The tragic death of a loved one can be more painful knowing it was caused by someone else. When someone's negligence causes the death of another person, the surviving family members want to hold that person responsible for their actions. A wrongful death lawsuit allows surviving family members to file a claim for damages against the negligent parties who caused the death.
A wrongful death lawsuit is similar to a personal injury lawsuit except it is filed by the estate or surviving family member since the victim is not alive to file their own lawsuit. If a loved one died in a car accident, slip and fall accident, product defect accident, or other fatal accident, talk to an experienced Georgia wrongful death attorney about your case and how to hold the negligent parties responsible.
Wrongful Death in Georgia
Wrongful death claims, like personal injury claims, can be based on negligence, recklessness, strict liability, or even intentional actions. In a negligent wrongful death claim, the defendant may be liable if they breached a duty of care which caused the death of another. Examples of wrongful death claims in Georgia may include:
- Medical malpractice,
- Nursing home negligence,
- Workplace accidents,
- Defective products,
- Premises liability,
- Assault and battery,
- Construction accidents,
- Automobile accidents,
- Tractor-trailer accidents,
- Pedestrian accidents,
- Bike accidents, or
- Any other type of fatal accident.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
The accident victim is not alive to file a lawsuit on their own behalf, so it is up to someone else to file the lawsuit. In Georgia, certain individuals can file a wrongful death claim, depending on the surviving family members. This may include:
- Parents, or
- The deceased victim's estate.
Generally, it goes in that order. If the deceased is survived by a spouse, the spouse can file a wrongful death lawsuit. If there is no surviving spouse, then the children of the deceased can file a claim. If there are neither surviving spouse nor children, the parents may be able to file a wrongful death claim. If there are no surviving spouses, children, or parents, the estate of the deceased can file a claim.
It is also important to remember that there is a limited time to file a wrongful death claim. In general, the statute of limitations to file a wrongful death claim in Georgia is 2 years. However, there may be exceptions making the time limit longer or shorter. It is difficult to think about filing a lawsuit shortly after a loved one's death. However, you should contact an experienced Georgia wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible to make sure the claim is filed in time. An attorney will also be able to investigate the case so you can focus on grieving with your family.
Wrongful Death Damages
The damages available in a wrongful death claim are based on the “full value of life” of the deceased. This includes both economic and non-economic considerations. Damages can include the money the deceased would have contributed to the survivors (including loss of future income and benefits), as well as the value of spending time with family, raising children, or other losses associated with an untimely death.
Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyers
At The Kaplan Firm, PC, our wrongful death attorneys have decades of experience fighting for our clients against companies, manufacturers, and insurance companies. After the loss of a loved one, you deserve to have someone on your side to fight for you and your family so you can focus on grieving. We work on a contingency basis and will never collect any fees until you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at our Roswell, Georgia location for a free initial consultation.