Quick Definition: The death of one person caused by the negligent, reckless, intentional or criminal acts of another person or entity.
What Is A Wrongful Death Claim In Georgia?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a type of lawsuit filed due to negligence or an intentional act resulting in the death of an individual. In the state of Georgia, there are several types of accidents that can lead to wrongful death lawsuits, some of the most common being motorcycle accidents, car accidents, and slip and fall injuries. These lawsuits allow the family of a deceased loved one to pursue compensation on the behalf of the deceased’s estate.
Who May File A Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
Georgia law states that the spouse of the deceased person may bring the wrongful death claim to Court. If the deceased person had no spouse then the surviving children may bring the lawsuit. If there are no surviving spouse or children the claim may be brought by the surviving parents or the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate.
What Damages Are Recoverable?
There are two types of wrongful death claims:
- Claim to Establish Full Value of The Life of The Deceased – This lawsuit is brought by surviving family members for lost wages, benefits, loss of companionship, and nonquantifiable benefits.
- Remedy the Financial Losses Related to the Deceased Person’s Death – This is brought on behalf of the estate and includes medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, and conscious pain and suffering.
Time Limits On Wrongful Death Claim
In Georgia, a wrongful death claim is governed by the statute of limitations. Typically, the wrongful death case must be filed within two years of the date of death. In most cases if the lawsuit is not filed within two years the ability to recover is lost.
There are certain exceptions that may be applicable. If there is an underlying criminal case, the time limit on the wrongful death lawsuit may be suspended until the final disposition of the criminal case. Additionally, the time limit may be tolled for up to five years if the deceased person’s estate is not probated.
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