Wrongful Death In Georgia
Losing a loved one due to the negligence of another person is a situation that no one should ever find themselves in, but unfortunately, it happens all too commonly. If you experience a death in your family or circle of friends because someone else acted recklessly, it can feel like bringing suit is overwhelming, even though you have the right to seek closure by filing a wrongful death suit. Contacting an experienced attorney can help take some of the weight off your shoulders.
“Full Value Of Life”
Georgia’s wrongful death law specifies that if someone is killed due to the wrongful act or negligence of another person, their heirs or estate may be able to file suit to recover damages as a result. In Georgia, there are two types of wrongful death claims – the standard wrongful death suit, and what is called an estate claim – and while they are different legal causes of action, they can be brought together by the decedent’s family if the situation merits it.
One of the most important things to keep in mind about Georgia’s wrongful death law is that the decedent’s family can bring suit for the “full value of the life of the decedent” as it would be in the decedent’s eyes, as opposed to the law in other states which merely allows certain specific damages. This can encompass many different losses for the family, both tangible and intangible. Tangible losses would be the decedent’s lost wages and future earnings, while intangible losses have more to do with the loss of companionship and love.
By comparison to the standard wrongful death suit, sometimes the estate of the deceased person may be able to bring a claim against a negligent defendant seeking damages that flow directly from the decedent themselves, such as pain and suffering or any medical or funeral expenses. A family member may be adversely affected by the passing of one of their loved ones, but they will personally be affected – they would not share the decedent’s personal pain and suffering. Because of this, Georgia law requires the estate (referred to as the decedent’s successor at law) to seek those damages.
That said, keep in mind that sometimes family members may stand in as the personal representative of the estate, especially if they are placed in that position by intestacy laws (that is, if the deceased person did not leave a will). This can seem confusing, but if this does occur, remember that they are acting for the estate, not for their own interests. The estate is the actor that stands in for the deceased person – if they were alive, obviously, they would manage their own interests.
Call Our Marietta Wrongful Death Attorneys
If you have recently lost a loved one, your focus is going to be on handling the paperwork and bills stemming from this tragedy, as well as trying to build a life without that person. Bringing suit can feel overwhelming – but if you decide to try and file to seek damages, contacting the compassionate Marietta personal injury attorneys at The Strickland Firm is a good first step. We understand how difficult this time is for you and yours, and will offer you representation that is both aggressive and sympathetic. Contact our office today for a free consultation.