Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Halt | February 25, 2022 | 0 Comments

Who Gets the Money from a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

No matter how much the compensation is, money can not fulfill the loss of human life. Statistics have shown that” every year, over 90,000 deaths occur due to medical malpractice alone, not including the many other causes of wrongful death.”However, it can help people get closure and possibly take care of some of the financial needs of the loved ones of the deceased. A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by the family or representative of the deceased person. Only applies if the person is killed by the ignorance of a third party, which includes accidents, medical malpractice, and unsafe work conditions amongst others. The lawsuit criteria and rules differ from state to state, and we will be looking into Georgia and South Carolina laws. Due to the fact that these cases may seem similar to personal injury or criminal cases, contacting a malpractice lawyer is important.

How a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Works

In Georgia, an order of priority is considered while filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Spouses have the first precedence, which is followed by children, parents, and lastly the administrator of the deceased.

Other than the ones listed, no other friends or relatives are eligible for filing the lawsuit. Although the time to file a lawsuit can no later be more than two years, the time limit can extend in exceptional cases such as cases wherein a criminal case is also under proceedings.

While in South Carolina, only the Administrator or a personal representative is eligible to file for the lawsuit. If the deceased has not appointed anyone, then one will be appointed by a probate court which in most scenarios is either a spouse or an elder child. The time to file the lawsuit in the state, however, is three years from the date of demise.

wrongful death lawsuit

The settlement shares also differ from state to state, and in some cases can be quite complex. However, the laws of the state are applied when dividing the shares, unlike the will where the deceased decides the shares.

In Georgia, the share for the lawsuit is equally divided among the spouse and children with the spouse receiving an amount that is no less than one-third of the total amount of compensation. In the case of there being a spouse with two children then all of them receive one-third of the total amount, but if there is a spouse with three children, the spouse will receive one-third of the total amount while the remaining two-thirds will be divided among the three children. While the grandchildren can only inherit if their parent is not alive where their parent’s share is equally divided among the children.

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While in South Carolina, the share for a wrongful death lawsuit is different where the spouse is entitled to an amount of no less than half of the total amount. For example, if the deceased has a spouse and two children, the spouse will receive half of the total amount while each child will receive a quarter of the total amount. However, in South Carolina, a judge can deny giving the parents of the deceased any share if it’s proven that the parents didn’t support their child in their early life. The settlement is calculated in the form of damages, such as medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages, financial support, etc. South Carolina has more to offer where pain and suffering, and other punitive damages are concerned.


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