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Do I Need an Attorney to Pursue a Wrongful Death Case in Georgia?

Sad female client consulting wrongful death attorney on the loss of her late husband.

Sad female client consulting wrongful death attorney on the loss of her late husband.While you are not required to have a lawyer helping you with your wrongful death case, it can be much more difficult to secure justice and fair compensation for your loss without one. A lawyer can cut through the red tape, negotiate with insurers on your behalf, and provide useful advice during a trying time.

If you have lost someone close to you due to someone else’s wrongful actions, you deserve support from a knowledgeable legal professional. Many wrongful death claims are contentious and costly. And demanding meaningful compensation is a difficult task to undertake without considerable legal experience and resources.

Instead of pursuing your claim on your own, turn to the Georgia wrongful death attorneys at Butler Kahn. We are here to handle all the time-consuming and confusing details of your case while you take the time you need to grieve properly. Contact us today for a free case review to learn how our family can support yours.

What Constitutes a Wrongful Death?

According to Georgia law, a wrongful death is caused by another party’s negligent, reckless, intentional, or criminal actions. Examples can include deaths stemming from preventable:

  • Traffic accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Product defects
  • Workplace accidents
  • Criminal violence
  • Elder abuse or neglect

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?

Georgia law specifies who is eligible to file wrongful death lawsuits in the state. The only surviving family who can file a wrongful death claim in Georgia are the victim’s spouse, children, or parents.

Priority goes to the victim’s surviving spouse. Surviving children can file claims themselves if there is no surviving spouse. Without a surviving spouse or children, the victim’s parents may have a wrongful death claim.

What If the Person Who Died Does Not Have a Surviving Spouse, Children, or Parents?

When the victim doesn’t leave behind a surviving spouse, children, or parents, the authority to file a wrongful death claim passes to the personal representative of the victim’s estate. Any compensation recovered goes to the next of kin, as stipulated by Georgia law.

How Can an Attorney Help in a Wrongful Death Case?

A compassionate attorney is a valuable ally in any wrongful death case. Their extensive knowledge and experience enable them to provide critical assistance at every stage of the legal process, including:

Investigation and Evidence Gathering

To build a compelling case, you need substantial evidence. An attorney can conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances of your loved one’s death, including by:

  • Collecting necessary documents
  • Speaking with witnesses
  • Engaging expert witnesses
  • Gathering other relevant evidence
  • Taking legal action to preserve evidence

Identifying Liable Parties

Determining fault in a wrongful death case can be complex, especially if the case involves multiple parties. An attorney can review the details of your case and identify potentially liable parties.

Calculating Fair Compensation

Calculating a fair value for a wrongful death claim involves more than adding up medical bills and lost wages. It also includes determining the monetary value of personal losses, such as loss of companionship or household income. An attorney’s skills and legal knowledge are crucial in accurately calculating these values and seeking an amount that truly reflects your loss.

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

Insurance providers and other liable parties often aim to minimize payouts in wrongful death claims. An attorney can negotiate with other parties and their insurance companies on your behalf, advocating for a settlement that adequately addresses your losses.

Filing Necessary Legal Paperwork

Wrongful death lawsuits involve complicated legal documents and strict filing deadlines. An attorney can handle all the case paperwork on your behalf and ensure all relevant documents are correctly prepared and filed on time.

Handling Litigation

If you cannot reach a fair settlement with the other party out of court, your attorney could take your case to trial. If you go this route, they can present compelling arguments for your case, refute the opposition’s arguments, and strive to secure a favorable outcome.

Offering Support and Guidance

Losing a loved one is devastating, and the idea of dealing with a lawsuit while you’re still mourning can be overwhelming. Your attorney can take the pressure off you and shoulder all your legal burdens, allowing you to focus on healing and honoring your loved one.

The legal system can be complicated and daunting. But with a dedicated attorney on your side, you can move through it with confidence.

What Damages Are Recovered in a Wrongful Death Case?

In Georgia, you can seek financial compensation for the following types of losses in a wrongful death case:

  • Final medical expenses
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of companionship
  • Emotional suffering
  • Lost wages and benefits

Does Georgia Have a Statute of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim?

Georgia’s statute of limitations on wrongful death claims gives you two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file. However, certain circumstances could extend or shorten this period.

Missing a deadline could mean losing your right to sue, so timely action is essential. A knowledgeable attorney can help you identify important filing deadlines for your situation and keep your case on track from day one.

Contact a Georgia Wrongful Death Lawyer

The loss of a loved one is never easy. However, it is particularly challenging when the loss is a consequence of someone else’s bad behavior.

If you are reading this page because you lost a loved one due to a wrongful death, we offer our sympathies. We hope the information on this page has been helpful. If you want to talk with us about your situation, call or contact us online. There is no charge to discuss your case with us.

Picture of Matt Kahn
Matt Kahn is an Atlanta personal injury lawyer and a partner at the law firm Butler Kahn. Matt has dedicated his career to fighting for individuals and families who had been harmed by the negligence of others. At Butler Kahn, he has had the honor of helping families who have lost children in motor vehicle accidents and people who were critically injured. He helped a family secure a $45 million settlement to provide lifetime care for their son, who was critically injured in a motorcycle accident. Matt is a graduate of Emory University School of Law and has been recognized as a Super Lawyers’ Rising Star and by Best Lawyers as One to Watch. He has received an Avvo 10.0 Top Attorney rating. Connect with me on LinkedIn
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