Losing a loved one often leads to financial hardship, especially if you are dependent on their income. Sometimes, when someone you love dies, you have the right to take legal action and possibly receive compensation.
Wrongful death lawsuits under Georgia law give certain people affected by the tragic death of another the right to seek compensation for their losses. Do you have grounds to bring a claim against someone else related to the recent death of someone you know?
Only certain situations lead to wrongful death claims
Sometimes a death is tragic but ultimately accidental, meaning that no one person or business directly caused the outcome. However, sometimes it is clear that an individual or a business is responsible for the death of someone else due to negligence, reckless or illegal behavior.
Under Georgia’s wrongful death law, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit in a situation that qualifies as a homicide. If the circumstances leading to your loss involved criminal activity, defective products or someone’s negligent activity, the circumstances may meet the criteria for a wrongful death claim.
Only certain relationships give you the right to seek compensation
Not everyone has the legal “standing” to make a wrongful death claim. For example, you may be outraged at something that caused the death of your best friend or cousin, but that doesn’t necessarily give you the right to make a claim.
Spouses and children have the strongest right to wrongful death claims under state law. Parents can file a wrongful death claim for someone without a spouse or children. The representative of someone’s estate is the only person who can file on behalf of an individual without parents, children or a spouse. If successful, the proceeds of the claim would be held for the deceased’s next of kin.
Learning about wrongful death claims in Georgia can help you decide if pursuing a claim would benefit your family.