Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After a Personal Injury Settlement?
Tucker Long P.C. | August 27, 2019
Sometimes when an accident occurs in Georgia, the extent of injuries is not immediately known. A good example is when someone goes into a coma. It is never really cut and dried because even doctors cannot say when or if the person will wake up. Even worse, they cannot say what the extent of the injuries to that person may be. This can make things difficult when it comes to personal injury lawsuits.
You may want to sue right away so you can get money to recoup losses or expenses related to the accident. Since the injured person is still alive, you really can only file a personal injury case. You may wonder, though, if by doing so, will you forfeit your rights to a wrongful death lawsuit in the future if your loved one never wakes up from the coma?
The Georgia Supreme Court, according to the Courtroom View Network, has said that settling a personal injury lawsuit relating to a specific incident does not mean you cannot file for wrongful death in the future should the injured person die from the injuries. However, the damages you may recoup will have a limit.
The court found that you can only make claims on damages that you could not have gotten as part of the personal injury lawsuit. So, if you do file a personal injury case, make sure you claim everything you can because you cannot use a wrongful death lawsuit to make up for something you forgot in the original lawsuit. The court will not allow a double recovery of damages. This information is for education and is not legal advice.