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Wrongful Death Lawyer I Understanding Georgia’s Wrongful Death Statute Part I

Georgia Wrongful Death Lawyer Shane Smith Explains Some Details of Georgia’s Wrongful Death Statute

Every single day, unfortunately, people die unexpectedly due to defective products and the negligence and malice of others in everyday activities such as driving cars, creating products and performing professional services. The following statistics show just how dangerous things are:

  • According to the Consumer Protection Safety Commission, countless people die from the 5000 annual ER visits that amusement park patrons experience.
  • The U. S. Coast Guard reports more than 700 deaths from the 8000 annual boat accidents every year.
  • The National Safety Council reports approximately 12 million auto accidents every year, resulting in countless deaths.

When an individual dies and the death is attributable to a negligent and malicious party, a wrongful death claim may exist. Speaking with a Dacula wrongful death attorney is the only way to determine if your individual circumstances permit your family to pursue on, however, there are some general points to know about a wrongful death claim.

How does Georgia treat Wrongful Death Claims?

For over 100 years, Georgia has had a wrongful death claim law on the books. According to O.C.G.A. §51-4-1, the existing wrongful death code begins. Based on Georgia’s wrongful death statute, a family may pursue a wrongful death claim based on the following:

  • Driving under the influence
  • Defective products
  • Auto accidents

These are just a few examples where one individual may be responsible for the death of another. The concept here is that if one person or group of persons has a legal duty of care to another individual, and the duty is breached, which results in the individual’s death, a wrongful death claim may be possible.

If a wrongful death claim exists, the next question to determine is what family member or members may pursue such claim. State law dictates the order of whom can file a wrongful death claim.

  • The first family member who can sue is the decedent’s spouse.
  • Assuming the spouse is no longer living, the children of the deceased individual may file a lawsuit.
  • Parents may sue if no spouse and children are living.    
  • The last possible party to sue on the decedent’s behalf, assuming none of the family members are living is administrator of the estate of the deceased victim.

Since the circumstances surrounding a death are different the only way to see if a wrongful death exists is by consulting with a Gwinnett wrongful death attorney. When you call the Law Offices of Shane Smith you are able to schedule a free legal consultation with a Georgia wrongful death attorney.   


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia