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A Brief Guide to Wrongful Death Actions in Georgia


August 27, 2019

A wrongful death claim arises in Georgia when person or company, either through negligence, an intentional act or by way of manufacturing a defective product, causes the death of another person.  However, in such cases, multiple claims often have to be presented, which can result in the plaintiff(s) pursuing the case individually as well as through an Estate.  

Similar to personal injury claims, the wrongful conduct of the defendant must be proven in order for a decedent's relatives to bring a wrongful death claim. Georgia also specifies which family members can bring the claim, based on next of kin.  If the decedent was married at the time of death, the spouse would be the proper party to bring the claim individually.  If there are minor children, the spouse must also represent the interests of the children to be split evenly, though the spouse can never receive less than one-third of the settlement. If no surviving spouse or children exist, the parents or the personal representative of the estate of the deceased victim can bring the claim.

A plaintiff in a wrongful death claim may claim the tangible and intangible "full value of the life of the decedent."  These damages are not proven based on what the family members lost, but alternatively from the viewpoint of the deceased victim. Intangible factors of the decedent's life would involve the victim's relationships with family and friends as well as the decedent's loss of society, advice, counsel, and companionship with the plaintiff and others.  Tangible factors normally refer to economic loss, such as future lost income, reduced to present cash value.

However, a wrongful death claim is only a piece of the entire cause of action claimed by a victim's family.  Often, plaintiffs choose to also pursue a survival claim, which must be brought by an estate, but allows for recovery of 

  • Medical expenses incurred by the decedent prior to death.
  • Funeral/ burial expenses
  • Pain and Suffering of the decedent prior to death

If you have tragically lost a family member in an accident caused by negligence, do not delay in seeking legal assistance, as you have a limited amount of time to pursue a claim. 

Put Our Law Firm's Over 35 Years Of Legal Experience To Work For Your Case!

If you have tragically lost a loved one because of someone else's negligence, call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law for your free consultation today. Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law has been representing those who suffer serious injuries for over 35 years.

No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 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 chat.

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.