Tifton Wrongful Death Lawyer Helping Families Who Have Lost a Loved One in an Accident
Accidents happen every day, and unfortunately, some are fatal. Families of accident victims face numerous challenges; not only are they grieving the loss of a loved one, but they also have to worry about the loss of income and funeral expenses. If you recently lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.
Georgia law allows families to pursue wrongful death claims to recover these losses. However, wrongful death cases are complex. You need to know who can pursue a claim and what losses you are entitled to recover. A Tifton wrongful death lawyer can help you navigate the process and build a case so you can get the compensation your family needs.
Wrongful Death Cases in Georgia
Georgia law allows people to pursue wrongful death claims when the accident is the cause of another party’s negligence or recklessness or due to intentional or criminal acts. Wrongful death cases commonly arise from the following:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Deaths caused by medical malpractice
- Construction accidents
- Deaths caused by dangerous or defective products
Wrongful death claims can include cases where the victim died in the accident or died weeks, months, or sometimes years later. If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s actions, a Tifton wrongful death lawyer can discuss whether or not you can pursue a claim.
Georgia Law Limits Who Can File a Wrongful Death Case
Under Georgia law, your relationship with the victim will determine whether you can pursue a wrongful death claim:
- If the victim had a spouse, only the surviving spouse can pursue a wrongful death claim. If the victim had no children, then the spouse would receive 100% of any compensation recovered. However, if the victim had surviving minor children, the surviving spouse must also represent their interests, and a portion of any compensation would be distributed to the children.
- If the victim did not have a spouse or their spouse did not survive, only the surviving children may pursue the claim. If the surviving children are minors, the case would need to be brought by a court-appointed guardian who would also handle the compensation on their behalf.
- If there is no surviving spouse or children, the victim’s surviving parents can pursue the claim. If you have suffered the death of a child, then only you and your spouse can pursue a wrongful death claim.
- If there is no surviving spouse, children, or parents, the claim may be brought by the victim’s estate. These cases can be complicated, especially if the victim died without a will. If they died with a will, the wrongful death claim’s compensation would be distributed according to the terms of the will. Otherwise, the compensation will pass according to the laws of intestate succession.
Georgia law generally does not permit other relatives, friends, or other loved ones to seek compensation through a wrongful death suit.
The Value Of Your Wrongful Death Claim
Wrongful death claims entitle you to seek damages beyond what is available in a personal injury case. As part of your claim, you can seek compensation for the following:
- Any medical expenses incurred prior to the victim’s death
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Any pain and suffering experienced by the victim prior to death
However, Georgia also allows the family to seek compensation for the “full value of the life of the decedent.” This clause includes the following:
- Future lost employment income
- Future investment income or retirement benefits
- The value of the care they provided to their family
- The value of their lost companionship
It is important to note that the “full value” of the victim’s life is determined without deducting any of the expenses they may have incurred. Determining the value of wrongful death cases involves a complex calculation, as some elements are not easy to determine. An experienced Tifton wrongful death lawyer can provide an accurate estimate of the compensation you may be entitled to seek.
Deadlines Required to File a Wrongful Death Claim
There is a two-year statute of limitations on wrongful death lawsuits in Georgia. You must file a suit within two years of the death of the victim. If you fail to file your lawsuit within this period, you will lose all of your rights, no matter how strong your case may be.
Two years may seem like a long time, but it passes by more quickly than you think. Your case will become more challenging to prove the longer you wait, as it may become more difficult to gather the evidence you need to verify your claim. In cases where the victim suffers a severe injury and death is likely, many families will meet with a Tifton wrongful death lawyer to help them prepare and better ensure their rights are fully protected.
There are exceptions to the statute of limitations, but you should not assume they apply to your case. For example, if there is a criminal prosecution involving the other party related to your claim, the statute of limitations will be paused pending the outcome of the case. The statute of limitations may be similarly paused if the claim involves the victim’s estate. In any event, you should discuss your claim with a Tifton wrongful death lawyer before deciding whether or not to proceed.
Speak with a Tifton Wrongful Death Lawyer at Hudson Injury Firm
Wrongful death cases can help families secure their future after the death of a loved one. Unfortunately, these claims are very complex and a simple mistake could jeopardize your claim. At Hudson Injury Firm, we provide dedicated, compassionate legal representation to families struggling to put their lives back together. If you have suffered the loss of a loved one, we can help, call us today at 229-396-5845 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.