Common Myths About Wrongful Death Claims

  • A wrongful death claim is a type of personal injury claim that takes place when someone has lost a loved one because of the negligence of another person. Wrongful death claims can be filed against a person or entity whose negligence caused the death of the individual in question.

     

    There are two major differences between wrongful death claims and other personal injury claims. The first major difference is that the wrongful death claim is filed by someone other than the injured party—because the deceased is no longer alive to file the suit. The second major difference is in the types of damages that are awarded in a wrongful death case.

     

    There are several common misconceptions people have about wrongful death claims. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on two of the biggest myths: that anyone can file a wrongful death claim and that you can file a claim at any time you want.

     

     1. Anyone Can File A Claim

     

    One of the common myths is that anyone can file a lawsuit for wrongful death. This is not true. Every state’s laws vary in this respect, but there are always limitations on who can bring a case of wrongful death against a negligent person or entity.

     

    In the state of Georgia, there are four types of people who can bring a case of wrongful death. The wrongful death case can be filed only by the heirs of the deceased. If you are not an heir of the deceased, you will not be eligible to bring a case of wrongful death. Depending on the circumstances, the following groups of people may be able to file a suit for wrongful death:

     

    • The surviving spouse of the deceased
    • The children of the deceased
    • The parents of the deceased
    • The brothers and sisters of the deceased.

     

     2. You Can File a Wrongful Death Claim at any Time

     

    The second major myth about wrongful death claims is that they can be brought at any time. This is not true. In the state of Georgia, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the death of the deceased. After this time, the victim’s heirs will not be able to bring a case of wrongful death against the negligent person or entity, even if they would otherwise have a strong case.

     

    This means that if you believe you have a case of wrongful death, you should get the process started as soon as you can. Once you talk to an attorney, it can take a few months for the attorney to prepare your case. In order to have the best possible chance of winning your case or settling favorably, it’s in your best interests to talk to an attorney as soon as you can.

     

    What to Do if You Believe You Have a Wrongful Death Claim

     

    If you believe you have a case of wrongful death, you should get in touch with a trusted personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Wrongful death claims can take some time to prepare, and the clock is ticking, so it’s in your interests to start the process as soon as possible. The process begins with a Letter of Representation sent from your attorney to the negligent person or entity. It can take a few months to prepare this letter, so it’s a good idea to talk to an attorney soon.

     

    Many personal injury attorneys offer a free initial consultation, so you can get a trusted professional’s evaluation before committing to sue anyone, including The Stoddard Firm. If you’ve lost a loved one, contact a personal injury attorney by phone or email to set up a consultation as soon as you can.