How Long Does A Wrongful Death Lawsuit Take?

How Long Does A Wrongful Death Lawsuit Take?

Losing a loved one is painful, and coping with their death involves dealing with intense changes to your family life. Georgia state law allows those who’ve lost close family members because of the legal fault of other parties to seek compensation for what they’ve suffered through a wrongful death lawsuit. Understanding the process of filing and pursuing a claim can provide a constructive focus and a sense of empowerment during this difficult time. 

Before filing a wrongful death suit, it’s essential to understand that the legal process can take some time. Depending on various factors, a wrongful death claim could take months or even years to resolve. After reviewing the facts, a Georgia wrongful death lawyer can give you a better understanding of your potential case’s timeline.

Understanding Wrongful Death Cases

In Georgia, a death may be considered wrongful if it is the result of another party’s negligence, recklessness, intentional actions, or other legal fault. Georgia’s Wrongful Death Act allows certain survivors to seek compensation for the “full value” of their loved one’s life. According to the law, the following people can bring wrongful death claims: 

  • The surviving spouse
  • A surviving child or children
  • A surviving parent
  • Appointed personal representative (primarily for estate claims)

You can pursue compensation for both the economic and non-economic consequences of your loved one’s death. While these values cannot replace your loved one or their contributions to your life, they can attempt to cover your losses. 

Economic losses in wrongful death suits include: 

  • Earnings, including benefits, bonuses, and promotions
  • Funeral expenses
  • Future potential income 
  • Estimated value of household tasks like cooking or cleaning 

Non-economic losses can include:

  • Pain and suffering of the decedent leading up to the death
  • Meaningful time with family and friends
  • Participation in hobbies or recreational activities 

Factors Affecting the Duration of a Lawsuit

Various factors impact the length of a wrongful death lawsuit, including: 

  • Evidence Collection – Documentary evidence like medical records, witness statements, reports, and other relevant information about how your loved one’s death occurred can take time to collect and assess. 
  • Full Value Assessment – Accurately calculating the full value of your loved one’s life requires a careful review of the gathered evidence, likely aided by experts in fields like medicine and economics. This process takes time, but it’s critical to pursuing maximum compensation. 
  • Defendant Type – The exact timeline of a wrongful death lawsuit often depends on the defendant, their assets, and their ability to pay. A deep-pocketed insurance company may have the funds but are reluctant to pay out, while an at-fault individual may have few assets to make your family whole. 
  • Familial Agreement – Determining what to do after a family death is challenging for many families, especially as they’re grieving. It may take a while to get individual members on the same page. 

Moving Forward With Your Case

Every wrongful death case has different facts and elements, which can be complex and time-consuming. 

If you want to proceed with your case, you should find a wrongful death law firm that can sensitively and efficiently handle your family’s claim. The wrongful death statute of limitations gives you two years to file your claim, so it’s best to file quickly. Find a lawyer who can: 

  • Explain the process in detail
  • Collect crucial information
  • Negotiate aggressively on your behalf
  • Represent your family’s best interests in court as needed

Contact Our Georgia Wrongful Death Lawyers to Learn More

Have you lost a family member? Is someone else to blame? If so, you need a wrongful death attorney who can handle your case with compassion and empathy. The Geiger Legal Group, LLC team understands what you’re going through and wants to do what we can to alleviate your pain. Contact our wrongful death attorneys today to learn how we can help you. Your case consultation is free. 


About the Author: Geiger Legal Group, LLC

In 1981, attorney J. Christopher Geiger began practicing law in Canton, GA, determined to provide personalized legal service to the people of Cherokee County. His son Casey followed in his footsteps, first practicing law in Colorado before joining his father in 2017 to form the Geiger Legal Group, LLC. Together, the father and son team have built a law firm that revolves around clients, not cases.