When an injured person passes away prior to the filing of a personal injury lawsuit or bringing a claim, what happens next will depend on the circumstances surrounding the death.
If the injured person died due for reasons other than the injury, for example, cancer or complications due to emphysema, then any personal injury claim will continue, but it will now be brought be the estate of the deceased.
If the injured person died because of the injuries, or for reasons related to the underlying injury, then the personal injury claim may become a ‘wrongful death’ claim. In Georgia, wrongful death is the legal term used to describe death caused by the negligent, intentional, or otherwise wrongful conduct of another person or company.
Obviously, no lawsuit can bring back our loved ones. The true purpose of a wrongful death action is to recover compensatory damages from the person or party responsible for causing the death.
Generally, wrongful death claims are divided into two portions:
In the first instance, certain survivors of the deceased, usually a spouse or the children, make a claim for the full value of life. So, for example, the amount of lost wages that would have been earned throughout the deceased persons’ life.
In the second instance, the estate of the deceased brings a claim for the medical bills, funeral expenses, and any pain and suffering that occurred prior to the death.
Of course, there may be other claims available depending on the facts of the case. If your loved one has been gravely injured or killed in a car accident, or in a nursing home, and you are wondering what types of claims you may bring against the responsible party, then please do not hesitate, call and speak to one of our experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyers today.