Believing that someone caused your loved one’s wrongful death is one thing. But the court requires facts and supporting documentation before they consider awarding compensation. A Georgia wrongful death lawyer can work diligently to secure evidence of the at-fault party’s negligence and build a strong case against them.
Nothing can undo the pain caused by the loss of a loved one. But pursuing a wrongful death claim in Georgia can help bring a sense of justice and closure to grieving families when someone else’s wrongdoing caused it.
If you have lost a loved one due to someone’s negligence or misdeeds, please accept our deepest condolences. Butler Kahn is here to help you, so contact us for a free consultation.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is a legal action that seeks to hold liable parties accountable for causing someone’s death due to negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct. Certain surviving family members or estate representatives may file a wrongful death claim to seek financial compensation.
How Our Lawyers Help Families Pursue Wrongful Death Cases
A wrongful death lawyer with Butler Kahn can help you understand your legal rights and pursue compensation for your emotional and economic losses. We want you to have the space and time to mourn and remember your loved one while we take care of the legal tasks necessary to seek the compensation you’re owed. We will:
- Investigate the causes of the death to determine whether the responsible party acted negligently
- Gather evidence to show how the death occurred and who was at fault
- File insurance claims against the at-fault parties to pursue the compensation you’re due
- Calculate a monetary value for your losses
- Negotiate with the at-fault party or their insurer for full compensation
- File a lawsuit if a settlement can’t be reached
- Prepare a strong case on your behalf
- Represent you in court to demand justice and compensation
What Are Some Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Georgia?
Wrongful death claims cover a broad range of circumstances, including negligence, recklessness, and intentional harm. Some common causes of wrongful death in Georgia include:
- Car, truck, motorcycle, and pedestrian accidents – Reckless driving, speeding, drunk driving, not following traffic laws, distracted driving, defective vehicle parts, or poor road conditions can all result in deadly accidents.
- Medical malpractice – Errors during surgery or anesthesia administration, misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, and medication errors or prescription mistakes can be fatal.
- Premises accidents – Wrongful deaths can result from slip and fall accidents caused by hazardous conditions, inadequate security leading to assaults or violent incidents, building code violations, and negligent maintenance.
- Nursing home and elder abuse – Neglect, abuse by caregivers, and failure to provide proper medical care or supervision can cause the death of vulnerable people.
- Assault and other violent acts – Homicides, including those caused by domestic violence, assaults, arson, and public shootings, can be considered wrongful death.
Who Can File a Georgia Wrongful Death Claim?
Georgia has a hierarchy system for filing a wrongful death claim based on the relationship to the victim. The following individuals may file a wrongful death claim:
- Surviving spouse
- If there is no surviving spouse, the victim’s children
- If there are no children, the victim’s parents
- Administrator or executor of the estate, in the absence of a surviving spouse, children, or parents
What Damages Can Be Awarded in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Georgia allows family members who file a wrongful death lawsuit to pursue damages for the “full value of life.” Damages compensate those the victim left behind by assigning a monetary worth to the shortened life of a loved one in terms of economic and non-economic value. This compensation may include:
- Economic value – The economic aspect of these damages focuses on the victim’s earning potential. It considers the victim’s salary, benefits, pension, remaining working years, potential career arc, and other relevant factors.
- Non-economic value – Regardless of whether the victim was 5 or 50 years old at the time of their passing, their family lost the opportunity to create happy and meaningful memories with them. These damages focus on the emotional loss of companionship, care, and guidance.
- Related expenses – These damages help cover the costs directly associated with medical care, funeral, and burial expenses.
- Punitive damages – Punitive damages punish the defendant for malicious or egregious behavior. However, these are the least common form of damages awarded in a wrongful death suit.
How Would the Damage Settlements Be Paid Out?
Depending on the circumstances, there are a few ways to pay damages from a settlement or verdict in a wrongful death lawsuit. The funds may be:
- Distributed directly to the surviving family members, with the surviving spouse receiving at least one-third
- Dispersed according to the victim’s will or through the probate process
Large settlements or judgments might be distributed through an annuity, ensuring income throughout a family member’s lifetime. The funds can pay outstanding medical bills, funeral expenses, and other debts.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
In Georgia, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is generally two years from the date of the person’s death. Failing to file within this timeframe may result in losing your right to seek legal recourse. Collecting evidence and documentation for a wrongful death lawsuit takes time, so family members should not delay seeking legal assistance.
Talk to Our Georgia Wrongful Death Lawyers When You’re Ready to Learn More
At Butler Kahn, we know that the days and weeks following a loved one’s unexpected death are challenging. Our wrongful death lawyers combine knowledge of state law with compassion for you and your family. You could have the legal right to pursue compensation for the economic and non-economic losses resulting from someone’s actions. When you’re ready to learn more, please contact Butler Kahn for a free consultation.