Dublin, GA Wrongful Death Lawyer
Your Legal Rights in a Georgia Wrongful Death Case
On average, several thousand people are killed in different types of accident in Georgia each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A significant percentage of these fatal accidents are caused by the negligence of someone else.
If you’ve lost a family member because of the negligence of someone else, the devastation is palatable. In addition to grieving you likely find yourself wanting justice, for your deceased loved one and your family.
You may be in a position to pursue a Georgia wrongful death claim. The Georgia wrongful death law permits certain people the ability to pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit when a family member has been killed because of the negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct of another party.
Who can Bring a Georgia Wrongful Death Claim?
Georgia law grants certain family members the legal ability to pursue a wrongful death case, based upon their legal relationship to a deceased individual. In Georgia, a spouse or child is in a position to pursue a wrongful death claim.
If there exists no spouse or child, a parent of the deceased individual is then able to pursue a wrongful death case. In addition, the personal representative of the estate of the deceased individual may pursue a wrongful death action.
If the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate pursues a wrongful death case and prevails, the compensation awarded is provided to the heirs of the person killed. If there is a will, that instrument governs such a payment. If there is no will, Georgia law governs the manner in which compensation in a wrongful death case is distributed by a personal representative of an estate.
When Must a Georgia Wrongful Death Lawsuit be Filed?
Georgia law includes what legally is known as a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a law sets forth a deadline by which a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed. Bear in mind this is the deadline for a lawsuit, not an insurance claim.
If a person fails to meet the deadline, he or she can be barred permanently from filing a wrongful death lawsuit. There are certain situations in which the deadline can be extended or tolled.
If there is a criminal case associated with the incident underlying a wrongful death claim, a lawsuit doesn’t have to be filed until the criminal case is completed. In addition, if a deceased person’s estate is not probated for five years following the deceased individual’s death, the statute of limitations will be tolled during that time period.
Compensation in a Georgia Wrongful Death Case
Compensation awarded in a Georgia wrongful death case depends upon the circumstances associated with the deceased family member’s demise. Compensation can include a variety of losses that include:
- lost wages and benefits
- lost care and companionship
- final medical expenses
- funeral and burial costs
- pain and suffering of deceased person experienced before death
In about 10 percent of Georgia wrongful death cases, a person pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit obtains what are known as punitive damages. In Georgia, punitive damages represent additional compensation paid in a limited number of wrongful death cases. The additional money is paid when a determination is made in court that the conduct of the party that caused the death was considered to be especially reckless or egregious.
Punitive damages are designed to do more than just provide additional money. Punitive damages are intended to serve as a form of punishment for particularly reckless or egregious conduct by the party that caused the death.
Retain a Nelson & Smith Dublin GA Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you’ve lost a loved on because of the negligent, reckless, or even intentionally conduct of another party and have questions about pursuing a wrongful death case, contact the Nelson & Smith Law Firm. You can schedule an initial consultation with a Dublin GA wrongful death lawyer to obtain an evaluation of your case.
During an initial consultation, you will be able to raise questions you have about your case. As a matter of general practice, no fee is charged for an initial consultation with a Dublin GA wrongful death lawyer.