Under any circumstance, sudden deaths are always a tragedy. But what happens when these deaths could be prevented? In cases when drunk drivers, faulty products or low safety standards take lives, there is a way for families and loved ones to seek compensation for their loss.
Across the country a wrongful death is considered a preventable death due to negligence. This can fit in many situations such as faulty brakes or medical malpractice. The survivors of the deceased can sue those culpable for their losses. This consists of lost wages, lost companionship, funeral expenses and more. Immediate family, spouses, financial dependents and parents of deceased children are the most typical victims of this crime.
For example, if John Doe dies in a car accident, those who could be sued include - the drunk driver, the designer of a faulty roadway, local government that doesn't provide adequate warnings or his vehicle's manufacturer. Occasionally, government entities and employees cannot be sued for wrongful death. However this depends on the state and the situation in which the death occurred.
Wrongful Death in Georgia
The conditions surrounding a wrongful death vary from state to state. William H. Curtis Law abides by Georgia law in all our proceedings. In the Peach State, a wrongful death is defined as "the death of one person caused by the 'negligent, reckless, intentional or criminal' acts of another person or entity". Negligence is seen as "a failure to use reasonable care when there is duty to do so, resulting in harm to another". This is where the definition can vary from situation to situation. This is why it's the burden of the prosecution to prove negligence in these cases. Just like the rest of the country, surviving spouses, surviving parents and personal representatives may sue for wrongful death in Georgia.
Our state recognizes two kinds of wrongful death claims. The first type establishes the "full value of life" from the family and includes monetary damages due to the loss of the individual. This includes lost wages and benefits, the salary of what the deceased would have made, and loss of care or companionship. The second type remedies the financial losses for the person's estate such as medical expenses, funeral and burial, conscious pain and suffering before death.
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The statute of limitations in Georgia dictates how long they can bring a case to court. In Georgia, this means you must file your wrongful death within two years of the date of your loved one's death. In some cases, this limit is paused to examine any criminal activity involved. If you or a loved one has suffered a loss due to wrongful death, contact us today for legal counsel.