Georgia Law Providing for the Administrator or Executor of the Decedent to Recovery for the Decedent’s Estate (O.C.G.A. § 51-4-5)

Legal Commentary. This Georgia statute vests the administrator or the executor of the decedent’s estate with the right to bring a Georgia wrongful death action and the right of recovery from that action should no other party be vested with the right of recovery. The situation where no other party is vested with the right to bring the action and the right of recovery occurs when the decedent does not have a surviving spouse, child or parent. The statute clarifies that the amount of recovery by the administrator or executor on behalf of the decedent’s estate shall also be the ‘full value of the life of the decedent, as shown by the evidence’, which is the same in Section 51-4-2 and defined in Section 51-4-1.

Subsection (b) of this Georgia law provides for additional recovery than the full value of the life of the decedent. This addition is for medical and other expenses incurred from the death causing injury and funeral and other expenses incurred from the death of the decedent. Georgia lawyers who handle wrongful death claims should be familiar with this statute. See full text below:

Section 51-4-5 Administrator or Executor of Decedent’s Estate has the right of recovery when no other party is vested with the right of recovery.

(a) When there is no person entitled to bring an action for the wrongful death of a decedent under Code Section 51-4-2 or 51-4-4, the administrator or executor of the decedent may bring an action for and may recover and hold the amount recovered for the benefit of the next of kin. In any such case the amount of the recovery shall be the full value of the life of the decedent.

(b) When death of a human being results from a crime or from criminal or other negligence, the personal representative of the deceased person shall be entitled to recover for the funeral, medical, and other necessary expenses resulting from the injury and death of the deceased person.