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Understanding Georgia wrongful death law

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2023 | blog, Wrongful Death

When someone dies because of the actions of another person, the surviving family can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Every state has wrongful death laws, and it’s essential to know the nuances that apply in your state.

Georgia wrongful death lawsuits can only be brought by certain people within specific time limits, among other factors. The following points cover some of the law’s key details.

Who can file a claim?

The surviving spouse, the deceased’s children or parents of the deceased can file a claim. If none of these parties exist, the person’s administrator or executor can file a claim and hold any recovered amount for the decedent’s next of kin.

A claim may be filed if the person’s cause of death was determined a homicide due to a crime, negligence or a defective product.

What’s the statute of limitations for filing?

In most cases, a wrongful death claim needs to be filed within two years of the person’s demise. Certain situations can pause or “toll” the statute of limitations.

The statute of limitations can extend to five years if the decedent’s estate has not gone through probate and up to six years if a criminal case involves the same incident that caused the wrongful death.

What types of damages can the family recover?

The money recovered in a lawsuit can never make up for the loss of your loved one, but it can provide a sense of justice for the surviving family members.

A wrongful death suit allows for the recovery of several types of damages. You can recover the cost of medical and funeral expenses and damages for the surviving family’s loss of financial support and companionship.

While Georgia’s wrongful death laws help surviving family members receive compensation for their loss, the laws can be confusing and complex and families may have trouble understanding their full rights and options.