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Which Family Members Can Recover Compensation in a Wrongful Death Case?

By Evan L. Kaine

A wrongful death is a death caused by another person’s negligence, deliberate wrongful action or crime. When a loved one dies from wrongful death, such as a fateful car accident, surviving family members have the right under Georgia law to sue the responsible party or parties for damages. An attorney can investigate the case and determine liable parties and who has the legal right to sue.

Georgia Code Title 51 ― Torts Chapter 4 ― Wrongful Death provides the legal rules that decide who can bring the cause of action in wrongful death lawsuits. It largely depends on whether the person who died leaves a spouse, children or parents and priority begins with the spouse having the sole right to file the case on behalf of the surviving family. A surviving spouse who recovers damages must share two-thirds of the compensation with surviving children. In the event that there is no spouse, then any surviving children have the right to bring legal action and must share the recovery jointly. No roadblocks exist to prevent a child born out of wedlock from bringing the lawsuit. When there are no surviving spouses or children, then the right passes to the parents to pursue legal action. If there are no surviving spouse, children or parents, then the personal representative, such as an executor or administrator of the estate can sue and place money recovered in a trust for the next of kin.

A wrongful death lawyer can help you recover compensation to deal with the financial hardship associated with losing your loved one.

By handling your case, Kaine Law hopes to reduce your stress during a painful and tragic time.

Published April 26, 2013


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