An unintentional injury is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. These untimely deaths can cause significant emotional and economic suffering for the victim’s loved ones, and more so when caused by someone else’s negligent or reckless acts.
A fatality that has been caused by someone else’s intentional or negligent actions is legally known as a wrongful death. Of course, all deaths impact those left behind, but a wrongful death has specific implications. A wrongful death gives legal rights to those left behind to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party for compensation.
So who can sue for wrongful death in Georgia?
Georgia law only allows the following people to file a wrongful death lawsuit in the state:
- The deceased’s spouse or legal partner: The victim’s spouse or legal partner is the first person who can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. The spouse can also file the lawsuit on behalf of the deceased’s minor children. That said, the spouse is entitled to at least two-thirds of the financial compensation from the wrongful death claim.
- The deceased’s children: If the deceased doesn’t have any surviving spouse or legal partner, then their children can file a wrongful death claim.
- The deceased’s parents: If the wrongful death victim does not have a surviving spouse or children, then Georgia law allows their surviving parents to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If the parents are divorced or separated, then the Court will have the discretion to distribute the compensation recovered from the wrongful death action. Additionally, if one of the parents did not provide for the deceased’s child, Georgia law may bar such a parent from filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Estate representative: Georgia law also allows the deceased’s designated estate representative to file a wrongful death claim. In this case, the deceased’s estate will be eligible for receiving any compensation awarded following a successful suit. This can then be divided among their heirs.
The death of a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence can leave you devastated. If you have lost a loved one due to negligence on the part of a third party, it is important that you file a wrongful death lawsuit within the stipulated timeframe.