What if a Person Dies Before Bringing a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Personal Injury Actions are always controversial and have a number of provisions, especially in a state like Georgia. Depending on the nature of the case, your options, as well as the deadlines for filing claims, may vary. When someone has been injured in a car accident or because of negligence It is always recommended by a trusted person that an experienced personal injury attorney investigate the case. This becomes more important in a situation where the person involved in the lawsuit dies before making the claim. Let’s discuss this in detail below.
Death prior to filing a lawsuit
Unfortunately, families in Georgia are all too often faced with the death of a loved one as a result of the negligent, negligent or even criminal acts of another person or party. In such situations, the State of Georgia allows you to file a “false death lawsuit” on behalf of the deceased. There are certain very specific rules regarding who can file the lawsuit.
The Georgia Wrongful Death Act transfers ownership of an unlawful death claim as follows:
- to the spouse of the deceased;
- if there is no spouse, then to the children of the deceased;
- If there is no spouse or children, then to the living parents of the deceased. and
- If there is no spouse, children, or living parents, then to the administrator of the deceased’s estate.
In situations where there is no surviving spouse, child or parent, the person appointed as administrator of the deceased’s estate must assert the right to unlawful death.
What harm is available for death in Georgia?
Damage available to family or estate administrators in Georgia is usually divided into two separate and distinct types of death.
The first type of death is the most common, raised by (or on behalf of) the surviving family members of the deceased. It is an entitlement to set up an account for the “full value of the deceased’s life” and includes:
- Financial losses due to wages and benefits that the deceased may have earned while living
- Intangible losses such as loss of camaraderie, welfare, or other benefits that family members would otherwise have received from the deceased
The second type of unlawful death lawsuit is usually brought from the deceased’s estate in order to remedy the financial losses related to the death of the deceased. This includes:
- Medical expenses for treating the victim’s past injury or illness
- Funeral and funeral expenses
- The pain and suffering of the deceased continued before they died
Your personal injury attorney with experience handling such cases is usually the best person to comment on the exact amount to expect based on the specifics of your case.
Deadlines for filing a death in Georgia
Under Georgia Limitation period, Unlawful deaths must be reported within 2 years of death. If the claim is not made within this period, the opportunity to make such a claim is almost always lost.
There are certain exceptions to this. If the unjustified death involves criminal proceedings, the day counting does not start until the criminal proceedings have been concluded.
Another exception is when the deceased’s estate has not been passed through estateIn this case the registration period is extended to 5 years.
The exception would also be made in cases where;
- The accident made the victim unable to file a lawsuit like a coma. The limitation period can be set here from the point in time when you regained consciousness or mental performance.
- The victim was a minor and was ill-treated by a school teacher. In this case, the period begins on the day the victim turns 18.
- The injury or damage was only discovered at a later point in time, for example in the case of a defective medical device.
Steps to Take When Contemplating a False Death
The most important consideration after the death of a loved one is giving the family time to grieve and recover. In the event the family wishes to pursue an unlawful obituary, there is still much work to be done in terms of gathering evidence, filing records, and managing deadlines.
By the same token, the sooner you bring in a qualified attorney, the less your chances of developing a strong case and getting the right compensation, while minimally disrupting your family. Lawyer Riah Greathouse has practiced as an attorney in over 1000 criminal and civil cases across Georgia with high success rate. He can be the right advisor and guide to help you through this difficult time.
When you’re ready to choose a personal injury attorney to represent you, we’d love to speak to you. Contact the Greathouse Trial Law for a free consultation.