Wrongful Death Claims
There are two separate and distinct claims to file and to consider in a wrongful death claim. There are the estate claims and the wrongful death claims. You will need the expert legal services of an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in handling these types of wrongful death claims. The attorneys at Falanga and Chalker are both knowledgeable and experienced at handling any type of wrongful death claim and have handled hundreds of estate and wrongful death claims throughout their thirty seven year history. That's why if you or someone that you know is in need of a wrongful death lawyer, then help is on it's way by either calling Falanga and Chalker or by filling out the "Contact Us"; form located on this web site. When Falanga and Chalker evaluates a wrongful death claim, some of the steps that they consider when applying Georgia law to the wrongful death claims are as follows:The Wrongful Death Claims :
The first thing to do in the evaluation is to determine, under the Georgia laws of descent and distribution, the identity of the person who would possess the wrongful death claim. The claim is vested in the surviving spouse if the deceased was married at the time of his or her death. If there are any surviving children, then they are entitled to a share divided equally amongst them, but in no event will the surviving spouse get less than a third of the proceeds recovered on behalf of the estate regardless of the number of surviving children. If the deceased died without a spouse or any children, then the wrongful death claims are vested into the surviving parents to be shared equally amongst them. See O.C.G.A. Section 51-4-2. Both the attorney and any person vested with the wrongful death claims owes a fiduciary duty to protect all persons who have an interest in the wrongful death claims. See Home Insurance Company v. Wynn, 229 Ga. App. 220.The Estate Claims:
The person who sets up the estate with the Probate Court, and is duly appointed by a probate court judge as the executor or administrator of the estate, is vested with bringing wrongful death claims for the conscious pain and suffering that was endured by the decedent prior to his/her death. Additionally, the executor or administrator can recover on behalf of the estate any expenses incurred for medical bills and funeral expenses associated with the wrongful death. If the decedent had a will, then the person who is to be the executor or administrator is identified in the will per the deceased's wishes. If there is not a will, then usually the family comes to an agreement which makes the surviving spouse or one of the children who are familiar with the assets of the estate to be appointed as the executor or the administrator.
So remember, when someone dies due to the negligence of another, Georgia law provides for separate claims on behalf of the estate and separate claims on behalf of the decedent's survivors known as the wrongful death claims which is for the full value of the life of the decedent.