Wrongful Death Attorney in Atlanta

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Losing a loved one due to another person’s negligence is a tragic occurrence that demands fair compensation. If you have recently lost a loved one in an accident, please consider contacting an Atlanta wrongful death lawyer at the respected Butler Kahn.

When someone you love and care about has been taken from you because of another person’s negligence, you will want to do everything possible to ease the grief. When thinking about what happened, you might feel intense emotional pain which causes you to avoid speaking to anyone about it. This is normal. But please understand that speaking with an attorney may help you and your family in the long run. Scheduling a consultation with an Atlanta wrongful death attorney does not commit you to take any legal action. But it will help to ensure that your decisions are informed.




We Have Some of the Best Wrongful Death Lawyers in Atlanta

If you lost a loved one because of an Atlanta car accident caused by a drunk or impaired driver, please be wary of accepting quick settlement offers from insurance companies and/or the impaired driver without first seeking the guidance of an Atlanta wrongful death attorney. While a settlement might seem like a good idea in your time of need, an attorney may be able to properly protect your rights and obtain a greater amount of compensation based on the circumstances surrounding the accident.

Unfortunately, accepting an uninformed settlement offer is what insurance adjusters and the liable party likely want you to do. Defending parties are traditionally known for taking advantage of grieving victims. Fast settlements may be offered in addition to carefully worded statements that are very convincing. The truth is that by speeding up the process without reviewing your case with an Atlanta, wrongful death attorney, you could lose out on fair compensation.

Meet the Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyers from Butler Kahn

For years we have been handling personal injury and wrongful death claims. We know how difficult this is for you, and understand that you don’t want to relive the situation. We want to make the claims process as easy as possible. By selecting us to represent you and your family, please know that we will work with you to execute the strongest legal strategy possible under the circumstances. This strategy may include:

  • Maintaining communication with the liable party and their insurance company
  • Taking care of the complicated matters so you can focus on your healing
  • Letting you know what is going on with your case
  • Investigating the accident so we know exactly what happened
  • Using our resources to your advantage
  • Building your case as if it were going to trial
  • Settling for maximum compensation
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What is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death occurs when a person dies because of another person’s or entity’s negligent, reckless or intentional actions. An individual, group, company, or government entity may potentially be held liable as long as there is evidence of the party intentionally or negligently causing injury or harm. Wrongful deaths can happen because of negligent automobile drivers or truck drivers, faulty medical devices, unsafe work conditions, medical malpractice, and more.

A wrongful death attorney in Atlanta might file a claim against a liable party who unintentionally or intentionally harmed the deceased (i.e. accident). Depending on the circumstances of the deceased’s death, criminal charges could be filed separately. If the person who caused the death of your loved one has been charged or convicted of a DWI or DUI or for other criminal acts, you may still be able to seek compensation with the help of a wrongful death lawyer in Atlanta.

Grieving family over a loss of love one.

Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Atlanta

When a family member dies, it is never easy, but when their death was caused because of a person’s negligence or recklessness, the grief can be even more devastating, and dealing with funeral arrangements and legal issues can be overwhelming. There are often financial hardships placed on the victim’s family and surviving spouse, especially if the wrongful death victim was the primary breadwinner.

Under Georgia law, survivors of victims killed in accidents may be able to pursue damages for the losses their loved one’s death has caused against the person or entity who was liable for the accident. This is done through a wrongful death lawsuit. If you have lost a loved one because of another party’s actions, contact Butler Kahn to speak with an Atlanta wrongful death lawyer.

Under the law, when a person or entity acts in a way that contributed to the victim’s death can be found liable for the victim’s death, whether those acts were intentional or unintentional.

Whatever damages are recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit (or claim) are for the benefit of the victim’s spouse, children, parents, siblings, or next of kin. The lawsuit can be brought forward by either a family member of the victim (state law determines which family members qualify), the executor of the victim’s estate, or someone appointed by the court. A personal injury lawyer in Atlanta, can determine if you have legal standing to file a lawsuit.

It is important to note that there is a statute of limitations on how long survivors have to file a wrongful death claim. An Atlanta wrongful death lawyer can explain what the time limit is in your case. Typically, it is a two-year deadline for the day the victim died, however, there may be exceptions under certain circumstances.

