When a loved one dies, it is hard on those left behind. When someone passes due to the negligent acts of another, compensation may be awarded to provide financial assistance to those left behind and also to deter others from doing the same to someone else.

In order to file a wrongful death claim properly, it is important to understand the process in full. There are a few key factors attributed with a successful wrongful death claim in Georgia.

Who can file a wrongful death claim?

According to wrongful death laws in Georgia, there are certain individuals who are able to file wrongful death claims, including:

  • A spouse
  • Parents
  • Children

In special cases, there may be others who can file such a claim. For example, when a deceased person does not have a living spouse, parent or child, the executor of his or her estate may file a claim.

What level of proof is needed in a wrongful death claim?

In Georgia, the claimant must prove that the defendant’s negligence contributed to the death. It is important to understand that the claimant does not have to prove that the defendant caused the death beyond a shadow of a doubt. This may make the proving process easier than other negligence cases; however, collecting and presenting proper evidence is still crucial.

How much time do I have to file a wrongful death claim?

Family members may need some time to grieve their loved one before embarking upon the claims process. This is understandable, and the court does provide some leniency. The statute of limitations on a wrongful death case is two years.

However, waiting too long may present some issues. Particularly when it comes to gathering evidence, family members may lose certain evidence if they wait too long. For instance, in the case of a car accident, skid marks may fade or wash away, witnesses may not remember the incident as vividly, and more. 

For many who are grieving, it is beneficial to let a legal professional take over the legal aspects of the case. This gives the family time and energy to start their recovery.