Ga. Code § 51-4-2

Current through 2021-2022 Regular Session Chapters 1-872 and 874-884
Section 51-4-2 - Persons entitled to bring action for wrongful death of spouse or parent; survival of action; release of wrongdoer; disposition of recovery; exemption from liability for decedent's debts; recovery not barred when child born out of wedlock
(a) The surviving spouse or, if there is no surviving spouse, a child or children, either minor or sui juris, may recover for the homicide of the spouse or parent the full value of the life of the decedent, as shown by the evidence.
(b)
(1) If an action for wrongful death is brought by a surviving spouse under subsection (a) of this Code section and the surviving spouse dies pending the action, the action shall survive to the child or children of the decedent.
(2) If an action for wrongful death is brought by a child or children under subsection (a) of this Code section and one of the children dies pending the action, the action shall survive to the surviving child or children.
(3) If there is no surviving spouse and an action for wrongful death is brought by a minor child or minor children under subsection (a) of this Code section, the natural guardian, guardian, or next friend of any such minor child shall:
(A) Qualify as a conservator if necessary to receive payment of the settlement and shall thereafter hold and use the settlement for the benefit of the minor and shall be accountable for the same as provided in Code Section 29-3-1, and
(B) Obtain court approval of such settlement of such minor child or minor children as provided in Code Section 29-3-3.
(c) The surviving spouse may release the alleged wrongdoer without the concurrence of the child or children or any conservator, guardian, next friend, or other authorized representative thereof and without any order of court, provided that such spouse shall hold the consideration for such release subject to subsection (d) of this Code section and shall be accountable for same.
(d)
(1) Any amount recovered under subsection (a) of this Code section shall be equally divided, share and share alike, among the surviving spouse and the children per capita, and the descendants of children shall take per stirpes.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this subsection, the surviving spouse shall receive no less than one-third of such recovery as such spouse's share. If there is no surviving spouse, the amount recovered under subsection (a) of this Code section shall be equally divided, share and share alike, among the children per capita, and the descendants of children shall take per stirpes.
(e) No recovery had under subsection (a) of this Code section shall be subject to any debt or liability of the decedent or of the decedent's estate.
(f) In actions for recovery under this Code section, the fact that a child has been born out of wedlock shall be no bar to recovery.

OCGA § 51-4-2

Amended by 2022 Ga. Laws 745,§ 7, eff. 5/2/2022.