In the event of the unthinkable, the loss of a loved one due to a tragic accident or through someone’s negligence, there remain many concerns of the surviving family. Additionally, when a spouse, a parent, or child dies, it leaves a void in a family that can never be filled. The voids can be emotional, and others are more tangible, for instance, the loss of financial support once provided by the deceased loved one.
While concerns relating to money may not be immediate after the loss of a loved one, the fact remains that the income provided while a loved one was living was likely an important contribution to the family. This loss can in part be remedied through a wrongful death claim.
A wrongful death claim may be filed by family members in cases in which a loved one died as result of negligence or lack of precautions on the part of another. This may include, but is not limited to:
In such cases, an investigation of the causes behind the death are necessary to prove that the death could have been prevented if not for the actions or inactions of the party or parties. The investigation may involve depositions, reviewing of evidence, medical records, etc.
Georgia law recognizes the rights of the surviving members of the family to receive compensation from the party responsible for a fatal accident or incident. There is a hierarchy, however, based on a victim’s surviving family. Generally:
- The spouse of a victim may pursue compensation for the loss of financial support, medical expenses incurred during the incident, and pain and suffering endured by the individual before their death.
- If the victim was not married, or in the case of a previously deceased spouse, the victim’s children may bring a claim.
- In the event that a spouse and children survive the deceased, the spouse may pursue a settlement to be divided equally between themselves and the surviving children.
- If a victim had neither a spouse nor children, the parents of the victim may pursue a wrongful death claim.
Although involved, the process of bringing a wrongful dealth claim could result in a settlement that may help provide for loved ones as well as pay for future expenses (such as a child’s college education) that would have been provided by the deceased if the incident did not occur. The advice of a qualified wrongful death attorney may lessen the emotional toll associated with the discovery and settlement process.
Ty Wilson is an Atlanta injury attorney and is committed to assisting the injured and their families. He has written numerous books and reports that he provides free of charge. Call his office at 1-866-937-5454.