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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unintentional accidents and injuries are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. When a death is caused by another party’s negligence or intentional wrongful act, surviving family members may be able to receive a financial settlement or award by filing a wrongful death claim.

In order to recover after the death of a loved one, victims must bring a lawsuit under Georgia’s wrongful death statute. The law authorizes people who had a specific relationship with the deceased to recover if they are able to establish that their loved one’s death was caused by negligence or some other wrongful act.

The classes of individuals who may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit include parents, children, spouses, and personal representatives in some cases. The types of damages that may be available in a Georgia wrongful death case include both economic and noneconomic damages for “full value” of the decedent’s life.

If you have lost a loved in any type of accident, it is always a good idea to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney to determine whether you have a potential case. Do not hesitate to contact us at Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC for a free consultation.

The following are the most common incidents that result in wrongful death recovery.

Motor Vehicle-Related Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 32,367 people died in motor vehicle-related accidents in 2011 alone. These accidents include passenger car accidents, commercial truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents.

Any method of transportation comes with the risks of accidents and injuries, and many accidents occur due to another person’s negligence. Examples of parties that may be held liable for wrongful death in motor vehicle accidents include:

  • Drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Drivers who violate traffic laws or do not follow traffic signals
  • Distracted drivers
  • Drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks
  • Aggressive drivers
  • Fatigued drivers
  • Drivers who do not properly signal
  • Car manufacturers that sell defective vehicles
  • Mechanics that fail to properly repair a car
  • Municipalities that do not adequately repair or maintain the roads


The CDC reports that 27,483 people died from injuries caused by fall accidents in 2010 alone. Common fall accidents can include slip and fall accidents, falls down stairs, and falls from heights. Slip and fall accidents are often caused because a property or business owner was negligent in some way. Common causes of slip and falls include wet or slippery floors, debris in walkways, loose electrical cords, and other hazards. Falls from heights can occur due to defective windows or screens, defective railings, and more.

Acts of Violence

When a victim dies due to act of violence, the person responsible will likely face charges and penalties in criminal court. The surviving family may also be entitled to recover in civil court, as well. The civil case is separate from the criminal proceeding, and wrongful death recovery may be possible even if the criminal charges are unsuccessful.

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