When it comes to the loss of a loved one, no one will completely understand your grief and pain. Even worse, if your loved one was a spouse, who helped contribute to family income, you and your family are probably suffering financially in addition to the intense emotional pain that comes with the death of someone you love.
In order to help you reach a sense of closure, and recoup some of the financial losses you have incurred, you might want to look into whether there is the possibility of filing a wrongful death action related to your loved one’s loss.
Who has the right to file a wrongful death action?
The ability to file a wrongful death action is a right held by close relatives of the deceased. These include children, parents, spouses and — if there are no direct survivors — the estate. Let’s take a look at each of these individuals more closely:
Spouses and the children who lived with the deceased: Under Georgia law, surviving spouses and children will generally have the ability to pursue wrongful death claims. The spouses will be able to receive one-third of the wrongful death award or settlement money and the children will divide the remaining amount equally. If no spouse survives the deceased individual, then the children will divide all of the award amongst themselves.
Parents: In the case that the deceased person was not survived by a child or spouse, then surviving parents can file a wrongful death claim.
The estate: In the event that no survivors exist to file a wrongful death lawsuit, then the deceased person’s estate may be able to file a wrongful death suit. Any proceeds derived from this suit will go to the beneficiaries of the estate.
The right to sue following the death of a loved one
Determining whether you have the right to pursue a lawsuit regarding the death of a loved one may not be entirely clearcut. As such, those who have recently lost a spouse, parent or child in a catastrophic accident may want to learn more details about their legal rights and options in this regard.