If you lost a loved one in Georgia due to an accident or criminal actions of another person, you might be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible parties. However, before you do so, you will need to understand how Georgia laws work regarding such lawsuits, especially the time limits, people that can file and damages they can recover.
Understanding wrongful death in Georgia
Under Georgia law, a wrongful death lawsuit arises when a person dies due to the actions of another person or entity. This applies in cases involving negligence, intentional harm, recklessness or defectively manufactured products. In addition, a wrongful death lawsuit can arise if the deceased person would have been able to bring a personal injury claim had they survived. This may include medical malpractice, defective drugs and dangerous property conditions.
Individuals that can file for wrongful death in Georgia
Georgia law allows only the administrator or executor of the deceased estate to file a wrongful death suit. However, certain family members are also eligible to file such a suit against the responsible party. These include surviving spouses, parents of minor children who are under 18 years old when filing the suit, adult children and any other survivors who were dependent on the deceased’s financial support at the time of their passing.
Time limit to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia
Georgia has a two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death cases. This means that the family members or administrators of the deceased estate need to file their claim within two years of their loved one’s passing; otherwise, they will not be able to do so.
Damages available in wrongful death lawsuits in Georgia
In Georgia, the court usually awards damages based on economic losses such as medical expenses and funeral costs incurred by the family due to the death. In addition, close relatives can also recover non-economic damages such as pain and suffering brought about by the deceased untimely death. Furthermore, the judge might also punish the responsible party with punitive damages if they acted in a particularly malicious or reckless manner when causing the death.
A wrongful death lawsuit can help provide closure and justice for the family of the deceased, as well as seek financial compensation for them. You should also know that all wrongful death damages are non-taxable except for punitive damages.