Are you eligible to file a wrongful death claim for compensation?
If you have lost a loved one in a shooting at a business in Georgia, then you have undoubtedly gone through a difficult time. You and your family members may be wondering whether you are entitled to any compensation for the loss of your loved one. You may be able to file a wrongful death claim to recover compensation. However, Georgia law only allows certain people to file wrongful death claims.
Parties that can bring a wrongful death claim in Georgia
It is vital to understand who is allowed to bring a wrongful death case in Georgia. Under O.C.G.A. § 51-4-2, § 51-4-4, and § 19-7-1, the following people are allowed to bring a claim:
- The deceased person’s surviving spouse.
- If the deceased has no surviving spouse, or if the spouse dies while the case is ongoing, their children are allowed to bring a wrongful death claim.
- If the deceased was not married and had no children at the time of their death, then the parents of the deceased may bring the wrongful death claim.
- In the event that there is no surviving spouse, child, or parent available to bring the claim, then the administrator of the deceased person’s estate may bring the wrongful death claim.
How long do you have to file a wrongful death claim in Georgia?
In Georgia, there are time limits in place let establish how long these parties have to file a wrongful death claim. In general, the statute of limitations for Georgia wrongful death cases two years from the date a person dies. However, there are exceptions to this two-year limit.
In cases where one of the people involved in the death are charged with a crime (or could be charged with a crime), the statute of limitations may be paused until the prosecution is complete or until six years have passed, at which point the two-year clock will begin ticking again. However, in cases where the alleged wrongful party is a government entity, the time limit to notify the opposing party about a wrongful death claim may be shorter than two years.
Who could be held liable in a Georgia business shooting death?
In a wrongful death at a Georgia business, there may be multiple liable parties. In some instances, the owner or operator of the business may be held liable if they failed to provide adequate security for those who had a right to be on their property. Adequate security measures will vary depending on the factors related to the type of business. Adequate security for a Georgia business may include the following:
- ensuring there is adequate lighting in and around the business
- having working surveillance video cameras in all areas outside and inside the business
- installing fences and gates to keep trespassers off the property
- implementing specific safety protocols for employees to follow
- hiring security personnel to patrol inside and outside the business
- conducting required background checks on employees
- implementing appropriate check-in and check-out procedures
Not all Georgia businesses are the same. For example, what works for an apartment building may not be appropriate for a grocery store. However, it will be up to a court to decide whether a business provided adequate security and whether or not they should be held liable for a person’s death.
An attorney can help you get through this
If you have lost a loved one shooting at a business in Georgia, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to recover significant compensation for your losses by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. However, these claims can become incredibly complex. You should enlist help from a skilled Georgia wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to help navigate this process.