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What situations may prompt a wrongful death claim?

Wrongful death claims depend upon a situation where one person causes the death of another. Not every situation where this happens may open itself to a claim.

There are three general situations in which a person may file a wrongful death claim in Georgia. It depends on how the accused caused the death of the other person.

Product defect

If your loved one died when using a product that was defective, then this is an allowable reason for a wrongful death claim. A defective product is one that the manufacturer should have known or knew was not made correctly and could harm a consumer. Typically, the company has a responsibility to ensure products they sell are safe for consumers to use in the intended manner. As long as your loved one was using the product according to the instructions, you could have a claim.


A common reason for a wrongful death claim is negligence. This is when a person is not acting with care or doing something dangerous. For example, if someone is cleaning a firearm and not using proper safety protocols, he or she would be negligent if the gun fires and kills someone.

Criminal activity

If one person causes the death of another during a criminal act, then that is wrongful death. Whether that criminal act is a felony or misdemeanor does not matter. This also includes situations like car accidents where one person may have been speeding or otherwise breaking road laws, and it led to a crash that took someone’s life.

Wrongful death claims are a way to recoup financial loss for the death of a loved one and to hold the responsible party liable. In general, wrongful death happens when a person dies because another did not act in a legal and responsible way.