Specific individuals can file a wrongful death lawsuit when someone passes away because of another person’s or entity’s actions. In Georgia, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed if someone dies from a crime, defective product, or negligence. In a successful lawsuit, the plaintiff may recover the ‘full value of the decedent’s life.’
If you lost a loved one in Georgia in this manner, learn about who can file a wrongful death lawsuit below. Then, speak to our Atlanta wrongful death attorney at Shani O. Brooks PC for legal assistance.
Who Can File A Georgia Wrongful Death Claim?
In Georgia, the surviving spouse usually files a wrongful death lawsuit. But if there is no surviving spouse, a child or parent can file. When there is no surviving spouse, child, or parent, the executor or administrator of the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Under Georgia law, no other family members are allowed to file a wrongful death claim.
What Damages Are Available?
If the Georgia wrongful death lawsuit is successful, the judge will order the defendant to pay damages, also known as the plaintiff’s claimed losses. This money must be paid to the deceased’s survivors or estate. In this state, there are two types of losses that you can receive in a wrongful death lawsuit. The first type intends to pay the surviving family for the total value of the decedent’s life, which can include economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Lost earnings, benefits, and services, including what the person might have reasonably earned if they lived a full life.
- Lost companionship, care, advice, and counsel.
The second type of damages compensates the decedent’s estate for the financial losses stemming from the death. This type can include funds for medical costs related to the decedent’s injuries; burial and funeral costs, and other necessary costs associated to the decedent’s injury and death.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations?
In most cases, you must file a wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia within two years of the death. But there are situations where the time limit is ‘tolled.’ For example, if the decedent’s estate has not gone through probate, the statute of limitations may be paused up to five years. Also, if a criminal case involves similar events as a civil case, the time limit begins when the case is resolved, but it cannot take more than six years.
Do You Need A Wrongful Death Attorney?
While some types of injury cases do not require an attorney’s assistance, a wrongful death action is not usually among them. Wrongful death lawsuits are often complex and may involve several negligent parties and their insurance companies. A Georgia personal injury attorney usually has the experience and knowledge of complex state laws and legal processes to obtain the best result.
Contact Our Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorney
If you recently lost a loved one in Georgia because of someone’s negligence, do not try to handle a wrongful death lawsuit yourself. Instead, speak to our Atlanta wrongful death attorney at Shani O. Brooks PC today at (404) 920-4736.