Motor vehicle crashes, slips and falls, and other personal injury accidents can claim the lives of those we love. In Georgia, if your loved one's death was caused by the “negligent, reckless, intentional, or criminal” acts of another person or company, you may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. This legal action would allow you to seek compensation for your financial losses, as well as pain and suffering.
However, Georgia law doesn't allow just anyone to file a wrongful death lawsuit after the loss of a loved one. State law restricts wrongful death filing eligibility to the following individuals:
- The surviving spouse. The spouse of the deceased can file a lawsuit representing their interests, as well as the interests of the couple's surviving children. Regardless of the number of children or other potential beneficiaries, the surviving spouse is entitled to at least one-third of the total recovery.
- The surviving parent(s). In the absence of a surviving spouse or children, the parent or parents of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim.
- A personal representative. If the deceased has no surviving spouse, children, or parents, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by a personal representative for the estate for the benefit of the estate and any remaining beneficiaries.
If you lost a loved one in a personal injury accident that wasn't their fault, it's essential to speak with a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to determine whether you're eligible to file a lawsuit and, if so, how best to proceed. While a wrongful death settlement or financial award could never make up for the loss of your loved one, it may help ensure that you're cared for how they would have wanted.
Schedule a Consultation With a Knowledgeable Georgia Wrongful Death Attorney
Georgia law limits how long you have to file a wrongful death lawsuit, so the sooner you speak with an attorney, the better. Fortunately, there's no need to delay. Van Sant Law offers free initial consultations. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.