Serious accidents that result in the death of a loved one are devastating. Nobody in Atlanta should ever have to go through the heartbreaking experience of losing a family member in an accident caused by another party’s negligence. Yet fatal accidents occur with more frequency than most of us would like to think about, and it can be difficult to know what your options are to hold the at-fault party accountable. Researching civil lawsuits after accidents may not always provide you with clear answers. You may have come across information about personal injury claims and wrongful death lawsuits, as well as survival actions. You might be unsure about whether you should be finding out more about a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, especially if your loved one initially survived the accident but later succumbed to their injuries.
Our Atlanta wrongful death attorneys can explain the differences among these kinds of claims, and we can provide you with more information about the type of claim or claims you should be considering.
Personal Injury Lawsuits Are Not the Right Type of Claim After a Deadly Accident
Personal injury law in Georgia is designed for an injured party to file a lawsuit against a defendant who is responsible for injuries in order to seek financial compensation for their losses. To be clear, a personal injury lawsuit is ordinarily filed by the injured party. As such, to file a personal injury lawsuit, you need to survive the accident. Even if a person has become incapacitated in an accident, it is still possible to file a personal injury lawsuit. Once a person dies from injuries, it will be important to learn about other options for filing a civil claim.
You may be wondering specifically about personal injury cases when a loved one initially survived an accident. For example, what if your loved one was injured in a motor vehicle collision and was hospitalized for several weeks prior to dying from the injuries sustained in the crash? In this type of circumstance, a personal injury lawsuit would still not be the type of civil claim you would file. Instead, this is where a survival action would be relevant. Under Georgia law, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file a survival action. A survival action can typically be filed in addition to or in conjunction with a wrongful death lawsuit.
Wrongful Death Claims in the Case of a Fatal Accident
When a loved one dies in a fatal accident, a wrongful death claim is usually the most appropriate type of civil lawsuit to bring. Under Georgia’s wrongful death law, certain family members can be eligible to file a wrongful death claim in order to hold the at-fault party accountable and to seek financial compensation for losses. In wrongful death law, the plaintiff stands in the metaphorical shoes of the deceased person and files a claim since the deceased person is no longer alive to sue the party who caused the accident.
After a person dies in an accident or as a result of someone else’s wrongdoing, the surviving spouse is the first person who is permitted to file a wrongful death lawsuit, followed by other potential family members.
Contact an Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorney
If you lost a loved one in an accident or because of another party’s wrongdoing, our Atlanta wrongful death lawyers can help you with a claim. Contact Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys online today, or call our firm at (404) 529-3476.