A contract worker died at International Paper when a boiler platform collapsed creating a possible wrongful death claim. Workers were removing the platform, and the demolition crew was working to cut through pipes in order to remove the boiler platform when it collapsed. Worker Juan Medina was working on a lift at the time of the collapse.
Medina was trapped under the wreckage when the Savannah Fire Department’s Technical Rescue Team arrived to clear a passage through to the injured man. When they found him, he was already dead. International Paper’s Emergency Response Team has taken over the scene.
What is Wrongful Death in the State of Georgia?
Georgia law defines wrongful death as a death of a person resulting from the reckless, negligent, criminal, or intentional acts of another person or entity such as a business. Wrongful death cases are similar to other personal injury claims in that plaintiffs must prove negligence. However, because the injured person is not able to bring a claim to court, the family members of the deceased person may bring a claim to court on his or her behalf.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
Like other states, Georgia law specifies the parties that may file a wrongful death claim. The spouse should be the first to file a claim. Further, if the deceased person has minor children, the surviving spouse must also include the children in the claim. The spouse will always receive at least one-third of the recovery regardless of how many children there are.
If there are no surviving children or spouse that can bring the claim to court, the right to file extends to other parties. A surviving parentor a personal representative of the estate of the deceased person can bring the claim. If a personal representative files the claim, the estate holds the recovery for the benefit of the deceased’s next of kin.
What Damages Are Available in a Georgia Wrongful Death Claim?
Georgia laws recognize two distinct kinds of wrongful death claims. The surviving family of the deceased person brings the first type. It establishes the full value of the deceased person’s life. This type of claim will recover monetary damages for lost wages and benefits if the person would have lived. Additionally, it covers loss of companionship, care, and other intangible benefits that the deceased person provided his or her family.
The second type of claim helps with the financial loss related to the death of the deceased person. This claim is brought on by the estate of the deceased person. It seeks to recover expenses such as medical bills, burial and funeral costs, and conscious pain and suffering.
How a Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help
The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in Georgia is two years from the date of the individual’s death. If you to not file the claim within that time frame, the right to file the claim almost always expires. There are certain situations, however, that extend or stop the statute of limitations from running. An experienced wrongful death attorney can help you understand the limitations and be sure to file your claim by the deadline.
When grieving the loss of a loved one, the last thing you need to worry about is financial loss. That is where a wrongful death attorney can help. The attorneys at Lankford & Moore Law have the experience and knowledge to make sure you get the compensation to which you are entitled. Contact them today for a consultation.