The death of a loved one is one of the most challenging experiences we face in life. Grieving is tough enough when death happens naturally, but it can be even more difficult to handle when a loved one dies unexpectedly due to someone else’s negligence. This is known as Wrongful Death.

Understanding Wrongful Death Claims

Wrongful death can affect individuals of all ages, leading to tragic situations where children lose parents, and parents lose children. These fatal incidents can occur in various places, from hospitals and highways to amusement parks and grocery stores.

In Georgia, wrongful death is defined as the death of a person caused by the negligent, reckless, intentional, or criminal acts of another person or entity (such as a business). Negligence involves failing to exercise reasonable care when there is a duty to do so, resulting in harm to another.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death

Here are some typical causes that may lead to wrongful death lawsuits:

  1. Auto and Trucking Accidents: In the U.S., a car accident claims a life every 12 minutes. Many of these accidents are caused by fatigued, intoxicated, or reckless drivers.
  2. Medical Malpractice: According to Johns Hopkins University, medical errors result in 250,000 deaths annually, making it the third leading cause of medically-related deaths, following heart disease and cancer.
  3. Nursing Home Negligence: Families often sue nursing homes when their elderly relatives suffer fatal injuries that could have been prevented, such as from falls or medication errors.
  4. Premises Liability: Fatal injuries can result from slip and fall incidents or faulty construction. Property owners and businesses are responsible for maintaining safe conditions and addressing potential hazards.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

In Georgia, the right to file a wrongful death claim typically follows this order:

  • The spouse of the deceased.
  • If there is no spouse, the deceased’s children.
  • If there are no children, the deceased’s parents.
  • If none of the above are present, the administrator of the deceased’s estate.

Recoverable Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Recovery in a Georgia wrongful death lawsuit is based on two types of claims:

  1. The Family’s Claim for the Full Value of the Decedent’s Life**: This includes both the financial and intangible value, considering lost wages and benefits, as well as the loss of care and companionship.
  2. The Estate’s Claim for Expenses Related to the Death**: Recoverable damages may include medical expenses, conscious pain and suffering before death, and funeral and burial costs.

Filing Deadline for Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Generally, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years from the date of death. However, certain exceptions can extend this period.

The Importance of Timely Action

Wrongful death cases require extensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death and whether negligence was involved. It is crucial to consult with a wrongful death attorney promptly if you suspect your loved one’s death could have been avoided.

If you believe your loved one died due to someone else’s negligence, contact us today for a free consultation.

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If you are looking for an experienced personal injury attorney in Atlanta, Georgia, look no further than The Mabrey Firm. With over 30 years of experience, our team of experienced trial attorneys believe in fighting for the people.

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