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When can a motorist be sued for wrongful death in Georgia?

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2022 | Personal Injury |

A fatal accident is a tragic yet all too common occurrence on Georgia’s roads. If a loved one loses their life due to another motorist’s negligence or unlawful action, then you need to hold the liable party accountable. 

Wrongful death occurs when someone’s death is attributable to another person’s wrongdoing. Georgia’s laws specify who can sue the liable party for wrongful death. These are the decedent’s surviving spouse, parents, children or estate administrator.

Wrongful death and car accidents: connecting the dots

Not all fatal car accidents will result in a wrongful death lawsuit. To file a wrongful death lawsuit, you must link the crash to the defendant’s wrongful actions. Additionally, you must show you endured harm following your loved one’s death. Finally, you have to demonstrate that you have a rightful claim to the resulting damages. 

Any reckless actions on the part of a motorist that leads to a fatal accident can lead to a wrongful death lawsuit. Examples of these actions include:

  • Driving under the influence
  • Excessive speeding
  • Running a red light
  • Driving while operating a cellphone
  • Failing to yield way

Besides facing a wrongful death claim, these actions can also lead to criminal charges against the at-fault driver – but it’s important to recognize that these are two separate issues. You can pursue a wrongful death claim even if charges are not filed.

Recoverable damages in a wrongful death lawsuit

Through a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff can recover either economic and/or non-economic damages. Economic damages include funeral and burial expenses and loss of income. Non-economic damages include loss of consortium or companionship and loss of quality of life. 

No amount of compensation can take away the pain of losing a loved one. Knowing your legal options can help you pursue a wrongful death claim in Georgia.