Wrongful death refers to a claim by a plaintiff (not the victim) who seeks to recover damages for the unjust death of another caused by someone's negligent, reckless or intentional acts. There are no specific guidelines that dictate the means of death; however, wrongful death tort claims frequently occur in several circumstances:
- Medical malpractice, especially errors in surgery, diagnosis and/or prescriptions;
- Product defects;
- Automobile accidents, including truck and pedestrian accidents;
- Criminal acts such as murder, physical abuse or neglect.
Clayton County wrongful death attorney Shane Smith represents families who have lost loved ones in auto accidents, truck accidents, DUI accidents, pedestrian accidents or serious premises liability accidents.
It is not always clear in Georgia who has standing (the right to sue) for a wrongful death caused by someone else's negligence. Usually it would be the heirs of the decedent, or if none exist, then an estate's administrator. However, it becomes more complicated when there are many family members involved.
For example, if a decedent was married then his surviving spouse would have standing to sue for wrongful death. If the decedent was not married but had children then the surviving kids would have the right to sue. If the children were minors then they would be appointed a Guardian Ad Litem by the Georgia court to file a wrongful death suit on their behalf. If the decedent had no spouse or children but he had surviving parents then they would have the right to file a wrongful death claim. If the unmarried and childless decedent had no surviving parents then his surviving siblings could file a claim. If there are no surviving family members then the estate's administrator can file the wrongful death claim.
You should hire an experienced Clayton County wrongful death attorney if you will file a lawsuit on behalf of a family member who died due to another's negligence. Call the Law Offices of Shane Smith for a free consultation.