In Georgia, wrongful death is defined as the death of one individual caused by the “negligent, reckless, intentional, or criminal” actions of another person or entity. Negligence is considered a failure to use reasonable care when there is a duty to do so, causing harm to someone else.
Similar to personal injury cases, negligence needs to be proven in wrongful death claims. However, the injured person is no longer able to bring his or her own case to court. Rather, the case must be brought by the deceased person’s family members or personal representatives of the deceased individual’s estate—if no living family members are around.
Wrongful death claims in Georgia must be filed within two years of the date of the death. If the claim is not filed within the two-year limit, you lose the right to file the claim.
There are two types of wrongful death claims: one regarding the “full value of life of the deceased” and one which remedies the financial losses associated with the deceased person’s death. The former includes monetary damages related to both the financial and intangible value of the deceased individual’s life such as lost wages and loss of care, while the latter includes damages such as medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, as well as pain and suffering endured by the deceased person before their death.