Georgia Wrongful Death Actions:Who Has The Right To Sue? (Part III)

In Georgia, if an individual loses her or her life due to the negligence of a third party and is not survived either by a spouse or children, the cause of action for the wrongful death of such an individual vests in the surviving parents. If both parents are alive, the cause of action is vested jointly in the parents if they are living together. If one parent is deceased, the right is in the surviving parent. If both parents are living, but are divorced, separated or living apart, the right shall be in both parents but either parent may proceed on behalf of the other. In such a case, the non-participating spouse is bound in the action brought by the other spouse.
If an individual is killed due to the negligence of a third party and that person was born out of wedlock, under Georgia law, such a fact shall be no bar to recovery and a surviving parent can sue for the wrongful death of his or her child. However, failure of a parent to provide support for the child during his/her life can diminish the parent’s right to share in the recovery. In short, if the surviving parents are separated or divorced, under Georgia law, the Court will determine an equitable apportionment of any wrongful death recovery based on the nature and extent of relationship of the parents to the deceased child.

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