With so many people losing their jobs and loved ones every day, it’s important to know your legal rights as a result of death. If you come across a wrongful death case in Georgia and believe that the death of your loved one was due to the negligence of another party, then there are damages available for financial hardship caused by those actions. We’ll cover this in this article!
In 2020 alone, unintentional injuries or accidents were the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. This accounts for around six percent of all deaths in this category.
What is a Wrongful Death?
If you want to know what damages are available in a wrongful death case in Georgia, you need first to be aware of what it means. Wrongful death is the death of another human being caused by negligence. It does not matter if the person was killed instantly or lasted for some time after the injury occurred; the effect is still the same – the deceased died due to someone else’s actions.
A wrongful death claim is filed on behalf of the estate or next of kin, with the family member filing it being allowed to sue for loss of companionship and other damages stemming from the death. The damages available depend on state laws, but they can include compensation for funeral expenses, loss of earnings and benefits, loss of parental care and guidance, medical expenses incurred prior to the death, pain, and suffering experienced by the decedent before death, emotional distress suffered by the family members as a result of the death.
Emotional distress can be considered if it has been caused because the survivors were denied access to the body for a reasonable time or witnessed a very traumatic event. The family can also file a wrongful death suit if the person who caused the death was acting illegally.
What Are the Different Categories of Damages in a Wrongful Death Case in Georgia?
Damages in a wrongful death case can be classified as either economic damages or non-economic damages.
Economic damages include all the costs associated with the decedent’s death that can be compensated with money. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, cannot be compensated with money.
The value of a loved one can never be adequately compensated, but the family deserves to be compensated for their loved one’s death. This is why the law allows people to sue for wrongful death and receive compensation for their loved ones and other damages that they might be entitled to.
At the same time, there are two distinct categories with their own set of time periods. One is the recovery of damages from the time of the accident till the injured person’s death. This could occur weeks or months after the accident, which covers ongoing medical expenses, mental & physical pain, and suffering of the injured.
The second category is the loss incurred by a loved one or the next of kin in terms of loss of income or wages – the amount the decedent has earned had he/she been alive until reaching the age of retirement.
Wrongful Death Case; Who Can Be Awarded Damages in it?
The family members who are eligible to file a wrongful death suit are determined by state law. The next of kin may be entitled to the damages if the deceased person was married or in a civil union. A wrongful death suit has limited time to be filed from the date of death. The time limit can vary by state. The next of kin has a limited amount of time to file a wrongful death claim.
What Are the Time Limits After Which the Right to Sue is Lost Forever?
The law varies from state to state, but there is a limited amount of time for a wrongful death claim to be filed, depending on the type of defendant. If the defendant is a person, the suit must be filed within two years from the date of death. If the defendant is a city or state, a claim must be filed within six months of the injury.
Reach Us Today for a Wrongful Death Claim:
At Hartley, Rowe & Fowler, we are dedicated to helping the loved ones of victims fight for their rights in a wrongful death case in Georgia. Respect, compassion, aggressive representation, and nothing short of justice are what you can expect from our personal injury attorneys.