learn how to defend your loved one in a wrongful death lawsuit and how our team can help.
Who is Able to File a Claim?
Georgia law defines who is actually able to file a wrongful death claim. The two main categories of people that are able to do this are the surviving spouse and children of the deceased, with the spouse taking first priority. The spouse must also represent the children in court, if the children are minors, and is entitled to no less than one-third of the total amount recovered by the claim.
If there is no surviving spouse or child(ren) to bring the claim to court. In that case, only a surviving parent or personal representative of the deceased individual’s estate is allowed to bring the case forward.
There are only two categories of wrongful death claims that the state of Georgia recognizes. The first of these categories is meant to help recuperate from financial losses caused by the death of a loved one. This type of claim is typically brought by the deceased person’s estate in an attempt to help recover losses held by their estate. These damages include:
- Medical expenses related to illness or injury.
- Conscious pain and suffering endured by the deceased.
- Funeral and burial costs.
The second type of wrongful death claim is brought on behalf of surviving family members. These are usually referred to as “full value of the life of the deceased” claims that include monetary damages to rectify the financial and intangible values of the late family member. These damages include:
- Lost wages and benefits, including what the deceased individual would have earned over their lifetime.
- Loss of companionship, care, or other intangible benefits the deceased individual would have provided to their loved ones.
Contact Our Georgia Wrongful Death Team Today
We understand how hard it is to lose a loved one, especially when it doesn’t come about by natural causes. We are committed to helping you and your family seek the justice and rightful compensation you deserve through our personalized and compassionate services.
If you have recently lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today through our website or give us a call at (404) 620-3337 to find out what your options are.