The loss of a family member is a heart-wrenching experience. It can be even more devastating if their death could have been avoided. A Cobb County wrongful death lawyer stands ready to help you and your family determine if you have a civil claim and what financial compensation you might be able to recover. Leave the legal actions to a quality personal injury attorney while you try to put your life back together.
Georgia Wrongful Death Laws
Wrongful death is defined under Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 51-4-1as a death caused by the negligence, reckless, intentional, or criminal act of another person. This can occur in many different situations, from a car accident where someone drives recklessly or negligently, to a criminal act, such as an assault. A Cobb County accidental death lawyer could help an individual determine if a certain incident can be considered a wrongful death.
Who Can Make a Wrongful Death Claim?
Generally, a deceased person’s family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit; however, in the event that the deceased has no living family, their estate representative can make the claim on their behalf.
In Georgia, certain family members have priority in a wrongful death lawsuit. First in line is the surviving spouse, who will also represent the interests of their children. If the person who died has no surviving spouse or children, then their parents can make a claim. If the person’s parents are also deceased, then their appointed personal representative may bring forth a claim.
Filing a Lawsuit in Cobb County
Each wrongful death situation is different and a lawyer could help explain what damages may be available.
A lawsuit of this nature can assert numerous damages that require compensation. First, the plaintiff can make a claim for the income that the deceased person would have earned if they had survived. In addition, the lawsuit can include a claim for the emotional turmoil associated with the loss of a loved one, and other intangible losses that might affect the lives of their family. The plaintiff can also ask to be compensated for the financial losses they suffered due to the death, including medical bills and funeral expenses.
Deadline to File
There is a deadline to file wrongful death claims in Georgia. A claim must be filed within two years from the date of a person’s death; however, if the incident also led to criminal charges, the civil deadline is suspended until the end of the criminal case. In addition, the statute of limitations is halted in the event that the estate needs to go through the probate process – but any action is barred after five years even if the process is not completed. A local wrongful death attorney could keep the plaintiff updated on these deadlines so that they do not lose out on their ability to file.
Who Gets the Award in a Cobb County Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Georgia has specific laws concerning how an award in a wrongful death lawsuit is divided. The surviving spouse is entitled to no less than one-third of the damages recovered in a lawsuit, with their children receiving the remainder. If the deceased person’s parents make the claim, then they are entitled to any award recovered. If a personal representative is the one to file a wrongful death lawsuit, then the award either goes back into the deceased person’s estate or to their next of kin.
Retain the Services of a Cobb County Wrongful Death Attorney
The last thing you want to do after suffering the loss of a family member is get into a prolonged court battle. However, this may be necessary in order to recoup the losses you suffered as a result of their passing. A Cobb County wrongful death lawyer has your best interests in mind and will aggressively fight to recover what you are owed. Call now to talk in further detail.