The Difference Between a Wrongful Death Claim and an Estate Claim in Georgia

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When someone dies as a result of injuries that were caused by the negligence of another, the reckless misconduct of another, or the intentional criminal acts of another, the surviving family members are able to file a claim for wrongful death against the party responsible. With the help of a skilled Atlanta wrongful death lawyer, justice can be sought for your dearly departed loved one.

Wrongful death claims arise in a number of different contexts, including:

  • Automobile accidents.
  • Boating accidents.
  • Instances of medical malpractice.
  • Assault and battery that went too far.
  • Intentional acts of criminal violence.
  • Construction site or workplace accidents.
  • Premise liability accidents, such as a slip and fall fatality.

When someone dies due to the negligence of another, there are two main mechanisms by which justice for the deceased can be achieved through tort law/personal injury law. Either the surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim against the party responsible for the death, or the decedent’s estate can file an estate claim against the party responsible for the death to recoup certain expenses incurred by the estate. An Atlanta wrongful death lawyer can help you determine which type of claim is available to you after the untimely death of a loved one.

Wrongful Death Claims

A wrongful death claim is a tort law claim in which the surviving family is able to bring a lawsuit against the party responsible for injuries leading to the death of their loved one. Effectively, the surviving family members step into the role of the decedent and seek recovery for the value of the life that was taken by the negligence of the party responsible for the decedent’s death. A wrongful death attorney serving Atlanta can help you prepare a wrongful death claim.

Estate Claims

When a person dies, he or she leaves behind an estate, which has some authority to pursue legal claims on behalf of the decedent. With the death of the decedent, the estate may accrue certain expenses, such as funeral and burial expenses, which the estate can seek through an estate claim against the party responsible for causing the death of the decedent.

Statute of Limitations for a Wrongful Death Claim

After a loved one has passed away due to the negligence or reckless conduct of another, the surviving family members have a limited window of opportunity in which to bring a wrongful death claim against the person or entity that is responsible for the wrongful death. In Georgia, surviving family members must bring their wrongful death claim within the two year statute of limitations period after the victim’s death, or else they forfeit their opportunity to seek justice through the court system.

The wrongful death attorneys in Atlanta at The Angell Law Firm are experts in personal injury law. Wrongful death is the all too common consequence of personal injury cases. If you have lost a loved due to someone else’s negligence, please feel free to call (770) 217-4954 today for a free consultation today.

(image courtesy of Andras Kovacs)