Can Relatives Recover Money for Deceased in A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

4/14/2022 By webmaster Read in 4 minutes

Losing a loved one is devastating, especially when their death is the direct result of someone else’s neglect or improper behavior.

If this is the case, trust an experienced wrongful death attorney to fight on behalf of the deceased, working tirelessly to see justice done. While compensation can do little to soothe the pain, it can help ease the financial burden that your family now faces – so our team will fight to maximize the damages you deserve.

What Is A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

A wrongful death is one that results from the “wrongful act, neglect, or default” of another person. The most common types of wrongful death lawsuits involve negligence, medical malpractice, or intentional misconduct (violent acts, etc.)

How Does A Family Receive Money After A Wrongful Death?

The disbursement of funds in a wrongful death claim varies from state to state. Read on to learn more about how it works in your home state:  

In Georgia
Put simply, wrongful death settlements are divided equally among the surviving spouse and children, with the spouse receiving no less than ⅓ of the total sum. If the deceased was not married and did not have any children, their parents become beneficiaries. If neither are alive, the deceased’s siblings are next in line.

In South Carolina
The process is generally the same as it is in Georgia, but the surviving spouse is entitled to no less than ½ the total amount. The other notable difference is that, in the absence of a spouse and children, the judge can limit how much to give any surviving parents – depending on their role in the person’s upbringing.

In Alabama
Alabama’s distribution process is slightly more complicated. If there is a surviving spouse and children, the initial $50,000 plus ½ of the remaining balance are received by the spouse – and children are given the rest. Similar to Georgia and South Carolina, if there is no surviving spouse or children, the deceased’s parents, then siblings, are next to receive benefits.

How To File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be incredibly complex, often requiring a knowledge of the law and experience navigating the legal system. To ensure justice is achieved on behalf of your loved one, entrust your case to a wrongful death lawyer.

In Georgia
Not anyone can file a wrongful death claim. This is the order in which surviving representatives may file, with the role passing on to the next person if they cannot fulfill their responsibility.

  • Spouse
  • Child(ren)
  • Parent(s)
  • Administrator/executor of the deceased’s estate

In South Carolina 
A wrongful death claim can only be filed by the executor of the deceased’s estate in South Carolina. If they failed to write a will or name an executor, the probate court will appoint one – typically a spouse or adult child.

In Alabama
The administrator or executor of the deceased’s estate must file a wrongful death claim on their behalf. If there is not one named in the estate, family members have 40 days to petition the court, seeking to be named as the administrator.

What Damages Can The Family Recover in Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

If you have lost a loved one in a wrongful death accident, your family may be eligible for compensation for the following:

  • Medical care received by the deceased before their death
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased prior to their passing
  • Estimated loss of future income
  • Cost of home maintenance that would have been performed by the deceased
  • Loss of companionship
  • Guidance/parenting of minor children

More Questions? Discover A Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me

Our wrongful death lawyers are here to help, offering not only trusted legal representation but support and compassion during your most difficult times. To learn more about pursuing a wrongful death claim, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

 We are proud to fight for justice on behalf of wrongful death victims – and to recover the damages their families deserve in the following areas:

Albany, GA
Atlanta, GA
Augusta, GA
Columbus, GA
Macon, GA
(Park of Commerce) Savannah, GA
(Abercorn) Savannah, GA
Statesboro, GA 
Warner Robins, GA

Aiken, SC
Beaufort, SC 
North Charleston, SC  

Phenix City, AL

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