Wrongful Death: How Does Georgia Law Define It?

Typically, a personal injury lawsuit is filed by a plaintiff who has been hurt in some sort of accident. Sadly, not all accident victims survive their accident. In cases where this happens, the victim isn’t able to speak for themselves. Their loved ones often have to speak for them. This is what happens in a wrongful death case. Personal injury attorneys in Marietta meet with families throughout the year who have lost a loved one to some sort of accident. In situations like this, the decedent’s loved ones are left feeling angry and bereft. They also have questions about what to do next. Thankfully, our wrongful death attorneys in Marietta can answer these questions. They can also help you file suit against the person responsible for your loved one’s death.

Here, we’ll talk about what wrongful death means in Georgia. We’ll also discuss who can bring this type of lawsuit against the culprit. Finally, we’ll highlight the different types of damages you can demand in this type of lawsuit. If you still have questions after reading this article, feel free to contact us directly. One of our associates can sit down with you and explain how the process works. They can even help you file your claim if need be.

What Exactly is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Imagine that you have been hurt in a car accident. Your injuries were serious but, over time, you make a full recovery. You missed six weeks from work and now can only work part-time due to your injuries. Your car was destroyed, and the fair market value of your vehicle was $10,000. You experienced a ton of pain in the days and weeks following the crash.

Now, if this happened to you, then you would have the chance to sue the other driver for damages. Your personal injury attorney in Marietta would file suit against the defendant and demand all sorts of damages in your initial complaint. Unfortunately, the victim in a wrongful death claim doesn’t have the chance to do this because they have passed away.

The idea of a wrongful death lawsuit is that someone stands in the shoes of the victim and sues the defendant. They can demand the same damages the decedent could’ve demanded had they survived. In addition, if the person suing is a family member or spouse, they can demand their own financial losses incurred as a result of their loved one’s death.

Only Certain People Can File for Wrongful Death in Georgia

The laws in Georgia are very strict when it comes to who can file a lawsuit for wrongful death. Primarily, it is usually the decedent’s spouse who would file suit. If they aren’t available, or do not wish to file suit, the victim’s parents can file suit. If the victim didn’t have parents who were still living, then a representative of the decedent’s estate can file for wrongful death.

What this means is that you can’t sue for wrongful death when your boyfriend or girlfriend are killed in an accident. Nor can you sue under wrongful death when your sibling dies in a tragic accident. If you want to sue but don’t have standing, you can always petition your loved one’s estate representative to sue on your behalf. Of course, any assets they recover must be distributed in accordance with the decedent’s will. If they died without a will, then the laws of Georgia intestacy will apply.

Your Wrongful Death Attorney in Marietta Can Demand Certain Damages

When it comes to the damages you can demand in your wrongful death lawsuit, the rules are also very strict. The courts recognize two types of damages in a wrongful death case. The first type of damages is those that the victim could have asserted had they survived the accident. This would include any wages the decedent would’ve earned had they lived until retirement age.

Your loved one would have also had the right to demand pain and suffering. Whatever pain and suffering your loved one experienced prior to passing away can also be listed as damages.

The second type of damages include those that you would experience as the victim’s spouse or loved one. This can include something as mundane as the lost wages and benefits your loved one offered you to the medical bills they accrued prior to their death. In addition, your personal injury attorney in Marietta can demand that you be compensated for the loss of companionship you’ve experienced. Finally, you can demand reimbursement for any funeral and burial expenses.

In order to collect these damages, your attorney will have to submit proof. If they’re able to prove negligence, as stated above, you should be entitled to damages.

Get Justice for Your Loved One by Calling a Skilled Wrongful Death Attorney in Marietta

If your loved one has passed away in a tragic accident, they can no longer speak for themselves. You owe it to them to pursue justice on their behalf. This may mean filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the people responsible for their death. Our personal injury attorneys in Marietta can help you do this.

We suggest you call our office as soon as possible after your loved one’s death. In Georgia, you only have two years to sue for wrongful death. If you miss this statutory deadline, your claim will be dismissed, and you won’t be able to refile it. Rather than risk this happening, just hire a wrongful death attorney in Marietta right away. You can take advantage of your free consultation. Since it doesn’t cost a thing to meet with us, you have nothing to lose.

The defendant in these cases had zero regard for their victim. As cold hearted as it may seem, you must remember that this isn’t personal. You are simply seeking justice and your wrongful death lawyer in Marietta can help make that happen.