Have you lost a loved one in an accident? If so, you might have many questions about your legal rights, including whether you can sue the person responsible for the death.

At MG Law, we hear from grieving family members in the immediate aftermath of a loved one’s death. These folks are worried about their futures and wonder if they can receive compensation for the loss. Fortunately, Georgia’s wrongful death statute often provides the best means of redress, but you will need a lawyer to make the most effective case.

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What is a Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death in Georgia is any death that was brought about by the negligent or criminal conduct of another person. There are many examples:

  • A motorist carelessly backs up their vehicle without checking their mirrors or looking over their shoulder. Because of this negligent behavior, they could strike a pedestrian and kill him.
  • A driver weaves in and out of traffic, ultimately losing control and crashing into another vehicle. This conduct has caused a wrongful death.
  • A driver in a fit of road rage takes a baseball bat out of his trunk and strikes a person in the head, killing them. This criminal act supports a wrongful death case.
  • A woman lies in wait for her ex-husband to come home and shoots him. She has committed a criminal act, which also qualifies as a wrongful death.

It isn’t vital that family members identify whether the conduct at issue is covered by the statute. Instead, let a Rockdale County wrongful death lawyer determine whether your loved one’s death was wrongful.

Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

O.C.G.A. § 51-4-2 allows a surviving spouse to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If the spouse had children with the deceased person, then the spouse also represents the minor children’s interest in the case.

If there is no spouse or children, then the lawsuit can be brought by the deceased person’s parents or by the estate’s personal representative. You can find the identity of the person nominated to serve as personal representative in your loved one’s will, or the probate court will appoint someone.

Why Doesn’t the Prosecutor Bring the Lawsuit?

Prosecutors charge members of the public with crimes, which can result in probation, time in jail, or a fine. However, a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil suit for money damages only. Civil cases are usually filed by private citizens seeking redress for some wrong.

Also, some conduct might not rise to the level of a crime but is still wrongful. For example, someone who crashed into a loved one in a parking lot might not have had criminal intent, but their negligence is enough to sustain a wrongful death case.

How Much Can We Receive?

Each case is different, so it is hard to calculate in the abstract much compensation is available. Under Georgia’s law, our clients are eligible to receive compensation for the following:

  • Lost wages and benefits that the deceased person could have earned had they lived
  • Loss of certain intangible benefits, such as the companionship and care provided by the deceased
  • Medical bills for treatment of the deceased’s final injury
  • Any pain and suffering the deceased person endured before death
  • Funeral and burial costs

Some of the above are harder to calculate than others. For example, the amount of lost wages will largely depend on your loved one’s age, education, and work history. Meanwhile, loss of care or companionship is subjective, but a lawyer with enough experience can arrive at a good estimate of the amount you can receive.

At a minimum, a surviving spouse will receive no less than one-third of any compensation awarded in the case, regardless of how many children the couple had.

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When Do We File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

You should not delay. Georgia’s statute of limitations states that you have two years from the date of death to file suit. So if a loved one died on August 1, 2019, then you have until August 1, 2021. Ideally, you will meet with an attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can decide how much time remains and can file a lawsuit in an appropriate court if necessary.

Contact a Rockdale County Wrongful Death Lawyer Today

MG Law is a leading Georgia law firm that has brought several wrongful death lawsuits. We understand the complexity of this area of law quite well and will do everything we can to get the maximum compensation for you and your family.

To speak with a member of our team, please contact us today. We offer a free consultation.

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Why Should You Choose MG Law?

Dedicated To Providing Justice For Our Clients
MG Law is dedicated to the cause of justice. This dedication drives our attorneys to provide the best legal representation possible. Whether that means obtaining an in-depth understanding of city ordinances or being able to fully understand an insurance policy to maximize the recovery for our client, our focus on personal injury cases provides us with the knowledge and focus necessary to take on all types of cases and win. We stop at nothing to get our clients the best possible results.

We Have Experience Representing The Injured
At the law offices of MG Law, our attorneys only practice injury law, which means that we are devoted to being up to date on all matters of personal injury laws, rules, and regulations. Our attorneys have been awarded the prestigious National Trial Lawyers, 40 Under 40, and Top 100 Trial Lawyers awards. We have a 10/10 rating on Avvo and are rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell.

Michael Geoffroy

Owner, Attorney

Chris Stastny

Associate Attorney

Leah Mason

Paralegal

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Litigation Paralegal

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Paralegal/Case Manager

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Paralegal/Case Manager


Other Rockdale County Practice Areas

Personal Injury | Auto Accidents | DUI Accidents | Premises Liability | Bicycle Accidents | Pedestrian Accidents | Wrongful Death | Motorcycle Accidents | Truck Accidents | Workplace Injuries | Mass Torts | Child Injuries | Nursing Home Neglect | Pharmaceutical Injury | Environmental Law & Toxic Torts | Crosswalk Accident | Slip & Fall Accident