Wrongful death lawyers know that claims for the statutory claimants and the claim for the Estate of the deceased are separate and distinct claims and that suit must be filed within two years of the death, in most cases. There are a few exceptions and one of them is that where the Estate of the Deceased is not established (they died without a will and no one filed to appoint an administrator) then the statute of limitations will be tolled for up to 5 years. That means if you missed the two year statute of limitations for the Wrongful Death claim, if the person suffered before death, had substantial medical bills or had a punitive damages claim, then there may still be a suit that can be brought on behalf of the unrepresented Estate because it has been tolled by O.C.G.A. Sec. 9-3-32.
OCGA § 9-3-92 provides that “[t]he time between the death of a person and the commencement of representation upon his estate … shall not be counted against his estate in calculating any limitation applicable to the bringing of an action ….”