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Who can help hold the responsible party accountable?
Under Georgia law, when someone’s negligent conduct leads to another person’s death, the deceased’s surviving family members can collect compensation from the at-fault party by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. However, only certain individuals are permitted to file this type of claim. Furthermore, claimants are required to comply with a number of complex procedural rules before they can collect compensation to cover their loved one’s funeral and medical expenses, so if you recently lost a relative in an accident that was not their fault, it is critical to contact an experienced Cumming GA wrongful death attorney who can help hold the responsible party accountable.
In Georgia, a wrongful death is defined as a death that is caused by the negligent, wrongful, intentional, or criminal acts of a person or entity besides the victim. Generally, a person’s death will support a wrongful death claim if the facts of the case are such that the deceased could have filed a personal injury suit against the other party if he or she had survived the accident. If this threshold is met, then the decedent’s surviving family members can file a claim on his or her behalf.
Only certain family members are eligible to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a deceased relative. For example, if the decedent had a spouse or child, those individuals will have precedence when filing a claim. However, if a decedent was not survived by a child or a spouse, a parent or personal representative can move forward with the claim. If a decedent has no surviving parents and a claim is filed by the representative of his or her estate, then any compensation that is recovered will be held by the estate in trust for the benefit of the decedent’s next of kin.
If a decedent’s surviving family members file a wrongful death claim and are successful, they may be able to collect compensation for the full value of their loved one’s life. This value is defined as the full value of the decedent’s life without deducting the decedent’s necessary or personal expenses if he or she had lived. This includes both financial and intangible value, such as:
If a case was filed by a decedent’s representative, he or she will only be entitled to recover for medical, funeral, and other necessary expenses resulting from the deceased’s death.
The amount that the decedent’s family receives will depend on the number of surviving children. This is because all damages awarded in a Georgia wrongful death case must be divided equally between the deceased’s surviving spouse and children. If some or all of the surviving children were minors and the amount to be collected is less than $15,000, then the children’s natural guardian must hold and use the money for the child’s benefit. If the child’s share exceeds $15,000, the guardian of the child’s property will be entitled to hold it until the child comes of age. This rule applies to all children, which means that even if a child was born out of wedlock, he or she will not be barred from recovery. Regardless of the number of children the decedent left behind, his or her surviving spouse will always receive one-third of the total award.
In Georgia, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the date of the victim’s death. However, in some situations the deadline can be extended, but only if there is a criminal case pending in court.
Losing a loved one is one of the most emotional and trying experiences that a person can go through. This is especially true when the death was unexpected or the result of someone else’s negligent or reckless conduct. No one should have to go through this type of traumatic event alone, so if one of your relatives recently passed away and you wish to speak to a compassionate and skilled personal injury attorney Cumming GA about your case, please contact the Spillers Law Firm at (678) 208-0800 today.
The Georgia Workers’ Compensation Expert
At Spillers Law Firm, we never lose sight of our number one goal — to obtain maximum compensation for you. Whether your case requires litigation, negotiation or simply waiting for the best settlement offer, we know how to achieve the best possible results for you and your family.
These settlement amounts are more than just money. They are a means of regaining the peace of mind, safety and security that was taken from you when you were injured.
Our clients often express just how much they truly appreciate the genuine concern and compassion shown by our staff. They also appreciate our attorneys’ willingness to wait for a better settlement or for an opportunity to litigate. This means that he does not settle for the first offer that comes along. The goal is maximum compensation for our clients.
For a FREE personal injury or workers compensation case evaluation, contact Charles Spillers now.
"Just wanted to say thank you for all the work you did for me. I would have been lost without your help. I will send all of my friends and relatives to you."M.S.
"I highly recommend Charles, he represented me for my personal injury claim and got excellent results. The insurer offered only $6000.00, he tried my case and got a jury verdict of $327,000.00."L.T.