An individual’s death is, in addition to being a heartbreaking loss, a disruptive and expensive occurrence. The more unexpected someone’s passing is, the harder it may be for their loved ones to adjust to life after their death. If someone is still in the prime of their life when they die unexpectedly, their loved ones may have numerous expenses to cover, ranging from end-of-life medical care and funeral costs to lost future income.
In Georgia, those who unexpectedly lose a family member may have the option of filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death lawsuits both generate consequences for the party at fault for a tragedy and help to reducing the strain on the surviving family members of the deceased by providing financial compensation.
Existing laws in Georgia limit wrongful death lawsuits. People often need to have a specific relationship with the deceased to take legal action.
Multiple parties may have the right to file
Technically, there may be many different parties who experience financial hardship after someone’s unexpected death, but generally, only one party can file a wrongful death lawsuit against eh individual or business responsible for causing the tragedy.
Depending on the circumstances at the time of someone’s death, there may be several different people with the potential legal rights to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit after their passing. Often, adults with families who die unexpectedly have surviving spouses.
A surviving spouse can potentially initiate a wrongful death lawsuit to seek reimbursement for the full economic impact of someone’s untimely passing. If someone does not have a spouse, then their surviving children could potentially initiate the lawsuit. When someone does not have a spouse or children, possibly because they were still relatively young, their parents can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
Otherwise, the personal representative of someone’s estate maybe the party with the authority to initiate a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court on behalf of the estate. The proceeds of the lawsuit typically go directly to surviving family members.
Evaluating a situation to understand if litigation is an option may help people limit the economic impact of a loved one’s premature and preventable death.