Wrongful death is a result of negligent or intentional behavior that results in the death of a person. O.C.G.A. § 51-4-1 clarifies who can make a wrongful death claim. The main parties are the deceased’s spouse, family, and children.
The spouse is usually the one to make a wrongful death claim. If the deceased had no spouse, then the children can make a wrongful death claim. If the deceased had no children, the parents or guardians can make a wrongful death claim. The wrongful death lawsuit compensates the family of the deceased for the full value of the life deceased’s life.
Types of Fatal Accidents That Can Lead to a Wrongful Death Case
Someone may have owed your loved one a basic duty of care to keep them reasonably safe. For example, a property owner has to maintain their premises to prevent hazards. Drivers have to follow traffic laws to keep everyone on the road safe.
When someone acts negligently, they breach their duty of care, and they may cause a fatal accident. Some of the causes of wrongful death are:
- Medical malpractice
- A car accident
- A slip and fall accident
- A crime
You will likely feel overwhelmed and shocked after losing a loved one. It’s understandable if you do not want to hear the details surrounding their accident. They are important for your claim, though. Instead of figuring out what happened on your own, a lawyer from our firm can investigate.
We Can Gather Evidence of Another Party’s Negligence
When we work on your wrongful death case, we can gather evidence to establish the liability of another party. We may call upon the help of expert witnesses, such as accident reconstructionist, to get to the bottom of what happened.
We can also interview any eyewitnesses and use their testimony to support your case for compensation. We can analyze police reports and other documents that may come into play. For example, if your loved one slipped on broken pavement, we can take a look at previous inspections of the premises.
If your loved one suffered a fatal car accident, we can gather traffic camera footage, black box data, and pictures of the vehicle damage. These may reveal the other driver was speeding at the time of the accident, for example.
What To Do After a Wrongful Death?
You can file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation for your losses. You also have the right to hire a lawyer. They can handle your case while you honor your loved one’s memory and grieve with your family.
What Type of Damages Can Your Family Receive From a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
You may stand to recover a variety of damages, such as:
- Medical bills for your loved one’s injuries
- Awards for your loved one’s pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of inheritance for the income your loved one provided
- Loss of consortium for the companionship your loved one offered
- Lost wages if you had to take time off work to tend to their injuries
Other damages may apply.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The only individual who can make this claim is the executor of the deceased’s will. If the deceased did not have a will, O.C.G.A.§ 53-2-1 et seq. allows a spouse, parent, or child to stand in as the representative.
The representative will distribute any awards to the surviving family members. In cases where the deceased did not have a spouse, child, or surviving parent, the damages will go to their next of kin.
How Long Will a Wrongful Death Case Take?
Every case is unique. It could take months or years for a wrongful death case to conclude. If an insurer offers a fair settlement early on, you will not have to spend more time taking your case to trial. Negotiations do not always pan out, though.
Our aim is for your family to recover what they deserve. If we have to go to trial, we will not hesitate. On our end, we can do everything possible to streamline the process. For example, we can submit your claim or lawsuit in a timely manner.
Our Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Handle Your Case
Losing a loved one is never easy, especially when the loss results from negligent behavior. The last thing you want to deal with is a legal case. You have a right to legal representation, and our firm can offer the compassionate legal care your family deserves.
While you grieve your loved one in peace, our legal team can file a wrongful death case and seek fair compensation. Contact George Sink P.A. Injury Lawyers at (888) 612-7001 for a free consultation. We can discuss your loved one’s accident and explain how we can help.