Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. In fact, well over 42,000 Americans lost their lives in 2022 courtesy of fatal car wrecks. If a loved one succumbs to injuries following a car accident that is not their fault, you may hold the negligent party accountable through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Basically, death is deemed wrongful if it has something to do with another person or entity’s reckless or unlawful actions. But do all deaths that result from fatal car crashes lead to wrongful death claims?
Filing a wrongful death after a car crash
Not all fatal car crashes will result in a wrongful death claim. To hold someone liable for your loved one’s wrongful death, you must prove that they acted negligently or wrongfully. You must also prove that your loved one’s death resulted in specific economic and non-economic damages. Finally, the law must confer to you the right to bring this type of lawsuit against the defendant. In Georgia, a wrongful death claim can be brought by the victim’s spouse, surviving children, parents or the estate administrator.
That said, here are driver actions that can justify a wrongful death lawsuit:
- Reckless or excessive speeding
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or other inebriating substances
- Violating traffic rules like running the red light or failing to yield way
- Distracted driving
Besides the wrongful death lawsuit, the at-fault driver might also face criminal charges for their actions.
So how much time do you have to sue for wrongful death?
Wrongful death claims are governed by the statute of limitations. This is the amount of time you have to sue the liable party. And in Georgia, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years from the date of your loved one’s demise.
A loved one’s wrongful death can leave you devastated, to say the least. Understanding the state’s car accident and wrongful death laws can help protect your interests while holding the negligent party to account.