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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

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Posted By Legal Team | March 15 2023 | Wrongful Death

The death of a loved one is always painful and distressing, but never is it more traumatic than when the death was preventable and caused by the reckless behavior, wrongdoing, or negligence of another party. When someone else’s carelessness caused the death of a beloved family member, you may feel like there’s no recompense for the terrible wrong. Our Atlanta wrongful death attorneys understand that while a wrongful death claim can’t bring the loved one back, it can help those left behind to recover the financial losses associated with their demise so family members can focus on moving forward and recovering from their grief.

Each state has specific laws regarding eligibility for wrongful death claims. If a family member you loved and depended upon has died due to someone else’s actions, you might be wondering, “Can I file a wrongful death claim in Georgia?”

Georgia Wrongful Death Claims

Wrongful death lawsuits can proceed separately from any criminal charges if the activity that caused the death was criminal wrongdoing. Wrongful death claims function as a civil recourse meant to provide compensation to those who were financially dependent on the deceased while also providing a sense of justice for those left behind. In Georgia, the following family members can file wrongful death claims:

  • The spouse of the deceased individual
  • An adult child of the deceased if there is no spouse
  • The parents of the deceased, but only if the wrongful death victim was a minor or an adult with no spouse or adult children
  • A family representative appointed by the court, but only when the deceased person leaves behind none of the above survivors

Personal representatives or executors may file a wrongful death claim for the family of a victim by petitioning the court and may only proceed with a lawsuit when appointed as a representative by the probate court.

What Damages Can Family Members Receive In a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Georgia?

Grief is one of the most difficult emotions to bear, but when the grief is compounded by the fact that the loved one’s death was avoidable, it causes even more anguish. For example, if your loved one was affected by a motorcycle accident that could have been prevented, it would cause even more stress, as told from our team of Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyers

Sudden deaths also leave loved ones with financial worries, especially when the deceased was a family provider. A wrongful death lawsuit can help relieve those financial concerns by providing the following compensation to loved ones left behind:

  • Medical expenses incurred by the injury before the loved one’s death
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Lost benefits such as healthcare and retirement
  • Loss of consortium (the companionship and emotional support of a loved one)
  • Emotional grief and anguish

The appropriate family member or family representative has up to 2 years from the date of the loved one’s death to file a wrongful death claim. The court may extend the time limit if there is also a criminal case in progress or if the deceased left no will naming an executor behind. 

Examples of Wrongful Deaths in Georgia

An experienced wrongful death lawyer in Atlanta can help determine if a loved one’s death meets the legal criteria for wrongful death. Some sadly common causes of wrongful death include:

When another party’s action or inaction causes a death, the loved ones left behind deserve justice. Get legal support from compassionate and skilled Atlanta personal injury attorneys. Our team of attorneys understand that while monetary compensation cannot bring the family member back, it can help those left behind to focus on their emotional loss rather than their reduced circumstances. 

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