The Loss of a Loved One—Wrongful Death Actions in Georgia


December 14, 2015

Car and truck accidents alone kill tens of thousands of people each year across America. Workplace accidents, slip and falls, medical malpractice, defective products, dog attacks, and other accidents involving negligence claim the lives of thousands more. The loss of a loved one in any sort of accident is tragic, but the accident becomes all the more horrific when it was caused by negligent behavior on the part of another.

In Georgia, the family members of deceased accident victims have the right to seek compensation from the party responsible for the loss of their loved one. After all, it is the family members of the deceased who are forced to cope with the emotional and financial repercussions of their loss. Actions lodged against negligent parties on behalf of the family members of accident victims are known as wrongful death actions.

What is a wrongful death?

A wrongful death in Georgia is the death of another person caused by the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions of another person or entity. In many ways, a wrongful death lawsuit is similar to a personal injury action. Negligence will need to be established in order for family members to bring the action. Negligence is referred to as the failure to use reasonable care when there is a duty to do so.

Who can file a wrongful death claim?

Georgia law provides first priority to the surviving spouse to bring a wrongful death claim. If the deceased and the spouse have minor children, the children's interests must also be represented in the action. The spouse must receive at least one third of the total recovery, no matter how many children are included in the action.

If there is not a surviving spouse or children to bring the action, a wrongful death claim can be brought by the personal representative of the deceased's estate. If the personal representative brings the action, the proceeds will be distributed to the deceased's next of kin.

What damages can I receive in a wrongful death action?

Under Georgia law, there are two types of damages available for wrongful death claims. These include the full value of the life of the deceased and the financial losses related to the death of the deceased. Claims for the value of the deceased's life can be brought by the family members and potential damages include lost wages, loss of care and companionship, loss of benefits, and more. The estate, through a survival claim, may seek damages for medical expenses related to the deceased's illness or injury, funeral and burial expenses, and pain and suffering experienced by the deceased.

Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law: Put Our Over 30 Years of Experience to Work on Your Case!

The loss of a loved one in a car or other traffic accident is tragic. If you have lost your family member due to the negligence of another, contact the Wrongful Death Attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law. Our law firm is dedicated to assisting injured accident victims and their families across Georgia and in the Southeast. We bring over 30 years of experience to your wrongful death case, striving to provide you with the exceptional representation you need to obtain the best possible outcome. The sooner you act after the accident, the greater your chances of obtaining a full recovery. As such, it is important that you seek the assistance of a licensed lawyer as soon as possible. Call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Source:
http://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-51/chapter-4

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.