When a person dies as a result of someone else's actions, certain people -- such as a surviving spouse -- have the right to file a wrongful death action. In Georgia, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed in cases where a person dies of a "homicide." For purposes of Georgia wrongful death laws, homicide is defined as death resulting from:
If the lawsuit is successful, the plaintiff can recover the "full value of the life of the decedent." This is calculated without deducting any necessary or personal expenses of the decedent had they lived.
Georgia Wrongful Death Laws at a Glance
It's important to read the primary source of information when conducting legal research, which in this case is the actual text of the law. Unfortunately, laws are usually written in "legalese," which is why reading an overview of the law in plain English can be beneficial. In the following chart, you can find an overview of wrongful death laws in Georgia as well as links to relevant statutes.
Georgia Code, Title 51, Chapter 5, Section 51-4-1, et seq. (Wrongful Death)
|Statute of Limitations||
Generally, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the person's death. But, there are times when the statute of limitations is "tolled" or paused:
|Right of Action||
A wrongful death action can be brought by a surviving spouse, a child (if there is no surviving spouse), or a parent (if there is not surviving spouse or child).
If there's no surviving spouse, child, or parent, the administrator or executor of the decedent may bring an action for wrongful death and hold the amount recovered for the benefit of the decedent's next of kin.
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Georgia Wrongful Death Laws: Related Resources
If you'd like more information and resources related to this topic, you can visit the links provided below.
Questions About Georgia Wrongful Death Laws? Ask a Local Attorney
While the money recovered from a successful wrongful death lawsuit can't replace the loss of someone you love, it can provide some sense of justice. If you've lost a loved one and think that it was due to the wrongful actions of another, speak with a local personal injury attorney today to find out how Georgia wrongful death laws apply to your specific situation.
Contact a qualified attorney.