The loss of a loved one can be emotionally traumatic and financially devastating. If your loved one’s death is considered wrongful, you may be entitled to compensation. Here’s how to tell if you have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
What is a Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is defined as taking a person’s life through a malicious or negligent act. This means, whether the action was intentional or accidental, the resulting death may be considered wrongful. Here are some examples:
- An angry person hits someone on the head, and the injury later results in death. This is an intentionally caused wrongful death.
- A reckless driver causes a fatal car accident. This is a wrongful death resulting from negligence.
- A pool owner neglects to enclose his backyard swimming pool, which violates local law. A child wanders onto the property and subsequently drowns. This is a wrongful death caused by a failure to act.
- While wrongful death statutes don’t apply to unborn babies, there may be grounds for a lawsuit if an infant is born alive and later dies due to an injury the mother sustained while pregnant.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Every state has slightly different rules. In Georgia, an immediate family member or representative of the deceased person can file a wrongful death claim. This includes:
- Spouse (also representing the interests of any minor children the couple had)
- Child or children
- Parent or parents
- Personal representative of the estate (with damages held by the estate for the benefit of the deceased person’s next of kin)
Filing a wrongful death claim is separate and apart from any criminal charges that may apply in the case. Neither proceeding has any bearing on the other. For instance, even if a defendant is acquitted of murder, the victim’s family may still sue for wrongful death.
reIf you believe the tragic death of your loved one was someone else’s fault, get in touch with Taps & Associates to begin the litigation process. We have years of experience representing wrongful death cases in Atlanta. Let us help you achieve the best possible outcome to ease the financial burden of your loved one’s untimely passing. Contact us online or call 404-492-8746 today for your free case evaluation.