Answers to Important Questions About Wrongful Death Accidents and Recoveries
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How long do I have to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia?
If you lost a loved one in a motor vehicle crash, slip and fall, or other personal injury accident caused by someone else's negligence, you may have grounds for a Georgia wrongful death claim. This type of civil litigation allows eligible family members to seek compensation for financial and emotional losses related to their loved one's untimely death.
Taking legal action may be the last thing on your mind while mourning an unexpected loss in your family.
However, if your loved one's death was caused by a person or business entity's negligent, reckless, intentional, or criminal acts, it's important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
Why? State statute of limitation laws limit how long you have to file a claim for damages. In Georgia, you have just two years from the date of your loved one's untimely passing to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Failing to file before the statute of limitations expires has devastating consequences in most circumstances—your case can be dismissed and you'll have lost the ability to pursue compensation.
There are some exceptions to the two-year filing deadline. For example, if your loved one's death is also the subject of a criminal case, the two-year countdown pauses—or “tolls”—until that case is resolved. Additionally, the statute of limitations can be tolled for up to five years if the decedent's estate isn't probated. An attorney can help you determine the right time to file your claim.
Consult a Knowledgeable Georgia Attorney About Your Wrongful Death Case
If your loved one was killed in a personal injury accident, you may be entitled to compensation for losses incurred as a result of their death. Have questions about a wrongful death case? Contact Rechtman & Spevak today to schedule an appointment for a free, initial consultation. The sooner you contact us, the faster we can get to work investigating your case and advocating for your best interests.
Can I file a wrongful death claim if my loved one died in a train accident?
Possibly. Train accidents can be catastrophic and sadly, they happen far more often than most people realize.
According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), approximately 10,000 train-related accidents or serious incidents are reported to the Department of Transportation (DOT) each year. These include mechanical malfunctions, derailments, and collisions. These reported incidents result in thousands of injuries and roughly 700 deaths each year—some right here in Georgia.
Pursuing A Train Accident Injury Case
If you lost a loved one in a train crash caused by another person or company's negligence, you might have grounds to file a wrongful death claim that allows you to seek compensation for losses related to their death. However, Georgia law limits the ability to file a wrongful death claim to select individuals, such as the victim's surviving spouse, children, parents, or personal representative.
The surviving spouse has the first option to file a wrongful death claim, and must also represent the interests of any minor children of the couple. Additionally, in most cases, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of your loved one's death; otherwise, you risk forfeiting your right to pursue a legal remedy.
Types of Wrongful Death Suits
Wrongful death claimants in Georgia can bring two different types of suits: one to attempt to establish the full value of the victim's life, and another to compensate for financial losses related to their death.
Potential damages in the first kind of claim include lost wages and benefits the victim would have earned, as well as loss of care, companionship, and support for surviving family members. Common damages in the second type of claim include:
- Medical expenses incurred during the victim's final injury or illness
- Reasonable funeral and burial or cremation costs
- Pain and suffering the victim experienced before death
Consult an Experienced Attorney About Your Wrongful Death Case
No amount of compensation can replace a lost loved one, but a wrongful death settlement or financial award can help families gain closure and heal financially after an unexpected loss. If your loved one died in a negligence-related train accident, the knowledgeable attorneys with Rechtman & Spevak can help you investigate your rights to compensation. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation.
Who can file a wrongful death claim in Georgia?
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.