How Divorce Impacts a Georgia Wrongful Death Child Case

Damages in a Georgia wrongful death claim are calculated as if the victim had survived. In other words, the court calculates damages as losses sustained by the victim. Though the wrongful death claim is filed by surviving family members, the court views the family as the victim's representatives.

Georgia's wrongful death decedent perspective means the victim's family cannot recover damages for their own emotional harm or for the support they would have otherwise received from the victim. Georgia courts award pain and suffering compensation based on what was experienced by the victim. Clayton County wrongful death attorney Shane Smith represents families who have lost loved ones in auto accidents, truck accidents and DUI accidents.

In the event of a Georgia wrongful death of a child where the parents are divorced, the claim belongs to the parents jointly. Either parent may bring the wrongful death claim, but if one proceeds unilaterally it is done as a fiduciary. Under Georgia law, in such a case any recovered money would be held in trust until a court distributes the money among both parents according to their amount of support for the decedent child, their interaction with the child and other historical factors.

Parents who are in the process of divorcing hold equal rights in the event of a child's wrongful death. Divorced parents may choose to file their own wrongful death lawsuits. In such a situation it may be a race to see which parent files first and the other may seek to join the case by formally intervening in the action. This primarily causes logistical difficulties as two law offices, likely in different locations, will conduct similar investigations and have different strategies in seeking a similar end.

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 Shane Smith Law for a free consultation.

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