woman sad after wrongful death

What is Georgia’s Wrongful Death Statute?

Losing a loved one is incredibly difficult, especially if their death was the direct result of another person’s actions. Whether intentional or not, the knowledge that someone else caused your loved one’s death makes the grieving process even more overwhelming. While monetary damages can never fully compensate for your tremendous loss, filing a wrongful death lawsuit may help bring the closure you need. Here at Ross Moore Law, our wrongful death lawyers will fight to hold the at-fault party accountable and to secure justice on your family’s behalf. In doing so, it’s vital families remember Georgia’s wrongful death statute. It’s quite important.

Georgia law mandates wrongful death claims, with most seeking compensation for medical bills, burial costs, and survivors’ pain and suffering. Because the laws surrounding wrongful death cases are complicated, it is best to seek experienced legal representation. Your wrongful death lawyer will ensure you do not settle for less than you deserve, handling every aspect of your claim so that you can focus on rebuilding your life. 

Read on to learn more, then get in touch to schedule your free consultation.

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Georgia’s Wrongful Death Statute: Statute of Limitations For Wrongful Death 

Wrongful death cases fall under the personal injury category. For that reason, the Georgia wrongful death statute of limitations is two years. That means that you have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Even with Georgia’s wrongful death statute being 2 years, you should take legal action as soon as possible. It’s highly recommended, in order to preserve evidence and build the strongest case possible.

There are exceptions to the Georgia wrongful death statute of limitations, however. For example, if the deceased person’s estate is not probated, the statute of limitations may be suspended for up to five years. Or if there is an ongoing criminal case related to your claim, the statute of limitations may be suspended until the case wraps up.

To be considered wrongful death, Georgia law requires that one of the following resulted in the person’s death: 

  • Negligence (car accident, truck accident, etc.)
  • Medical malpractice
  • Defective product
  • Intentional act (assault, homicide, etc.) 

Keep in mind that, in a wrongful death claim, the at-fault party’s liability is expressed only in terms of financial compensation. They are then ordered to pay these damages to the deceased person’s family or estate. 

Who Is Eligible to File a Death Lawsuit in Georgia? 

While there are some similarities between the two, a wrongful death claim differs from a typical personal injury claim because the injured person is not able to file their own lawsuit. Because they have passed away, someone else must take legal action on their behalf.

The Georgia wrongful death statute of limitations has specific rules about who can file. Here is a list of people who can file, in the following order:

  • The surviving spouse
  • If no surviving spouse, the surviving child(ren) 
  • If no surviving spouse or children, the surviving parent(s) 
  • If no surviving spouse, children, or parents, the administrator/executor of the estate

Wrongful Death vs. Estate Claims

Georgia, in contrast to other states, does not require the administrator/executor of the deceased’s estate to file the wrongful death claim. That is what sets it apart from an estate claim. Let’s define the two.

  • Wrongful death claim: A civil claim brought by surviving family members in pursuit of punitive damages and compensation for the value of the deceased’s life
  • Estate claim: A claim brought by the deceased’s estate in pursuit of compensation for the financial impact of the victim’s death

Because most people designate a family member as executor of their estate, the person filing the claim is often the same in both scenarios. But this is not always the case. If you are unsure about who should file a wrongful death or estate claim, contact Ross Moore Law Firm today! Our Atlanta personal injury attorneys can help.


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Contact Your Wrongful Death Attorney Near Me 

If you have lost a loved one and are looking to file a wrongful death lawsuit, reach out to Ross Moore Law. Our experienced team will handle your case with the respect and care it deserves, offering trusted legal advice each step of the way.

In addition, you only pay us if we win your wrongful death case.

We are proud to serve families throughout Atlanta, GA and the surrounding areas of Athens and Marietta. Our team is here to help, so call 844-404-7677 or message us to schedule your free consultation!

In addition to wrongful death claims, our trusted attorneys handle a wide variety of personal injury cases, including the following:

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