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Wrongful Death Law in Georgia Explained

Who can file a wrongful death claim in the state of Georgia?

When someone is killed due to the negligent or intentional actions of another person in Georgia, the survivors may be able to bring a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death lawsuits are filed against the individual or corporation who caused the wrongful death. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the survivors of the deceased individual can seek compensation from the wrongdoer for the loss of their loved one’s wages, emotional pain and suffering, loss of companionship, loss of consortium, and more. Georgia law allows the following individuals to file a wrongful death lawsuit:

A Surviving Spouse or Children

Wrongful death laws in each state specify who is permitted to bring a claim. In Georgia, a surviving spouse has first priority to file a wrongful death case. The surviving spouse has two years within which to file the action from the time of the spouse’s death. Should the surviving spouse and the wrongfully deceased spouse share minor children, the case will be brought on behalf of the minor children as well. The court will award the surviving spouse one third of the compensation received in the action, with the children sharing the remainder of the award.

When the wrongfully killed individual was not married at the time of death, any children over the age of 18 will be next in line to file the case. Adopted children are treated the same as biological children and multiple children can serve as plaintiffs in the action.

Surviving Parents

If the deceased individual was not married and did not have children, a surviving parent is authorized to bring a wrongful death case under Georgia law. This situation often arises when a younger person is wrongfully killed in a car, truck, or workplace accident. Parents can seek the same types of damages as a spouse or child.

The Personal Representative

Alternatively, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate can file a wrongful death action if no surviving relatives take action. The proceeds from the action will go to the victim’s next of kin, per Georgia law.

Grounds for a Wrongful Death Claim

Wrongful death lawsuits are limited to situations in which a person is killed due to another’s negligence or intentional harm. Examples of scenarios that could give rise to a wrongful death claim include: car accidents, truck accidents, slip and falls, workplace accidents, and assault, among others. Anyone who has lost a loved one due to a negligent act should consult a wrongful death lawyer for a review of their potential case.

Posted in: Wrongful Death