If you have lost a family member due to the conduct of another party, you may be in a position to bring what is known in Georgia as a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. With that in mind, you likely have a number of questions about your rights and what is involved in a Georgia wrongful death case.
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The law in the state of Georgia defines a wrongful death as one in which a party caused the death of someone due to negligent, reckless, intention, or even criminal conduct or acts. In Georgia, certain family members are vested with the legal authority to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
Who can Pursue a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The statutes of the state of Georgia delineate specific family members that can file a wrongful death lawsuit. In Georgia, a wrongful death lawsuit can be pursued by a spouse. If there are minor children, they are represented in a wrongful death case through the surviving spouse. A spouse is entitled to a minimum of one-third of the total recovery in a wrongful death lawsuit, no matter how many children may exist.
If there is no surviving spouse, but there are children, they are able to bring a wrongful death suit themselves. In the case of minor children, a qualified adult must bring the case on their behalf. Adult children can pursue a lawsuit on their own.
If there are no children and there is no surviving spouse, a surviving parent or parents of the deceased individual can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. In the event that there are no surviving parents or children of the deceased, and if there exists not a surviving spouse, the personal representative of the deceased individual’s estate can bring a wrongful death lawsuit. In such a situation, the lawsuit is brought to benefit the heirs of the deceased individual, as set forth in that individual’s last will and testament or by operation of Georgia state law.
Time frame for Filing Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Georgia law includes what is known as a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations sets forth the timeframe within which a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed. The deadline for filing this type of lawsuit is two years in Georgia. The failure to make this deadline will prevent a family member of a person killed in a wrongful death incident from obtaining relief
Financial Compensation in a Georgia Wrongful Death Case
Compensation in a Georgia wrongful death case depends upon the facts and circumstances of the incident that caused the death itself, coupled with the relationship between the deceased individual and a surviving family member. With that said, compensation can be awarded in a Georgia wrongful death case for losses that include final medical expenses and funeral and burial costs. Other compensable losses can include lost income or financial support, lost companionship, and possibly financial recovery for mental anguish and emotional distress.
Protecting Your Legal Rights with a Savannah GA Wrongful Death Lawyer
Due to the complexities of wrongful death cases, you best protect your legal rights by retaining the professional services of a wrongful death lawyer Savannah GA. The first step in retaining legal representation is scheduling an initial consultation with a wrongful death lawyer Savannah GA.
During an initial consultation, an experienced attorney provides an evaluation of your case. In addition, you have the opportunity to ask questions about wrongful death claims in the state of Georgia and about your case specifically. A wrongful death lawyer Savannah GA typically charges no fee for an initial consultation with a prospective client.