Coping with the loss of a family member can be very difficult, but the situation can be even harder to deal with if the death was sudden or unexpected. Families impacted by the tragedy of wrongful death are frequently left with many unanswered questions. Filing a wrongful death claim is one way of getting answers to those questions, as well as finding closure that can help surviving family members better deal with their loss and start to move on with their lives.
Observe the Filing Deadline
Wrongful death claims can only be filed by certain people within a certain window of time. This window is called the statute of limitations. The wrongful death statute of limitations for Georgia is two years. However, this period can be made longer or shorter if other factors are influencing the situation. For instance, if the true cause of death is discovered after the death occurs then the statute of limitations may begin once the new facts are known.
Since wrongful death cases and personal injury cases in general tend to be very complex, anyone considering filing wrongful death lawsuits should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. A considerable amount of information has to be compiled before a suit can be filed; there is no time to waste.
Who Can File?
There are also restrictions on precisely who is allowed to file one of these claims. In order, the people allowed to file a claim for wrongful death are:
- The spouse that survives the deceased
- Children of the deceased
- Surviving parents
- The legal administrator of the deceased’s estate
However, if the surviving spouse chooses not to file, then it is unlikely that children will able to file, even if the wrongful death statute of limitations has not passed. Other restrictions and conditions may apply to the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit so it is best to speak with an attorney before deciding whether or not to do so.
By consulting with an attorney experienced in handling wrongful death cases, you will be able to receive direct answers to your most pressing questions. Do not hesitate to contact a lawyer about your concerns. To schedule a FREE case consultation with an experienced wrongful death lawyer at The Law Office of Richard D. Hobbs & Associates, call (770) 467-3372 today.