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How are wrongful death settlements paid out in Georgia?

There’s no worse experience than suffering the tragic death of a loved one due to another’s negligence. While no amount of money could ever come close to compensating the surviving family members, they can find justice through a wrongful death lawsuit. 

wrongful death settlements in georgia

Shrable Law Firm stands ready to help you navigate the complex lawsuit process. We’ll fight on your behalf to see that justice prevails so you can concentrate on healing from your loss. If you would like a free consultation, please call (229) 349-6291.

“Wrongful death” defined

In Georgia, wrongful death is a death that occurs due to a negligent or wrongful act (or inaction). Even if there was no intention to kill, it’s still a wrongful death.

State law allows different persons to seek compensation through different claims under a wrongful death lawsuit: wrongful death or full value of life, and estate claim. Both actions have a two-year statute of limitations to file a claim, which means a lawsuit must be filed within two years of the death.

Although both arise from the same cause, the wrongful death of a person, they differ in who can file each claim and the types of damages that are recoverable.

Consult with Shrable Law Firm to determine which claim you should file. Filing the appropriate claim could drastically alter the amount of compensation you receive.

Wrongful death claim

In this action, the surviving family members file the lawsuit to recover the full value of the decedent’s life. The surviving spouse has the first right to file, and they will include the interests of any minor children.

If there’s no surviving spouse or minor children, the decedent’s parents may bring a claim. Lastly, a personal representative from the estate may file a claim, but if they file the suit, the damages will be divided in accordance with Georgia’s probate rules.

The damages available in a wrongful death lawsuit can include both economic damages such as loss of earnings, medical bills, and funeral costs, and non-economic damages like loss of companionship and mental or emotional anguish. 

Estate claim

In an estate claim, the decedent’s estate tries to recover financial losses and expenses such as funeral and burial costs, medical expenses, and pain and suffering if they didn’t die immediately after their accident or injury.

How compensation is paid in wrongful death actions

The damages in any wrongful death action are paid just the same as in any personal injury claim, however, they differ in how they’re divided after they’re paid out based on who filed the action

  • Surviving spouse with no minor children: the spouse will collect the entire settlement.
  • Surviving spouse with minor children: the spouse will receive ⅓ of the settlement, and the children will equally split the remaining settlement.
  • Surviving parents with no surviving spouse or children: the parents of the decedent will equally split the settlement award.
  • Filed by the estate: when the estate files the claim, the proceeds will be divided among the decedent’s next of kin.

Complications that can occur

There are several things that can complicate a wrongful death claim and the distribution of the settlement or jury award proceeds.

One of the things that can complicate matters is determining who, if not the immediate surviving family, is entitled to receive any portion of the payout such as grandchildren.

The circumstances will be different in every case, so it’s best to consult with an experienced attorney to understand your rights and options.

Contact Shrable Law Firm – we’ll explain everything

Wrongful death settlements in Georgia can be complex, but an Albany wrongful death lawyer with Shrable Law Firm can help you understand which course of action is the best for you to take and what issues might arise. Call (229) 349-6291 or contact us online for a free no-obligation case review.

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Wrongful Death Claim


Accident victim passed away as a result of the combined carelessness of the driver or her vehicle and the driver of another vehicle.

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Address : 127 N. Westover Blvd. Ste 3 Albany,
GA 31707

Phone: (229)-349-6291

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