If your relative dies in an accident, you may be able to sue the person or company who caused the accident for wrongful death. Georgia law sets forth a general framework for wrongful death compensation:
Who is entitled to collect wrongful death damages?
If the surviving spouse sues for wrongful death, they receive a minimum of one-third of the damages; the rest must be distributed equally among the victim’s surviving children. This means, for example, that if the victim died with two children, the spouse and each of the two children would each receive one-third of the damage payment. However, if there are three surviving children, the spouse would receive one-third and the children would split the remaining two-thirds of the damage payment equally.
What types of damages can relatives collect?
Georgia law states that relatives may recover damages in an amount equal to the full value of the deceased person’s life — a victim-specific standard. Georgia courts use a number of factors to calculate full value including earning potential and the victim’s age. In addition, Georgia law allows relatives to collect damages for funeral, medical and other expenses related to the injury and for medical expenses for the period between injury and death.
How long do you have to sue for wrongful death?
You must bring a claim for wrongful death within two years of the date of the death.