Everybody dies, but the tragedy of that fact is never more apparent than when a person dies before he or she has lived a full life. If your family member died due to the negligence, recklessness or criminal act of another person or organization, then no amount of compensation can undo your grief. However, filing a wrongful death lawsuit could lead to positive changes that save other people from the same fate.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31 million people were admitted to the emergency room in 2013 for unintentional injuries. More than 130,000 of them died from their injuries. That makes accidents the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.
If you lost a family member due to another person's negligence, contact a Rome personal-injury attorney from The Finnell Firm. Accident lawyer Robert Finnell has been practicing law for more than 37 years, much of which has been focused in the area of personal-injury law.
Call 866-464-4017 today to schedule a consultation. In the meantime, read on to learn the answers to three FAQs about wrongful death lawsuits in Georgia:
1. Who Is the Claimant in a Wrongful Death Suit?
Unlike standard personal-injury lawsuits, the victim in a wrongful death case is not alive. For this reason, the family of the deceased or a personal representative of the deceased's estate will have to file the lawsuit.
The spouse of the victim is usually the person who brings the wrongful death claim. If there are minor children involved, then the spouse will have to represent their interests in court.
If there is no spouse or child to make the claim, then the claimant in a wrongful death lawsuit could be the parents of the deceased or a personal representative of the deceased's estate.
2. What Are the Two Kinds of Wrongful Death Suits in Georgia?
Georgia law recognizes two distinct kinds of wrongful death suit: surviving family members can either make a claim that establishes "the full value of the life of the deceased," or one that compensates his or her family for any and all financial losses.
Monetary damages in the first kind of claim relate to the value of the deceased person's life, including money he or she may have earned in future years - as well as more intangible contributions, such as care and companionship.
The second kind of claim relates to the deceased's estate and is meant to make amends for financial losses incurred by his or her death. Such losses can include medical and funeral expenses, as well as the harm of pain and suffering endured before death.
3. How Long Do I Have to Make a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
According to Georgia's statute of limitations, survivors of the deceased party have a limited time to bring a claim to court. That limit is usually two years from the date the death happened.
However, evidence can disappear over time, and witnesses could relocate or change their contact details. As such, you should speak to a personal-injury attorney as soon as possible if your loved one was the victim of wrongful death.
A Rome accident lawyer from The Finnell Firm can assist you and your family in making a claim. Call 866-464-4017 to schedule a free initial consultation.