What You Should Know About Wrongful Death Claims In Georgia
Most people understand the law as it pertains to homicide and taking another person’s life. But what about situations that involve accident deaths? What happens when someone accidentally dies in a drunk driving accident or a child drowns in a private pool?
Such situations are classified as wrongful deaths and give rise to unique legal procedures under Georgia law.
Wrongful Death In Georgia
The concept of a wrongful death refers to when someone dies as a result of recklessness, carelessness, or criminal activity. The following examples help illustrate particular actions or events that constitute wrongful deaths in Georgia:
- Someone uses a smartphone device while driving and runs through a red light, colliding into a pedestrian.
- A drunk driver kills a parent of two children.
- Merchandise falls from the top shelf in a retail store and strikes a customer’s head, casing fatal brain damage.
- A child drowns in a community pool.
- A man dies during surgery because of medical malpractice.
- A toddler dies while attending daycare.
Wrongful Death and Personal Injury Claims
The procedure for filing a wrongful death claim is similar to personal injuries. To achieve a successful outcome, the plaintiff must prove the other’s person or party’s negligent behavior is the direct cause of harm. The difference between each type of claim is that wrongful death cases require the victim’s surviving family members to bring a lawsuit against the negligent party.
Filing A Wrongful Death Claim In Georgia
State law sets specific standards for who can file a wrongful death claim. If the victim’s spouse chooses to file a claim and there are children involved, the spouse is required to make sure that their best interests are represented. The spouse can not obtain less than a third of the settlement, regardless of how many children the couple shared.
If the deceased is not married, their surviving parents or legal representative of their estate can file a wrongful death claim. Still, any damages awarded are required to go to the decedent’s closest family member.
Georgia law requires a wrongful death claim to be filed within two years of the victim’s death, although there are a few expectations. To understand more about filing a wrongful death claim on behalf of a lost family member, contact our accident injury helpline to speak with an Atlanta personal injury attorney.
Fast Help offers free consultations and are available 24 hours a day for your convenience. Just dial (404) 592-0318 to speak with an attorney about your wrongful death case.