You would bring a wrongful death claim against a defendant who causes person’s death either negligently or through intentional harm. Wrongful death claims in Georgia allow the deceased person’s estate to file a lawsuit against the party who is legally liable for the death. If the person survives, then the claim would likely be one of personal injury. However, suppose the person is killed as a result of negligent or intentionally harmful conduct. In that case, the person’s estate can file a wrongful death claim to recover damages for their heirs.
The first issue that comes to mind is, what constitutes a wrongful death case? To explain, we have to refer to O.C.G.A. § 51-4-1 (2); “‘Homicide’ includes all cases in which the death of a human being results from a crime, from criminal or other negligence, or from property which has been defectively manufactured, whether or not as the result of negligence.” Therefore, this is not the traditional definition that we all think of when we think of homicide.
Put another way, to find out whether a wrongful death claim exists; we would have to follow the statute strictly.
In Georgia, damages in a wrongful death claim include:
- the deceased person’s pre-death pain and suffering
- the medical costs that the deceased victim incurred as a result of the injury before death
- funeral and burial costs
- loss of the deceased person’s expected income
- loss of any inheritance as a result of the death
- loss of love and companionship, and
- loss of consortium.
For more information on wrongful death claims in Georgia, please contact AJ Law Practice.