Under Georgia law, when a person suffers an injury because of the negligent or reckless actions of another party or parties, they can file a personal injury claim against those responsible for the accident or incident that caused the injury. If the victim dies from those injuries, the law allows their survivors to file a wrongful death claim instead.
Just as the purpose of a personal injury claim is to make the victim whole again, the purpose of a wrongful death claim is to compensate the survivors for the losses the death of their loved one caused. Although a Savannah wrongful death attorney understands that no amount of financial compensation could ever make up for the death of a loved one, the reality for many families is that the tragic and unexpected death of their loved one often leaves them struggling with not only the emotional burdens death brings, but also devastating financial burdens as well. To discuss how our experienced personal injury attorney may be able to assist you, call and schedule a consultation today.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
According to Georgia’s wrongful death statute, the victim’s spouse may file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. If the victim had minor children, the rights of the children are also represented in the claim. If the victim was not married, then the estate files the claim on behalf of the children. If the victim was not married and had no children, the surviving parents may file a claim.
Wrongful death claims award the full value of the life of the deceased. As a Savannah wrongful death lawyer can explain, these damages cover both the financial and intangible value the victim’s life had for survivors. Financial value includes the future income and benefits the deceased would have provided if they survived. Intangible value includes the companionship, comfort, and guidance they provided for survivors that they no longer have.
In addition to the value of life wrongful death claim filed by survivors, the estate of can also file a claim to seek damages for any medical expenses incurred in life-saving attempts for the injury or illness, funeral and burial expenses, and pain and suffering they endured before their death.
Statute of Limitations in Savannah
It is critical to be aware there is a statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in Savannah. Once that window closes, the court may dismiss a claim, no matter what type of evidence there is against the at-fault party.
In most cases, that limit is two years from the day of the negligent act leading to the death or the date the person died. There are some situations where the clock will delay (or toll) that two-year period. For example, if there are criminal charges, the statute of limitations for the wrongful death claim does not begin until there is a resolution to the criminal case. Once the court reaches that resolution, the two-year clock begins ticking again on the civil wrongful death claim.
Let a Savannah Wrongful Death Attorney be an Advocate
No amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one. However, it can help a family struggling financially in the wake of an unexpected loss and provide some sort of closure.
If your loved one died in an accident caused by someone else, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. A Savannah wrongful death lawyer can help families of victims killed because of the negligent actions of someone else and can work diligently to obtain justice for you and your family.