When a loved one passes away unexpectedly, families may become devastated. If the death derives from someone’s negligence, anger and resentment could overwhelm survivors, leading them to take legal action. Georgia families could seek compensation in a wrongful death suit not only because they wish to punish the negligent party. The loved one’s death could have disastrous financial consequences, and a wrongful death claim might be the only way to recover losses.
Actions after a loved one dies
Another party’s negligence must cause or contribute to the person’s death for the lawsuit to have merit. Therefore, it becomes necessary to compile evidence that shows negligent behavior caused the person’s demise. Video footage of a speeding drunk driver’s reckless behavior may be compelling. Similarly, an autopsy report could strongly suggest malpractice caused a fatality.
Evidence of financial losses may be helpful when seeking compensation. Income tax forms and pay statements could establish how much the deceased earned, and additional documents might reveal how the funds covered food, health care, and educational expenses for dependents.
Lawsuits and insurance claims
Although a loved one’s passing proves traumatic and survivors often spend time mourning, family members cannot wait too long to file a wrongful death claim. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is generally two years. Afterward, filing a lawsuit might become impossible.
A lawsuit might not be necessary since an insurance policy could cover the losses. However, survivors may need to appoint a representative to deal with the insurance company. Otherwise, they may receive a low or unfair settlement offer since insurance providers could put their financial situation above a claimant’s.