Some of the more common losses survivors can pursue a wrongful death claim in Atlanta include the following:

  • Compensation for any expenses the family has incurred because of the death of the victim. This includes any medical and life-saving treatment the victim received before they died, funeral and burial expenses, and more.
  • Compensation for the grief, emotional anguish, and sorrow the victim’s death has caused the family.
  • Compensation for the personal losses the family will suffer because they no longer have the victim’s love, support, and companionship.
  • Compensation for the loss of income, benefits, and services the victim provided for the family and what they would have provided in the future.

Contact an Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyer

Jeb Butler Defending Client in Atlanta

Jeb Butler Defending Client in Atlanta

When a family has lost a loved one because of the negligent actions of another party, they should contact an experienced wrongful death attorney to find out what legal options they may have. At Butler Kahn, we understand that no amount of money will ever make up for the death of your loved one, but we also understand that your family deserves financial justice for the many losses your loved one’s death has caused. Even if there have been criminal charges filed against the at-fault party, such as in a drunk driving accident, a wrongful death claim is a completely separate action, filed in civil court. A wrongful death attorney in Atlanta can help you decide if you should file a wrongful death case.

Call our office today for a free case evaluation with a compassionate and dedicated wrongful death lawyer in Atlanta, clients recommend. We understand wrongful death law, and we can help you fight for justice for your loved one and understand what damages are available for surviving family members.

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Depressed family member of a loss.

Understanding Punitive Damages and Award Caps in Atlanta

When you have lost a loved one to negligence, an Atlanta wrongful death lawyer might seek punitive damages for you on your behalf. Punitive damages are also referred to as exemplary damages. These are often financial rewards granted to the plaintiff in a civil case to punish the defendant and deter them from committing such a gross act of negligence in the future.

While these damages are reserved for the worst types of offenses in civil proceedings, they are not as common as some Hollywood productions would have you believe, and there are limitations on just how much a victim can expect to receive.

When Are Such Damages Justified in Atlanta?

In most civil or personal injury cases, compensatory damages are the norm. These losses can be proven and even actionable. They are easy for juries to understand, and they are fair compensation for most accidents, a way to make the plaintiff financially whole.

Punitive damages, alternatively, while still provable, present more of a challenge because a wrongful death lawyer in Atlanta or the victim must prove intent. A punitive reward is only offered when a defendant has intentionally injured the victim, either by willful act or gross and often criminal negligence.

What Are Judgment Caps?

As an Atlanta wrongful death lawyer might explain to you, many states place a cap on punitive damages. A judgment cap is a restriction put on financial awards to ensure constitutionality and prevent excessive punishment. While not every state agrees on these capped amounts or what their value should be, the supreme court has commented that awards that offer the plaintiff a higher ratio than single digits, like 10:1 or more, are likely to be unconstitutional and excessive.

How Long Do I Have To File A Wrongful Death Case In Georgia?

The short answer to this important question is 2 years from the date of the victim’s death. But there are several situations that can either shorten or lengthen this period. A caring and experienced wrongful death attorney can answer more fully. They will also take into consideration all the facts of your particular case.

Ante Litem

One instance in which you will have less than the normal 2-year window is if a branch of government is involved. An example would be if a van belonging to a government agency causes the death of the victim. In this case, the filing deadline could be much shorter — even down to 6 months after the incident. The exact deadline will depend on which government agency (city, county, state, or federal) you are dealing with. Known as an “ante litem” deadline, it simply means “before litigation”. The ante litem is essentially a document that advises the government agency of your intent to file suit. It is critical to know what guidelines and time limits that particular agency operates under.


The term “tolling” in a wrongful death case refers to the practice of pausing the statute of limitations. This is often done when the case also involves the violation of Georgia law. As long as there is at least a misdemeanor offense, tolling can be applied. It doesn’t matter if the incident is a traffic accident or a violent crime. The statute allows for a suspension of up to 6 years or until the final disposition of the criminal case. The court will use whichever period is shorter. Once that occurs, the 2-year period set by the statute of limitation would then start running.

Common Causes in Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Because death is inevitable for everyone, you know that you’ll have to cope with the passing of loved ones at some point. However, when an unexpected death comes because of someone’s actions, you face a challenging recovery and grieving process. To help lift your burdens, a wrongful death lawsuit may award you damages in the form of compensation. While some deaths are truly no one’s fault, when another party is to blame for this loss, you should speak with an Atlanta wrongful death attorney about whether you should sue. To help you see your situation more clearly, it may help to understand some typical wrongful death suits.

Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death

Just like you will depend on your legal counsel to advise you in your wrongful death case, your family member relied on competent medical care. Unfortunately, it may have been your loved one’s doctor or other members of the medical team that led to the untimely death. If you believe your family died because of medical malpractice, your attorney will work hard to see whether this claim has merit. In other such cases, doctors may have misdiagnosed a patient, which caused the person to not get the right treatment or any treatment at all. The doctor may have botched surgery or prescribed the wrong medication. Perhaps the drug company manufactured the drug incorrectly, or maybe the pharmacist read the doctor’s prescription wrong. There could have been defective medical equipment. Any of these factors could have been causes of wrongful death.

Car Accident Wrongful Death

Vehicular collisions are not uncommon. When a family member files a wrongful death lawsuit following a car accident, the attorney will try to prove that the other driver’s negligence caused the death. Commonly, at-fault drivers may have been driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Other drivers may have been distracted by their cell phones. Many accidents occur because the offending party was speeding or ran a red light. In more extreme cases, the other person may have been driving to deliberately hurt or kill the plaintiff’s love one.

Intentionally Killing Wrongful Death

If another person deliberately kills your family member, a criminal case would decide the person’s fate. However, this does not preclude you from filing a civil wrongful death suit and collecting compensation. Your lawyer will gather evidence to prove this action was on purpose. Your lawyer will also seek damages for the money you spend on medical bills and funeral costs as a result.

Can You Seek Punitive Damages in Atlanta?

Filing for punitive damages is not uncommon, but receiving such an award is. What evidence do you have that the accused purposely or knowingly injured and killed your loved one? Was your loved one threatened before the event? Did witnesses acknowledge that there was a purposeful action? If going after a company, what evidence do you have those top executives knew a product, service or employee was going to cause your loved one harm?

In general, the problem isn’t seeking or asking for punitive damages; the issue stems from proving willful negligence. While compensatory damages are often easy to prove through receipts and other documentation, it is more challenging to prove intent, especially if the event is singular, meaning uncharacteristic of the defendant.

Punitive damages exist for a reason. There are instances of wrongdoing that result in the injury of an individual or a group. In these instances, regardless of criminal action, victims deserve compensation. If you believe that your loved one has been the victim of gross negligence, and he or she lost their life because of it, a top-rated wrongful death lawyer in Atlanta may try to recover punitive damages for you. Call a top Atlanta personal injury lawyer at our law offices today to help you with your wrongful death claim. We’ve been serving Atlanta accident victims and their families for years, and we are ready to help you.

a mother consoling her daughter after a wrongful death in Georgia
Meet Jeb Butler

It’s pretty simple: a lawyer should be good at what he does, care about his clients, and live up to his word. That is how we have built this firm.

I’ve been handling exclusively personal injury and wrongful death cases for over ten years. Before that, I worked as a prosecutor, public defender, federal law clerk, and (briefly) as a civil defense lawyer. In law school I argued on the National Moot Court team, published on the Law Review, and graduated magna cum laude. Doing well in law school opened lots of doors for me but it was not until I started my own law firm handling serious injury cases that I opened the right one.

What I learned before law school has mattered the most. I learned to work hard, for a long time, at jobs that were not glamorous. I shoveled sod, mucked stalls, fed horses and cows, cut grass, and ran a weed-eater. I learned to weld and drive a tractor. I learned about pride in a job well done.

That is what drives me now. I want to win my client’s case, look them at the eye at the end when we deliver the check, and know that my firm has lived up to its word of delivering top-tier legal work and top-tier client service.

Meet Matt Kahn


If you’re on our page looking for a personal injury lawyer, you and your family have likely suffered a serious loss. This page probably isn’t the first law firm website you’ve visited. Let me tell you what we can do for you.
The three most important things you should look for in a lawyer are experience, work ethic, and communication.

  • Experience – I’ve dedicated my career to fighting for people and families who’ve suffered unimaginable losses by focusing solely on personal injury and wrongful death cases. It’s all we do at Butler Kahn.
  • Work Ethic – I fight for my clients around the clock. My day doesn’t end at 5:00 p.m. When I take on a case, that case becomes a significant part of my life. Why shouldn’t it? It’s certainly a significant part of yours.
  • Communication – Each of my clients have my cell phone number. If you want to talk to you lawyer, you should be able to on your time.

You need real lawyers who handle serious cases. That is what Butler Kahn does.