If a motor vehicle accident claimed the life of your loved one, the emotional and financial pain you will feel is palpable. Because you will never have that person back, you will need to find a way to compensate for their loss. In certain cases, filing a wrongful death claim may help you do so.

When you can file a wrongful death claim

To qualify as wrongful death, your loved one’s passing must have resulted from a crime, another person’s negligence or a defective product. You will be able to file a wrongful death claim if their accident involved one of these factors. After collisions, surviving relatives often will do so if:

  • The at-fault motorist was driving while fatigued
  • The at-fault motorist was driving under the influence or while impaired
  • The at-fault motorist was driving while distracted
  • The at-fault motorist fled the scene of accident
  • A vehicle’s defects caused or contributed to the accident

Keep in mind that you have two years to file a claim after your loved one’s death. The exception to this rule is if your loved one’s estate has not passed through probate yet, or if there is an open criminal case related to their accident.

How wrongful death claims work

In Georgia, you have the option to file two claims – rather than one wrongful death claim – when seeking recourse for the loss of your loved one. Wrongful death claims compensate the full value of the life of your loved one. This claim will cover any loss of income, companionship or benefits that your loved one provided you. You can also file a survival action claim, which accounts for any expenses related to your loved one’s funeral, medical care or pain and suffering while they were still alive.

Proper compensation will not replace your loved one. But receiving it can help ease the pain in the aftermath of their death. An attorney with experience in wrongful death claims can help you work toward the recourse you deserve.