It is tragic when someone close to us dies in an accident. The unexpected death of your loved one may have left you with a feeling of rage towards the person that caused it, and you may want to make them pay for what they did. However, wrongful death suits are not about vengeance. The purpose of these claims is to recover damages for your loved one’s loss. The amount you’ll recover may not be enough to make up for what has happened, but it can help you get through this difficult time.
In Georgia, the surviving spouse, children, parents or executor of the deceased can file a wrongful claim against the person whose negligence killed their loved one. These claims are filed in civil court, and the family members usually file them after a criminal trial. If successful, a wrongful death claim won’t send the guilty person to prison, but it will force them to compensate you for the pain you are feeling. You may recover what the law considers to be “the full value of the life of the decedent”, which includes economic and noneconomic awards such as:
- Compensation for lost wages, benefits and services that the deceased would have gotten or earned if they had lived
- Compensation for your loss and suffering
Also, if your loved one’s death resulted from a criminal or negligent act, you could receive compensation for their medical and funeral expenses. The claim for the full value of their life and the claim for the funeral and medical expenses are two separate ones. However, there can be both claims in a single lawsuit.
Who and when can someone file a claim?
Not everyone can file a wrongful death claim in Georgia. The first person who can file the claim is the surviving spouse of the deceased. If there is no surviving spouse, the deceased’s children can do so. When the deceased had no children, then their parents have the right to file the claim. If none of those family members survived your loved one, then their executor will file a claim and distribute the damages among the deceased’s next of kin.
How a wrongful claim can help you
If the person that passed away was your spouse, you may feel like no amount of money will ever be enough to compensate for your loss. Still, if you file a wrongful death claim, you won’t have to pay for your loved one’s funeral or medical expenses, and you can also receive the wages they would have earned if they had lived. You need support in this challenging time, and you have the right to seek the compensation you deserve.