At Ashby Thelen Lowry, our Georgia personal injury attorneys know that losing a loved one to another person or party’s negligent actions or inaction is a devastating reality for many families throughout the state each year.
Wrongful deaths can occur during vehicle collisions caused by impaired, distracted, and otherwise negligent drivers, defective vehicle parts, and intentional attacks or other crimes. The one thing they have in common is that they are all preventable circumstances that result in the tragic loss of life.
Georgia has specific laws and regulations governing wrongful death claims, which allow surviving family members to seek compensation for losing a loved one due to another party’s negligence or intentional actions.
Unfortunately, while already dealing with a significant loss, the legal aspects of wrongful death cases in Georgia and the process of pursuing a wrongful death claim can overwhelm families everywhere. We are here to help survivors navigate the claim process so they can seek justice on behalf of those they lost too soon.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
In Georgia, only specific individuals can bring a wrongful death claim. These include the surviving spouse, children (including adopted children), parents, or the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
Wrongful death claims in Georgia must generally be filed within two years from the deceased person’s death date. It is essential to adhere to this timeframe, as failure to file within the limitations may result in the claim being barred from pursuit.
You Must Establish Liability to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia
To succeed in a wrongful death claim, you must demonstrate that the death of your loved one was the result of another party’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional wrongdoing.
This requires establishing the following elements:
- The at-fault party owed a duty of care to the deceased person.
- The at-fault party breached that duty through their actions or inactions.
- The breach of duty was the proximate cause of the death.
- Surviving family members suffered damages as a result of the death.
What Damages Can Surviving Family Members Pursue in a Georgia Wrongful Death Claim?
Damages that can be sought in a Georgia wrongful death claim may include:
- Economic damages like medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, and the value of lost financial support and services the deceased would have provided.
- Non-economic damages include intangible losses such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and emotional distress.
In cases of gross negligence or intentional misconduct, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior in the future.
How Do Survival Actions Differ from Wrongful Death Claims in Georgia?
In addition to a wrongful death claim, Georgia allows for a “survival action.” A survival action is brought on behalf of the deceased person’s estate to seek compensation for the pain and suffering, medical expenses, and other losses the deceased incurred before their death.
Wrongful death claims can be resolved through settlement negotiations with the at-fault party or their insurance company. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case may go to trial, where a judge or jury will determine liability and damages.
It is crucial to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney specializing in wrongful death cases to navigate the legal process effectively and ensure you understand your rights and responsibilities under Georgia’s wrongful death laws. Our attorneys can help you build a strong case, gather evidence, and advocate for the compensation you and your family deserve.
Contact our skilled Georgia wrongful death lawyers and support team at Ashby Thelen Lowry today at (404) 777-7771 to schedule a free consultation so we can tell your story and ensure your voice is heard by pursuing the best outcome for your unique case.