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The difference between accidental death and wrongful death

People die in accidents all the time. They fall off of ladders, get into car crashes or get hurt when a product like a power tool suddenly malfunctions. Many times, these deaths are tragic but accidental. No one individual or business has direct responsibility for the outcome, other than perhaps the person who died.

Other times, what at first seems like an accidental death is actually a wrongful death where either an individual or a business has legal culpability for the incident. When a person’s actions cost someone else their life, the person at fault could face legal action from the estate or family of the deceased. How do you determine if your recent loss was truly an accident or if it might be a wrongful death?

Georgia defines wrongful death very specifically

Simply contributing to the circumstances that claim someone’s life won’t be enough for a person to face legal claims related to that tragedy. However, when a person or business breaks the law, behaves negligently by ignoring obvious risk or sells defective products, their actions may then fall under the scope of Georgia’s wrongful death act.

If better compliance with the law, greater care or better production practices would have clearly prevented the death from occurring, the surviving family members of the person who died could be in a position to take legal action.

Provided that you have some kind of evidence that can help you prove their wrongful acts or negligence, you may be able to hold them accountable for your family’s financial losses related to the incident, and lost wages from your deceased loved one to funeral costs for their burial through a wrongful death lawsuit.