Families who lost loved ones in the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash are suing for wrongful death. You may have heard of it before, but do you know what wrongful death means?

People die every day but not every death is wrongful. There are many deaths each year, which could have and should have been avoided. Georgia law defines wrongful death as when someone dies because of acts that were “negligent, reckless, intentional or criminal.”

Who can sue for wrongful death?

Georgia law allows you to sue if you are the spouse or the child of the person who died. If none of those are alive to claim, the parents of the dead person may claim. The deceased person’s estate can also make a claim — so this is a way for someone other than a spouse, child or parent to proceed if they would be in line to inherit the estate.

Who can you sue for wrongful death?

You can sue an individual or an entity (company, school, government agency, etc.). In the Kobe Bryant case, the families are suing the helicopter company and its holding company. Suing the dead pilot may have been an option too.

What time limits are there for making a claim?

You usually need to claim within two years, but there are situations in which this can differ.

Deciding what is and what is not wrongful death requires legal advice. Winning a claim can never make up for your loss, but it may help to ease your future financially.