Georgia’s laws clearly define eligibility criteria for a wrongful death claim. The laws also define the statute of limitations for filing a claim and allow for several different types of damages to be recovered.
Under Georgia law, the spouse of the deceased has the first claim to damages. If the spouse isn’t available, the children may file a wrongful death claim. If there are no children available to file a claim either, surviving parents of the deceased may bring a claim. If none of these parties are available to file a claim, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death claim to recover damages.
Under Georgia’s wrongful death laws, the survivors of the deceased / personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file to recover the following types of damages.
- Lost wages
- Lost benefits that the deceased would have been eligible for and would have earned, if he or she had lived
- Loss of care and companionship
The estate of the deceased may also have the right to recover damages related to any other expenses incurred. These damages can include
- Medical expenses that the deceased incurred before he or she died
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering that the deceased endured before he or she died
Remember, determining the exact amount of financial losses that have been sustained by the survivors is challenging. Your attorney will bring in economic experts to determine the exact value of the monetary losses you have suffered.
Under the law, the time limit to bring a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of death. If a claim is not filed within this period of time, the right to bring a claim is nullified. Determining the statute of limitations becomes more complicated if the deceased lived for some time before his death. This could happen in the case of a serious or catastrophic injury, in which the person lived for months before dying. In any case, it’s important to get in touch with an attorney as soon as a death has occurred to make sure that all rights to a claim are protected.