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Filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia: Things to know

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If you have lost a loved one in an accident that happened because of someone’s negligence, you might have a valid wrongful death lawsuit. What constitutes “wrongful death” in Georgia? Simply put, if someone dies because of the other party’s action, it could be a case of wrongful death. This may refer to an accident where the other party was negligent, medical malpractice, intentional act, and use of a defective product. Your immediate step should be about calling an Atlanta wrongful death lawyer for advice. Here’s more on such lawsuits and some of the other critical aspects.  

Wrongful death lawsuit vs. criminal case

If the person was killed because of someone’s act or negligence, the family can file criminal charges against the accused and can also initiate a wrongful death lawsuit. In a criminal homicide case, the eventual goal is to get justice for the deceased, which may mean jail/prison time and fines for the convicted. The penalties and fines are paid to the state. In other words, a criminal prosecution may bring some closure for the victim’s family but doesn’t help them financially. By filing a wrongful death in a civil court, the family needs to show that the defendant was guilty and negligent, and the court may order compensation for the victim’s family. Many wrongful death lawsuits are settled outside of court because defendants typically want to avoid a public trial. 

Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?

Since the deceased is no longer here to file a civil case against the defendant, the immediate family members can take action. The surviving spouse of the deceased can file such a lawsuit, and if there is no surviving spouse, the deceased’s children (or child) can take legal action. If there are no surviving kids and spouses, the parents of the deceased can take action. If the deceased person had an estate executor, they could also take action if other family members are not alive. In other words, grandparents and siblings cannot file such lawsuits. 

Call an attorney in Atlanta

Most attorneys and personal injury law firms in Atlanta take wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee. The lawyer only gets paid if they win. You can also expect a free case evaluation, which is the best window to know the worth of your case. Call an attorney soon after the victim’s death because gathering information and evidence would be a lot easier.