Georgia Car Accident Attorneys Discuss Wrongful Death Claims

Every year, approximately 30,000 families will be forced to say good bye to a loved one who has been killed in a car accident. Losing your family member in a car accident is perhaps one of the most devastating and traumatic events that anyone can experience. The feelings of grief, anger, and sadness that accompany that death are crippling. On top of this, many families will be forced to shoulder the burden of a tremendous financial loss. All too often, the deceased family member provided financial or household support for the family, creating a huge loss with their death. The survivors of deceased car accident victims can seek compensation for their damages through a wrongful death action. Survivors may recover funeral and burial expenses, lost support and wages, emotional pain and suffering, and much more through this type of action.

If you have lost a family member to a fatal car accident, it is important that you act quickly so as to protect your legal rights. The following is an overview of Georgia’s wrongful death statute, intended to provide you with the basic information you need to make informed decisions after a fatal accident.

What is a wrongful death in Georgia?

A wrongful death is one caused by negligent, reckless, or intentional acts of another person. Car accidents often involve negligence on the part of the at-fault driver, which could include failure to follow traffic rules, speeding, driving while intoxicated, distracted driving, and more.

Who may bring a wrongful death claim in Georgia?

Georgia law gives first priority to the spouse to bring a wrongful death action. If the spouse and the accident victim had minor children, the surviving spouse must bring the action on behalf of the children as well. The spouse must receive at least one third of the total recovery, regardless of the number of minor children included in the action.

If the deceased did not have a surviving spouse or children to bring the claim, a surviving parent or the personal representative of the deceased’s estate may bring the action. If the personal representative succeeds in the action, the proceeds will be held by the estate for the benefit of named heirs or the deceased individual’s next of kin.

Damages in a Wrongful Death Car Accident Lawsuit

There are two basic types of damages available in a Georgia wrongful death lawsuit. The first category of damages is intended to compensate survivors based upon the value of the life of the deceased. These include lost wages and benefits that the deceased individual may have earned had he or she lived a reasonable life expectancy, as well as loss of companionship, care, and other intangible benefits the deceased would have provided.

The second category of damages is intended to remedy the financial losses associated with the deceased’s death, including medical expenses prior to death, funeral and burial expenses, and conscious pain and suffering experienced by the victim prior to death. A wrongful death accident attorney can assess all damages and fight to achieve your maximum recovery under the law.

Each year, tens of thousands of individuals are killed in car accidents. The Georgia Car Accident Attorneys at Montlick and Associates have assisted the survivors of car accident victims for over 39 years.