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Georgia Wrongful Death Statute

Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyer

Georgia Wrongful Death Attorneys

Under common law, there was no civil right of recovery for damages due to what is called wrongful death. However, the Georgia wrongful death statute provides for damage actions caused by any wrongful act or neglect that causes death, including intentional torts, such as crimes.

The Georgia wrongful death statute creates a separate cause of action for the surviving relatives or heirs of the victim for injuries that they suffer as a result of the death of the victim. The victim’s estate can assert its own separate claims for any losses suffered by the victim after the crime and prior to his death (such as medical expenses). The estate can recover such damages as medical expenses and loss of earnings from the time of the crime until death.

Under Georgia wrongful death statute, the surviving spouse has the right to file a wrongful death claim. When the deceased does not have a surviving spouse, his or her children can file a wrongful death claim. If the deceased was not married or does not have a surviving spouse or children, the deceased individual’s parents can file a wrongful death claim. In the absence of a surviving spouse, children or parents, the administrator of the estate can file a wrongful death claim.

Currently the Georgia wrongful death statute does not provide a wrongful death remedy for cohabitants. As such cohabitants generally cannot claim compensation under the Georgia wrongful death statute. However a cohabiting couple whose married happened to be invalid but had good faith belief that their marriage is valid will not be affected by the lack of provision for wrongful death remedy for cohabitants. In case of a wrongful death of a spouse in such cases, the surviving spouse will be entitled to seek compensation under the wrongful death statute in Georgia.

Since wrongful death actions are statutory, the courts that have addressed this issue find that only a legislature can include a cohabitant in the list of people who have a right to sue for wrongful death. These courts have stated that legislatures could reasonably conclude that the failure to enter into a formal state-sanctioned marriage meant that couples have not shown the “permanent commitment” necessary for an award of damages. These courts also reason that states have a substantial interest in promoting formal marriage, in avoiding fraudulent claims and in avoiding difficult problems of proof as to whether Or not a couple had a marriage like relationship.

Georgia wrongful death rules permit survivors to file lawsuits based on negligence or intentional acts. In this event the court may determine that the statute begins to run on the date of the patient’s death; survivors, as plaintiffs, must file suit accordingly. Georgia wrongful death laws are complex. To succeed in a wrongful death claim, you must prove that the death was caused by negligence. You require the services of an expert witness. If you need assistance with Georgia wrongful death statute, seek the assistance of a Georgia wrongful death attorney.