A wrongful death claim arises when a death results from an unlawful or criminal act, from negligent or careless conduct, from malpractice or from a defective product. Georgia has enacted several laws, known collectively as “Georgia’s Wrongful Death Act” that specifically set forth what constitutes a claim for wrongful death; who is entitled to bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased victim, referred to as the decedent; and what damages are recoverable for wrongful death. If you have lost a loved one to wrongful death, we sympathize with your loss. At Bass Law, we have both the experience and compassion you need to ensure your legal rights are protected and the loss of your loved one is fully and fairly compensated.
Types of Wrongful Death Cases
A wrongful death case is similar to a personal injury case in that you have to prove negligence. Additionally, it may be brought for the same types of actions that would result in a personal injury case. For instance, if someone dies due to injuries suffered in a car accident for which another individual is at fault, you would have a wrongful death claim. In Georgia, a wrongful death action can allege that the defendant acted negligently or carelessly, committed malpractice or manufactured a defective product. A wrongful death action can also be based on an unlawful or criminal act, whether intentional or not. If you believe that a loved one’s death was the result of someone else’s actions, you should seek legal counsel right away.
Who Can Bring a Claim for Wrongful Death Under Georgia Law
Georgia law recognizes two types of distinct claims for wrongful death. The wrongful death claim provides compensation for the full value of the life of the decedent. This claim may only be brought by the person authorized through Georgia’s Wrongful Death Act, who is typically the surviving spouse or a child or children of the decedent. If a lawsuit is filed for the death of a minor child, a surviving parent or parents must file this claim.
The estate claim allows the family of the decedent to recover for the burial and funeral expenses, as well as any punitive damages. Additionally, in a case where the decedent’s death was not immediate, the estate may recover for the decedent’s pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost income and other damages suffered by the decedent between the time of injury and resulting death. This claim can only be brought by the personal representative, also known as the administrator or executor, of the estate.
How to Decide Whether or Not to File a Wrongful Death Claim
Filing a wrongful death case is a personal decision, and each case is different. At Bass Law, we will discuss with you the strengths and weaknesses of your case and advise you every step of the way. The grieving process is different for everyone, and so it may take awhile before you feel ready to speak with an attorney about a potential wrongful death claim. However, please keep in mind that evidence needs to be gathered as soon as possible, as the defendant’s attorneys have probably already started preparing to defend the claim. Additionally, these cases have strict time limitations. Therefore, it is best to consult with an attorney as soon as possible if it appears that you may have a wrongful death claim.
If you have lost a loved one due to wrongful death, we offer our deepest condolences. If you choose to hire Bass Law, you can ensure your legal rights are protected while relying on an experienced and compassionate Savannah wrongful death attorney to represent you and your family. Because we work on a contingency basis, your legal fees and litigation costs are paid out of your recovery. You only pay if we win! At Bass Law, we are motivated to recover the best result for you in the most efficient and effective way possible. Give us a call today to schedule a free consultation.