Fatal Motorcycle Accidents in Gainesville

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When a motorcycle accident leads to the death of a loved one, there may be remedies available under Georgia law. Georgia’s Wrongful Death Act, Georgia Code § 51-4-2, allows surviving family members to pursue a wrongful death claim for the total value of the decedent’s life. Our compassionate attorneys at Smith Hulsey Law are familiar with the circumstances surrounding fatal motorcycle accidents in Gainesville cases and could help you understand your options for pursuing compensation.

Depending on the facts of a case, the estate may also be able to bring a survival action on behalf of the deceased. Our well-practiced motorcycle accident attorneys will advocate on your behalf and could perform a detailed investigation to ensure that all facts are accounted for in a claim.

Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Statute?

Not every surviving family member has the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit, and it is different based on the individual relationships of each person.

Spouse and Surviving Children

When a decedent is married at the time of their death, the spouse has a right to bring a wrongful death claim. However, if the surviving spouse does not want to bring that claim, the surviving children can bring it. Surviving children can also bring a claim against a surviving spouse if they allege that the spouse is responsible for the fatal injuries in a Gainesville motorcycle wreck.


Parents cannot file a claim when there are children or a surviving spouse. They can bring the claim jointly or separately; the parents do not have to agree with the lawsuit. Even if only one parent brings the claim, they will share in the recovery because both parents have equal rights. However, a parent can present evidence to the court to show why the other should not be entitled to part of the recovery.


When a person dies without a surviving spouse, child, or parent, then their estate can bring a wrongful death claim. The claim will benefit the estate, which can then benefit the deceased’s heirs, either specified in a will or determined by the state’s intestacy rules. The lack of surviving nuclear family members does not mean loved ones cannot recover from the death.

Understanding Survival Actions

People may be able to file a survival action against the parties who contributed to the death of a loved one as stated under Georgia Code § 9-2-41. The estate’s administrator or representative brings the lawsuit to pursue the deceased’s interests, which do not terminate at their death. A survival action can pursue details like pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses. To have a survival action, there must be some period between the incident that caused the death and the decedent’s death. However, it does not have to be a lengthy amount of time.

While a wrongful death claim addresses the survivor’s losses, it does not provide a way to repay the deceased for their injuries, pain, suffering, fear, or torment. However, many fatal motorcycle wrecks in Gainesville can cause a tremendous amount of pain and anguish to those who have sustained them. These survival actions directly address the harm that the deceased has gone through and can provide loved ones with a sense of justice.

Combining Wrongful Death and Survival Actions

The court may often join survival and wrongful death actions because they involve the same factual scenarios. However, the estate can pursue a survival action regardless of the survivor’s wishes, and family members do not need the estate representative’s cooperation to bring a wrongful death action.

Call a Gainesville Attorney for Help With a Fatal Motorcycle Accident Claim

Losing a loved one in an accident is an emotionally devastating experience, and the financial well-being of your family may require you to file a wrongful death lawsuit. You do not need to try to pursue a wrongful death or survival action on your own, and our understanding attorneys at Smith Hulsey Law could help you understand your rights after a family member or loved one has sustained a fatal motorcycle accident in Gainesville.

Contact our firm at your convenience to speak to one of our knowledgeable attorneys. We would be happy to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your legal options.

Smith Hulsey Law

Smith Hulsey Law