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Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Wrongful death is a civil action brought after a person dies unexpectedly from an event such as an auto accident or a violent attack.  Since a deceased person cannot bring a lawsuit against the person responsible for the accident or attack, wrongful death actions allow others to bring suit after the death in order to hold the party liable or seek retribution.  It is always difficult when a loved one dies,  however when someone dies completely suddenly and unexpectedly, the resulting grief and complications, including financial issues, can be devastating.  If your loved one has died from a sudden accident or event, a Coweta County wrongful death attorney can help you recover financially and hold the other party liable.

 

Who can bring a wrongful death action depends on the laws of each particular state.  All states allow immediate family members, such as spouses and children to sue for wrongful death.  Only parents of unmarried children may bring action, because once a person is married, the spouse would typically be the one to instigate the lawsuit.  In some states, life or domestic partners and financial dependents could also be potential plaintiffs.  Some states specify that anyone who suffers financially due to the unexpected death may try to recover for the losses, whether or not they are related by blood or married to the victim.  A handful of states allow more distant family members to file suit when it is appropriate, such as when a grandparent was raising a child, or when the only living relative is a brother or sister.

 

40 states have amended their wrongful death laws to include an action by a parent after the death of an unborn child.  27 of those states require that the fetus has reached viability in order to so, which means the fetus could have survived outside the mother's womb.  Therefore, in accidents or crime involving a pregnant woman who dies and loses her baby, often the party can be held responsible for two separate wrongful deaths.

 

If you have lost a family member, you may be entitled to recover via a wrongful death action.  An experienced wrongful death attorney can help you determine if a claim is possible and help you receive the settlement you deserve.  Do not hesitate to call the Law Offices of Shane Smith at (770) 487-8999 today.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia