In most personal injury cases, the victim is alive and can file their own personal injury lawsuit. Unfortunately, some victims don’t survive their accident. They may die at the scene or die sometime after the accident from their injuries. If this is the case, the decedent’s family has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia.
Wrongful death is just what it sounds like. It’s when someone dies because another person didn’t act the way they should have. The law in Georgia defines wrongful death as the death of one person due to the following types of acts:
One way to think about wrongful death is this – the family of the victim can file suit for the same basic damages the victim could’ve sued for.
Only certain people can file a wrongful death suit in Columbus, Georgia. The people entitled to sue for wrongful death include:
- The decedent’s spouse
- The children of the victim
- The personal representative of the estate
- If there is no spouse and the decedent had no children, the decedent’s parents can sue instead
You’ll notice, in order to file for wrongful death, you have to be related to the accident victim. For example, a girlfriend or business partner cannot sue for wrongful death in Georgia. If you think you have a claim for wrongful death, you should call a wrongful death lawyer in Columbus, Georgia right away.
What are Some of the Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death?
Your loved one can be killed in any sort of accident. However, there are some things that are more likely to result in a wrongful death. Some of the common causes for wrongful death include the following:
- Car accidents
- Construction accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Dangerous drugs
- Product liability
Obviously, the more serious the accident, the greater the chance of your loved one dying. If the accident was caused by somebody else, they should be held liable.
What Damages are Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Georgia?
There are two main types of damages available in a wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia. They basically are broken into damages the decedent would’ve been entitled to and the damages their family is entitled to. In Georgia, the two types of damages are:
- Monetary Damages the Decedent Would’ve Been Entitled to Had They Lived: These include damages the victim could’ve demanded had they survived the accident. They include things like:
- Lost wages
- Lost future wages
- Pain and suffering
- Medical bills
- Emotional distress
- Financial and Intangible Damages for the Family of the Deceased: The family or personal representative of the decedent’s estate can also demand damages. These include the following:
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Lost care and companionship
- Loss of future inheritance
- Loss of financial contribution of the decedent
You’ll notice that, nowhere does it say the family is entitled to pain and suffering. The only way they can demand these damages is if they personally witnessed the accident that killed their loved one. Even in these cases, there’s no guarantee of special damages.
Your Columbus personal injury attorney is going to fight to get your family as much money as possible. And, if the accident was caused by criminal, reckless or intentional acts, they can try to demand punitive damages as well.
Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Columbus, Georgia Right Away
If your loved one died at the hands of another, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia. It depends on how they died. It also depends on what your relationship to the decedent was. The best thing to do is call and talk to an experienced wrongful death law firm in Georgia. They can answer any questions you may have, including whether you can file a claim at all. But remember – you only have two years to file a wrongful death claim in Georgia. This is because the statute of limitations is two years. This period starts on the date of the accident. It may extend to the date of death, as long as it was related to the accident.
Your attorney is going to fight to get your family the compensation they deserve. Nothing can replace your loved one – we know that. But that doesn’t mean the defendant should get off the hook. You need to hold them responsible for their actions. Your Columbus injury lawyer can do just that. Call today and schedule your free consultation. And, you pay nothing until you settle your case.