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Wrongful death claims in Georgia

On Behalf of | May 6, 2022 | Car Accidents, Injuries |

Not every drive in Georgia is a peaceful commute, as accidents happen frequently. Whether traveling on a highway or on a side street, the chance of a collision exists. Tragically, many accidents end with fatalities. Motor vehicle collisions that result in deaths might lead to wrongful death lawsuits. Those wondering about such litigation could review the statutes existing under Georgia law.

Wrongful death laws in Georgia

Georgia law allows those with standing to file a lawsuit after a homicide, which refers to deaths caused by another party. Many associate homicides with criminal acts, but the term under Georgia law includes any negligent acts and defective products. Someone killed due to a vehicle’s faulty brakes may have a case against the manufacturer or the mechanic.

The litigant must have the standing to file a wrongful death suit. In Georgia, a spouse has the standing. When there’s no spouse, surviving children may file. If the deceased has neither a spouse nor children, parents could file a claim. Absent these three parties, the estate’s administrator may bring a lawsuit forward.

Compensation for wrongful deaths

Statutes of limitations come into play, and two years is the standard time frame to bring a claim. That changes if the death is derived from a criminal action, such as motor vehicle accidents caused by high-speed chases with police or intoxicated driving. The statute of limitation ends when the criminal proceedings conclude or six years. Also, if the estate does not enter probate, the statute of limitations becomes five years.

Eligible survivors could file a claim against their insurance policy’s driver’s liability coverage. Some drivers carry significant sums of liability coverage, while others might have lower amounts. Therefore, some cases may involve suing someone beyond the policy or making a claim against an umbrella policy if one exists.