Who Can File A Claim For Wrongful Death Of A Loved One?

A wrongful death lawsuit is when a claim has been made that someone's negligent actions caused a fatal accident and ultimately the unexpected death of a loved one or spouse.

This can include a variety of different types of accidents like an auto accident or workplace one. It can also be because of medical malpractice, a negligent homicide, accidental homicide, or some other type of accident.

The untimely death of a spouse or loved one can send their family into a deep emotional spiral that can have negative effects on all facets of their lives, including financial hardship.

However, according to Georgia's wrongful death law, there are parties, not including friends or fiancés, that can receive monetary damages for losing someone and settling a wrongful death claim.

In this article, we discuss the category of individuals who are considered legal beneficiaries of the fair settlement that's awarded after a wrongful death lawsuit is won, and how our firm's personal injury lawyers can help ease some of the mental anguish.


Table Of Contents

1. The Spouse 

2. The Children

3. The Parents

4. The Executor Of The Estate

5. What Do Wrongful Death Settlements Cover


The Spouse

The husband, wife, or domestic partner of the deceased victim are usually front in line when it comes to filing a claim for wrongful death in the state of Georgia.

They can also file a claim for any minor child that may have been affected financially, especially if they were living with the deceased individual.

If the wrongful death victim was not married before their death, the legal child of the victim is accredited with the right to pursue legal action.

The spouse qualifies for one-third of the award's share and must share the rest of the award with the children if no will for them is left by the victim.


The Children

The children of the victim can bring a claim to court if the spouse is not capable of doing it, or if the victim was never married. Both adopted and biological children are able to pursue legal damages. 

If there's more than one child, the settlement must be equally split amongst all of the children.

Also, the child or children can be compensated more if they're under the age of 18 and were financially dependent on the victim.


The Parents

If the victim was an unmarried adult without any legal children, their parents now have full permission to file a claim for wrongful death.

Both parents can bring in the claim if they're married, but if that's not the case, then one of the parents can file the claim while both will equally be entitled to the award.

Each parent possesses the power of filing a claim for their deceased child at any time they believe it was a wrongful death.


The Executor Of The Estate

This person is usually assigned to file a wrongful death claim if there is no surviving spouse, child, or parents of the victim.

The executor will have to reward the next closest relative that is still alive, or whoever is named in the will with the estate or the award given by the court if they were to win the lawsuit.

Everyone mentioned in the will gets a portion of the estate due to Georgia laws.

What Would a Wrongful Death Settlement Cover? 

Wrongful death compensation can provide relief for various losses suffered by the deceased's surviving family members. Some common types of economic damages that a wrongful death settlement may cover include:

  • Medical expenses: Financial compensation for medical bills or any other costs that incurred before the victim's death. 
  • Funeral and burial costs: Compensation for funeral bills, burial expenses and any other funeral-related expenses.
  • Loss of future income and benefits the deceased would have earned.
  • Loss of Consortium: Non-economic damages awarded to the surviving spouse to help with intangible losses like the loss of        companionship, guidance, and emotional support.
  • Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased person before passing and the emotional distress suffered by the eligible          family members after the victim's untimely death. 
  • Punitive damages in cases of gross negligence or intentional actions that cause harm. These typically involve some sort of        criminal action. 

Specific damages covered can vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the case. An experienced personal injury attorney will help evaluate the case to pursue monetary compensation for the surviving family members.

Filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be a complex process, so seeking a personal representative in the form of a wrongful death attorney can help you have a successful outcome.


Contact Our Wrongful Death Lawyer Now

For over 2o years at The Law Offices of Julian Lewis Sanders & Associates, our primary focus is on making sure clients are seen and heard through this difficult time of theirs. We get you the justice and types of damages you deserve and won't rest until you leave the court a winner mentally, physically, and emotionally. Schedule your free initial consultation today below.

Posted by Julian Lewis Sanders

At The Law Offices of Julian Lewis Sanders & Associates, we understand the gravity of personal injury situations - it's our priority. Committed to aiding you in your time of need, we specialize in listening to your story, discerning your individual needs, and swiftly executing strategic actions to secure the compensation you deserve. Based in Georgia, our legal team comprises experienced personal injury attorneys dedicated to delivering optimal service tailored to your unique circumstances.

June 12th, 2024