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Who receives the money in a wrongful death settlement?

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2024 | Personal Injury |

Losing a loved one because of someone else’s recklessness can leave you in a state of deep grief, anger and despair. You’re plagued by questions of why this happened and how to make things right. In Georgia, the surviving family members of a wrongful death victim can take legal action to hold the person or entity accountable for their actions.

How does a wrongful death lawsuit work?

Wrongful death occurs when someone’s reckless, negligent or intentional actions result in the untimely death of another person. In such tragic circumstances, the deceased’s eligible family members can bring a lawsuit against the parties responsible to recover compensation for their loss.

In Georgia, the law specifies who can file a wrongful death claim. If the deceased was married, their surviving spouse hold the right to initiate the lawsuit. The responsibility passes on to any children in the absence of a spouse. When neither a spouse nor children are available, the parents of the decedent can step in to make a claim.

In case the deceased was unmarried, without children, or has no surviving parents, then their estate representative can pursue a claim.

Compensation available from a wrongful death lawsuit

A claim can allow you to recover “the full value of the life” of your loved one. To determine this amount, the court will delve into the economic and non-economic damages resulting from the accident. These include your loved one’s expected earnings and benefits, the pain and suffering they endured before passing, the funeral and medical expenses they left behind and other damages.

Although it is extremely difficult to quantify the life of any person, recovering compensation can help ease the immediate and unexpected financial burdens that come with your loved one’s untimely passing.

How wrongful death settlement is distributed

The person who brings a claim may not always be the only individual entitled to the settlement. Georgia law specifies that the compensation recovered must be split equally between the surviving spouse and children.

Taking legal action while coping with grief is difficult, but it can bring some comfort in the wake of a tragedy. Beyond providing a financial lifeline, it could give you the sense of closure and justice you need.