How do you know if a loved one’s death was wrongful?

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2024 | Car accidents, Medical Malpractice, Motor vehicle crashes, Nursing Home Negligence, Premises liability, Slip-and-Falls |

The death of a loved one is one of life’s most difficult experiences. When the cause of their death is sickness or old age, you had at least some opportunity to process and prepare for it. Of course, it does not make the loss any less painful, but there is some comfort in knowing that nature took its course. You did everything you could, and you said your goodbyes.

When a loved one dies because of someone else’s negligence or misconduct, it is no longer a natural death but a wrongful one. The loss is far more challenging to accept because it was preventable, and another individual or entity intentionally or unintentionally caused it.

Determining whether their death was wrongful

While car accidents are one of the leading causes of wrongful deaths, they can also happen in other situations, including medical malpractice, workplace accidents and product liability cases. To determine whether a death is wrongful, you must ask yourself a few critical questions, such as the following:

  • Negligence: Did someone fail to act with reasonable care, resulting in your loved one’s death?
  • Breach of duty: Did the individual or entity have a duty to ensure the safety of your loved one?
  • Causation: Is there a direct link between the breach of duty and your loved one’s death?
  • Damages: Are there measurable damages that have resulted from the death?

In Georgia, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of the death. Therefore, you must find the answers to these questions as soon as possible so you can get started on your claim.

Filing a wrongful death claim

After determining that a wrongful death may have occurred, you will need to understand who can file a claim and what compensation you may expect. In Georgia, the spouse of the deceased has the first right to file a wrongful death claim. If there is no spouse, the children or, in some cases, the parents or the estate’s representative may file the claim. Compensation can include the “full value of the life” of the deceased, which covers both tangible and intangible factors like lost wages and benefits, as well as the less tangible aspects like companionship and care.

A wrongful death lawsuit can help you recover some semblance of justice from the person who caused their untimely death.