In August, a high profile case of wrongful death was brought against the boyfriend of Whitney Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown. The multimillion-dollar lawsuit was filed by Brown’s Georgia estate a month after she was found dead in a bathtub. More recently, in September, a Georgia family of a young adult who died during a sleep study won a wrongful death case. The family claimed that the death was a case of negligence as the deceased tried to get attention of the study staff. Both of these cases highlight the tragic events that can occur in a case of wrongful death. If you have lost a loved one due to wrongful death, contact an experienced wrongful death attorney.
Wrongful Death Explained
According to Georgia law, wrongful death can be the result of negligence or recklessness of another person or entity’s (such as a corporation or business) actions. Negligence occurs when there is duty to use reasonable care and an individual fails to do so. If death occurs intentionally or from criminal actions, it can also be considered wrongful death.
Since the alleged victim is deceased, family members or the estate representative must file a wrongful death claim. Specifically, under Georgia law, the first person to bring a wrongful death claim to court would be the spouse of the deceased. This individual must represent the interests of any children that they and the deceased had together. If there is no spouse or children to file a suit, then a parent of the deceased or estate representative can bring forth the claim.
In Georgia, a wrongful death claims generally must be filed within two years of the death. However, there are exceptions to this rule and you should always consult with an attorney experienced in handling wrongful death claims sooner, rather than later.
Types of Wrongful Death Claims
In Georgia, there are two types of claims. One is meant to compensate for the value of the life of the deceased, including monetary and immaterial value. Monetary compensation includes lost income or benefits the deceased may have received. Immaterial value is the value assigned to the meaning they held for surviving loved ones. It is filed by or on behalf of the deceased’s family members. The second type of claim comes from or on behalf of the estate. Compensation for this type of claim settles for the financial losses brought on by death. This includes expenses related to the death as well as compensation for pain the deceased may have experienced before death.
Contact Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC
A wrongful death claim can be a complex process. If you believe the death of a loved one may be a case of wrongful death, you need the support of a lawyer. Contact an experienced Atlanta metro area attorney at Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC who can help you with your case. Call us today for your free consultation.