The passing of a family member is always a painful experience, but when they’ve died due to the negligence or malicious intent of another person, you’re dealing with grief that was preventable. When your loved one has died as a direct result of someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentionally harmful actions, then you might be able to seek damages by pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit.
So, what exactly does it mean to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit? What must you prove, and when do you need to file the lawsuit? Let’s go over some of the basic details of the wrongful death suit, and what kind of compensation a victim’s family can potentially receive.
WHAT IS A WRONGFUL DEATH SUIT?
A wrongful death suit is a specific kind of personal injury lawsuit where charges are brought against a defendant who has caused someone else’s death intentionally or through negligence. Wrongful death can happen in a few different situations such as murder, medical malpractice, or negligence of a driver that resulted in a car accident.
WHEN DO I FILE A WRONGFUL DEATH SUIT?
When you should file a wrongful death suit depends on state laws, but in the state of Georgia, a wrongful death suit must be filed within two years of the event that caused the death.
This can get confusing because while ordinarily, the date of death will match up with the date of the incident that caused the death, occasionally this is not the case. For example, if your loved one got into a car accident, but spent several weeks in the hospital and later died as a result of the injuries they sustained, then the date of death would be different than the date of the negligent/reckless/intentionally harmful event.
WHO CAN FILE A WRONGFUL DEATH SUIT?
Not just anyone can file a wrongful death suit on behalf of a victim. The claim must be filed by a representative of the victim’s estate, which is most usually a spouse. The spouse of the victim can file the claim on behalf of the victim’s children. If the victim was divorced from their spouse, the children would then file the claim. If the victim had no spouse or children, then their parents would file the claim for the estate.
However, if the victim had no surviving spouse, children, or parents, then the next of kin would file a lawsuit.
Filing a wrongful death suit is a very delicate, trying time. You’re going to need legal representation who is empathetic, understanding, and knows your rights. When you’re looking for an expert wrongful death legal team in Georgia, contact the Fry | Goehring at (404) 948-3571.