When a person is killed in a vehicle or other personal injury accident caused by the negligence of another person or entity, surviving family members may have grounds for a wrongful death claim. A common type of civil lawsuit, a wrongful death claim allows the victim's survivors to seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages related to the death.
However, the law doesn't permit just anyone who was close to the victim to file a wrongful death claim. In Georgia, eligibility for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is limited to just a few individuals: the victim's surviving spouse, children, parents, or personal representative. The surviving spouse has the first option to file and, if the couple has minor children, the spouse must represent their interests as well.
Eligibility For Wrongful Death Claim
In the absence of a surviving spouse, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by the victim's adult children, parents, or the representative of his or her estate. In cases where the wrongful death claim is filed by a personal representative rather than any of the forenamed family members, any compensation recovered must be held by the estate for the victim's next of kin.
Potential damages in Georgia wrongful death cases can include reasonable funeral and burial expenses, lost wages and benefits, loss of care and companionship, pain and suffering, and other considerations.
Did You Lose a Loved One in a Personal Injury Accident?
Losing a loved one is never easy, but finding out the death was because of someone else's negligence can be especially difficult. It's heartbreaking, and definitely not fair. While no amount of money can replace your loved one or fill the hole left in your life, a financial award from the at-fault party can help bring closure and make sure you and your family are taken care of—just like your beloved relative would have wanted.
The experienced attorneys with Rechtman & Spevak help numerous wrongful death claimants receive the compensation they need and deserve after their tragic losses. If you have questions about a wrongful death case, we'd love to answer them, and help you understand your legal rights and options. Call our office using any of the convenient numbers on this page, or complete the brief online contact form to request a free initial consultation.