​​Wrongful Death Attorney in Lawrenceville

Lady crying at the wake of her late husband.

If you lost a family member to a wrongful death, we at Butler Kahn extend our most sincere condolences. No matter the circumstances, losing a loved one can be devastating for surviving family and friends. When caused by someone’s carelessness or wrongdoing, it can be even more heart-wrenching.

One of the Best Wrongful Death Lawyers in Lawrenceville

Our legal team is here to make sure you do not face the legal aftermath of your loss alone. Our wrongful death attorneys understand that no amount of money can truly compensate for the loss of someone we love. That said, we are also dedicated to helping families throughout Georgia hold at-fault parties legally accountable for the wrongful death of their loved ones. There is no charge to speak to us about your case. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a knowledgeable and compassionate wrongful death attorney near you. We are here to help.

What Is a Wrongful Death Under Georgia Law?

In Georgia, wrongful death is defined by statute as any homicide that “results from a crime, from criminal or other negligence, or from the property which has been defectively manufactured, whether or not as the result of negligence.” In other words, a lawsuit seeking compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one may be based on many legal theories, including negligencemedical malpracticeproduct liability, or intentional wrongdoing. The appropriate theory for your case will vary depending on the circumstances.

How Is Liability Established in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

As in all civil cases, plaintiffs in wrongful death lawsuits must prove their claim by a preponderance of the evidence, which simply means showing that it is more likely than not that the defendant was responsible for the decedent’s death. The specific elements that need to be proven will vary depending on the legal theory underpinning the case. Though not always, most wrongful death cases rely heavily on a negligence theory of liability. No matter what theory your case rests on, you will need evidence to substantiate it.

At Butler Kahn, our Lawrenceville wrongful death lawyers are ready to conduct a thorough, independent investigation into the circumstances of your case and gather the necessary evidence to build the strongest claim possible. Though relevant evidence will vary widely depending on the facts, it may include things like:

  • Police accident reports
  • Medical records documenting the fatal injury
  • Death certificates and autopsies
  • Statements from witnesses to the fatal incident
  • Photographs and videos of the scene

To learn more about Georgia wrongful death lawsuits in a video presentation by Butler Kahn, follow this link.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Lawrenceville?

Most states set strict limits on who can file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for the death of a family member. Georgia is no exception. In order of priority, only the following individuals may seek compensation through a wrongful death claim when their loved one is killed:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Surviving children
  • Surviving parents

When no one on this list is available to bring a wrongful death lawsuit, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate may do so instead. If appointed by a will, this individual is also known as an “executor.” When appointed by a court because the decedent did not leave instructions in a will, they are known as an “administrator.”

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How Is a Wrongful Death Action Different from a Survival Action?

It is important to note the difference between a wrongful death action and a survival action. Where a wrongful death action compensates surviving family members when they lose a loved one due to someone else’s actions, a survival action is brought directly on behalf of the decedent’s estate. In other words, a survival action is so named because it is not destroyed by the decedent’s passing. Instead, the right to compensation “survives” in the decedent’s estate. Through a survival action, the estate may be compensated for things like monetary losses associated with the decedent’s death (e.g., funeral and burial expenses), as well as the decedent’s pain and suffering prior to death. To learn more about survival actions in Georgia, follow this link.

What Compensation Is Available Through a Georgia Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Of course, no amount of money will truly make up for a wrongful death. However, in the interest of justice and accountability, the law allows surviving loved ones to seek monetary compensation for “the full value of the life of the decedent.” Importantly, wrongful death damages are measured from the decedent’s point of view. Brock v. Wedincamp, 253 Ga. App. 275, 281-82 (2002). Because of the subjective nature of inquiring into the monetary value of a human life, it is difficult to forecast the precise amount a jury may award. As one Georgia court explained, the final number is left to the “enlightened conscience” of the jury. Chrysler Group, LLC v. Walden, 339 Ga. App. 733, 750 (2016). That said, the amount should reflect both the economic and noneconomic aspects of the loss. Though difficult to give a specific number, wrongful death cases are taken very seriously in Georgia, and the amount of compensation available to surviving family members should not be underestimated. For example, in one case handled by our firm, Chrysler was ordered to pay $150 million to the family of a 4-year-old boy killed in a product liability case involving a defective fuel tank. To learn more about the distribution of damages in Georgia wrongful death cases, follow this link for a video presentation by Butler Kahn.

Is There a Time Limit for Filing a Lawrenceville Wrongful Death Claim?

Yes. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims gives you two years from the date of death to file a lawsuit. Though certain limited exceptions may apply, the deadline is strictly enforced by courts. In nearly all cases, the presiding judge will be forced to dismiss claims filed after the deadline passes. This will have the additional effect of destroying your leverage when negotiating a settlement out of court with the at-fault party. In other words, it is essential that you do not miss the filing deadline. To learn more about Georgia statutes of limitations in a video presentation by Butler Kahn, follow this link.

Consult With a Lawrenceville Wrongful Death Lawyer Today

If you are here because you lost someone you love in a preventable accident, we are very sorry for your loss. Although no financial compensation could make up for the harm you have suffered, we hope it can relieve some of your burdens. We hope the information on this page has been helpful. Call us or contact one of our wrongful death attorneys online if you would like to talk with us about your situation. There is no charge to speak with us about your case.

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245 W. Crogan Street Lawrenceville, GA 30046

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$150 Million Landmark Wrongful Death Verdict

Butler Kahn secured a $150 million jury verdict against Chrysler for the family of a 4-year-old boy who was killed in a devastating crash in Georgia. Our firm held the giant automaker accountable for Remington Walden’s death and for failing to warn the public about dangers associated with its Jeep Grand Cherokee. Learn More

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