Types of Damages in a Georgia Wrongful Death Claim
Wrongful death cases can be some of the most difficult legal battles. There are 2 reasons for this: 1) simply because of the unexpected emotional toll of the death itself, and 2) how complex Georgia law is surrounding wrongful death claims.
Are there different types of wrongful death claims in Georgia?In an effort to understand Georgia law and wrongful death claims, you have to first know that Georgia law allows for 2 separate types of claims for wrongful death: an estate claim and a full value of life claim.
An estate claim covers all of the economic damages. Economic damages are things that have a concrete monetary value. These include items like medical bills, funeral and burial costs and any other tangible financial losses that resulted from the death. If the death was a result of a car accident, property damages would also fit into this category.
A full value of life claim is a little more complex because it covers all of the non-economic damages. These are damages that cannot be quantified as easily as economic damages, which include mental and emotional damages, relationship loss, future wage and support loss and loss of consortium.
The full value of life claim has to be filed by the next immediate family member—i.e. the spouse, if applicable. If the deceased person does not have a spouse or the spouse is already deceased, then a child or possibly a sibling of the deceased can file a claim.
How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim in Georgia after the loss of a loved one?In most cases, the time limit to file a Georgia wrongful death claim is 2 years after the death occurs. If there is any criminal aspect to the case, there could be an extension on that time limit until the criminal case is closed.
Reasons why wrongful death claims could be denied in GeorgiaWrongful death claims are usually some of the most highly contested. Usually, if a corporation or an insurance company is involved in the case, they’ll try to push for the fact that the death was caused (at least partially) by negligence on the part of the deceased person. If they can prove that the death was at least 50 percent caused by negligence, then the Georgia comparative negligence law would come into play and compensation could be considerably lessened or denied completely.
Do I need to hire a lawyer for my Georgia wrongful death case?Georgia wrongful death cases can be some of the most complex and emotional claims to work through. An experienced personal injury or wrongful death attorney will be able to navigate the Georgia legal system and come out with the most compensation for damages as possible. Choosing a reputable and good Georgia lawyer may make all the difference for you and your loved ones.