Question

What Damages Can I Recover After A Wrongful Death In Georgia?

Roger Krause

Answered by:
Roger Krause

Located in Atlanta, GA
The Krause Law Firm

Roger Krause - Personal Injury - General - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Roger Krause

The Krause Law Firm
Atlanta, GA
Phone: 404-835-8080
Fax: 404-207-1454

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Answer

Under Georgia law, in pursuing a wrongful death claim there are two separate claims: one involving the surviving individuals and one involving the deceased’s estate. Due to its inherent complexities, it is important to have the help of an attorney who has extensive experience in these types of cases, rather than a personal injury attorney who rarely tackles wrongful death cases.

I have handled many wrongful death cases successfully for my clients. This background allows me to explain the two different types of claims and what can be recovered from each.

The Survivor’s Claim Versus The Estate’s Claim

The spouse, biological children or parents of the deceased can pursue a survivor’s claim. Siblings and close family friends cannot pursue a claim unless they are the administrator of the estate. The statute of limitations to file a survivor’s wrongful death claim is two years from the date of death.

The survivor’s claim centers on the “full value of the life.” This is intentionally broad, and it gives the jury broad discretion when administering benefits to the survivors of the deceased. It can include the decedent’s economic contribution to their household, but their financial value is not the only factor the jury may consider. The full value of life may also include how much the deceased enjoyed life and their family’s companionship. This is one reason that a survivor’s claim can be incredibly emotional to bring in court. Someone does not need to have had the perfect life to have a significant claim. The deceased’s job or economic status does not fully quantify the value of their life.

A claim on behalf of the estate allows you to pursue damages on behalf of the deceased individual. These damages may include pain and suffering between the accident and their death, the cost of the funeral and medical expenses relating to the accident. There is a longer statute of limitations — four years from the time of death — to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased’s estate. 

Finding A Lawyer Who Can Resolve Your Wrongful Death Case

These cases are difficult and are not for the faint of heart. They are both legally complex, emotionally trying and require the guidance of skilled trial attorney to obtain a positive outcome in court. You need to find a lawyer who you trust completely to take this on for you: Who can take the case through the process of court, if necessary. When looking for a lawyer, ask about their recent cases and verdicts, and look for one who has been successful recently.

No amount of money will erase the pain of suddenly losing a loved one due to another party’s negligence. However, by conducting your due diligence when finding an attorney, you can improve your chances of recovering the financial compensation you and your family needs to navigate through this challenging period.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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