No one expects to lose someone they love in a car crash, but people die in traffic collisions every day. Grief, denial and depression are all common responses to a sudden and unexpected loss. Those painful feelings sometimes prevent people from educating themselves about their rights after a fatal car crash.
The person who caused the crash has liability not just for the pain and suffering they caused your loved one in the crash but also for the ongoing financial impact their actions have had on you and other members of your family. Those who lose a loved one through the neglect or wrongful acts of another may have statutory rights Dependent family members, in particular, have the right to seek compensation under Georgia personal injury statutes.
What members of the family can potentially file a wrongful death claim?
The primary right to seek compensation for a wrongful death falls to spouses and children under Georgia statutes. However, parents and siblings may also have the rights to take civil action against the responsible party who causes a fatal crash in the situation where the victim does not have a spouse or dependent children. If there are no surviving family members to make a claim, a representative of the estate can do so instead.
What compensation can someone seek?
The law in Georgia specifically allows family members to seek the full value of life in a wrongful death claim. The full value of life generally means the tangible financial impact of that person on the family, which includes their income, earned benefits and unpaid household labor, as well as the intangible value of their relationships with the family. It is easier to put a price on the tangible value of someone’s life than the intangible value, but you have the right to seek damages for both in a wrongful death suit.
Taking action isn’t dishonoring or attempting to monetize the death of your loved one. On the contrary, it is recognizing the value that they represented and the loss that someone has caused your family. Your actions will create consequences for other people’s poor behavior while also protecting your family from the ongoing financial impact of the crash.