Accidental deaths can be more difficult for people to process than many other forms of death. Accidental death often involves a sudden and unexpected occurrence, such as a motor vehicle accident. Since you have no way of predicting that these events will occur, there are often things left undone or unsettled by the people who survived these accidents. This can make it uniquely difficult to grieve.
You should absolutely give yourself time to process your loss after a fatal crash. However, you also need to take action sooner rather than later to protect yourself and your family in the wake of a fatal car crash. Financial issues can quickly snowball when a wage-earner dies unexpectedly.
If the other driver is directly responsible for the collision, you may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit under Georgia law. Pursuing compensation in civil court can help your family financially and provide you with some justice after a deadly crash.
Surviving dependent family members can bring wrongful death actions in court
Taking civil action is a way to protect your family and seek justice for your loved one. You can potentially file a lawsuit against the person or company responsible for the collision that caused their death.
This right is available to spouses, dependent children and parents in the event that the deceased had neither spouse nor children. In situations where someone dies without direct family, the representative for their estate has the authority to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the estate of the deceased.
Not every fatal car crash involves wrongful death
Some accidents, while tragic, are partially the responsibility of multiple people. Other times, serious weather or other unpredictable factors can be the primary contributing factor to a fatal collision. In circumstances where the deceased was partially responsible for the crash or when the other driver was not directly responsible for it, the surviving dependents may not have the right to seek compensation through a wrongful death claim.
Such claims require evidence of either negligence or wrongful actions. If you can prove that the other driver was actively engaged in law-breaking at the time of the accident, that could be grounds for the wrongful death claim. Similarly, if you believe that negligence is evident in the circumstances that led to the crash, that may also be adequate reason to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Talking with an attorney who understands Georgia’s statutes is a good step to take before moving forward. A lawyer experienced with personal injury and wrongful death cases can advise you about the likely outcome for your situation and what steps you need to take to protect your family moving forward.