A lot of families in Atlanta face the passing of a loved one due to another party’s negligence, recklessness, or criminal act. This gives rise to a wrongful death case. Atlanta wrongful death lawyers can help surviving family members obtain justice and bring a compensation claim. Not all survivors can bring a lawsuit, so it is best to consult with an attorney to get advice on how to proceed.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Atlanta?
A wrongful death lawsuit allows surviving loved ones to file a case for a decedent. Under state law, only certain people can represent the decedent in this type of case. These people include the following:
- The decedent’s spouse. The surviving spouse of the decedent can pursue a lawsuit. They can also do so for their minor children. The spouse is eligible for 1/3 of the financial recovery.
- Children. If the decedent did not have a surviving spouse, their children can sue for wrongful death.
- Parents. If the deceased person wasn’t married and didn’t have kids, their surviving parents can bring a claim.
- Estate representative. A wrongful death lawsuit can be initiated by a representative of the decedent’s estate. Any damages recovered are held by the estate and will be distributed to the next of kin.
Statute of Limitations
A wrongful death lawsuit should be filed within 2 years from the decedent’s death date. An eligible surviving family member should file before this deadline to have a chance to recover compensation. Some exceptions may apply. For instance, if the wrongful death leads to a criminal case, the two-year timeline is suspended until the completion of the case. This prolongs the deadline to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
In addition, if the estate of the deceased doesn’t have a will, the filing deadline can be extended to five years. But even if there are exceptions, you must hire an attorney as soon as possible since the applicability of these exceptions will depend on your specific circumstances. Two years can easily go by, so you must spend the time within this period wisely if you want to seek maximum monetary recovery.
If your loved one died because of another person’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional act, you don’t have to suffer alone. You want to take action, so you can uphold the rights of the decedent. Although money cannot bring back your loved one, it can help you gain financial stability as you and your family move forward with your lives.