What constitutes a wrongful death?

On Behalf of | Nov 13, 2023 | Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one can be an exceedingly painful ordeal, especially when it occurs due to someone else’s errors or misconduct.

Georgia follows certain rules and principles to establish what qualifies as a wrongful death. This article examines the five criteria used by the state to determine when to rule a loved one’s passing as wrongful.

Negligence or wrongful act

To establish a wrongful death in Georgia, you must provide evidence of negligence or a wrongful act. This implies that the death resulted from someone failing to exercise the expected care and responsibility in a particular situation. For instance, if someone perishes in a car accident due to a reckless driver or because of medical malpractice by a healthcare provider, the state may regard the death as wrongful.

The type of wrongful death lawsuit you pursue can influence the compensation you may receive. For instance, in cases where someone succumbs to asbestos exposure at work (resulting in mesothelioma), the average settlement might range from $1 million to $1.4 million. To secure such a settlement, you must demonstrate that the workplace was aware of the exposure risk but failed to take appropriate precautions to safeguard its employees.


Establishing negligence or a wrongful act is not sufficient; you must also establish a direct link between that negligence and the individual’s demise. It is essential to prove that the death occurred directly due to the negligence for the state to classify it as wrongful.

Survival Period

Georgia’s laws mandate a survival period for the deceased person to be eligible for a wrongful death lawsuit. If an individual survives the initial incident but succumbs to their injuries later, the family has up to two years to file a wrongful death claim. However, if the person dies instantly from the injuries, a wrongful death case may not be applicable.


Georgia’s laws specify who can initiate a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased. Typically, the surviving spouse holds the primary right to do so. In the absence of a surviving spouse, the children, parents or the personal representative of the deceased’s estate may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit.


The last consideration in determining a wrongful death case in Georgia pertains to the suffering and losses endured by the surviving family members. These losses may encompass financial expenses like medical bills, funeral costs and lost income, as well as non-economic damages such as emotional pain and suffering.

To pursue a wrongful death claim in Georgia, your case must adhere to specific prerequisites. Comprehending these elements is crucial for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one in situations that may warrant a wrongful death claim.