What happens if you lose a family member because another person was negligent? Coping with this situation is extremely difficult and raises a lot of questions about your next steps. You might be curious about what legal recourse you have and how to initiate a legal claim on this basis. This is referred to a wrongful death claim.
If you have recently lost a loved one and you believe that it was tied to another person’s negligence or reckless behavior, you may be interested in talking with an attorney about filing a Georgia wrongful death lawsuit. The statutes in Georgia have specific rules related to wrongful death claims. Understanding the time limits for filing a wrongful death claim and the damages that could be available, if a wrongful death claim succeeds, are important.
Georgia state law stipulates a wrongful death as the death of one individual that was caused by the intentional, reckless, negligent, or criminal acts of another entity or person. Only certain people are eligible to initiate a wrongful death claim in Georgia. This begins with the spouse of the deceased individual. If the spouse and the deceased individual had minor children, the surviving spouse will also represent the interests of the children in court. The spouse cannot receive any less than one-third of the total recovery, however, regardless of how many children there are. If no surviving spouse is available to bring a claim to court and there are also no children to represent their interests, the claim can be brought by the surviving parent or parents of the deceased or the personal representative who serves with the deceased person’s estate.
In the event that the personal representative initiates the wrongful death claim, any damages recovered in the Georgia wrongful death lawsuit are held by the estate for the purpose of the deceased person’s next of kin. Damages may be available in Georgia wrongful death cases, but scheduling a consultation as soon as possible with an experienced attorney may be the only way to figure out whether or not you are eligible to recover compensation.