When a loved one dies because of the negligent or reckless actions of another party, that loss can be overwhelming. According to federal statistics, the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. is death from accidental injuries. In these tragic situations, the victim’s family may choose to pursue a wrongful death claim against the liable party for financial compensation for the losses the victim’s death has caused. A Georgia wrongful death lawyer can assist in this process.
Some of the losses the family can be compensation include any medical expenses that incurred in trying to save the victim’s life after the accident, funeral and burial expenses, loss of the victim’s income and benefits, as well as loss of what their future income would have been. Families can also pursue financial compensation for loss of services the victim provided. For example, if the victim was a stay-at-home parent to take care of young children, this is a service that their surviving spouse will now have to pay someone to do. Families can also be compensated for loss of love, guidance, and emotional support the victim provided.
Under Georgia law, the survivors of victims who die as a result of another party’s actions can file a wrongful death claim against that party if those actions regardless of whether those actions were intentional or not. Some of the more common causes of accidental wrongful death include the following:
– Car accidents
– Motorcycle accidents
– Truck accidents
– Pedestrian accidents
– Premises liability
– Product liability
– Medical malpractice
Even if there have been criminal charges filed against the person who caused the accident which killed the victim, a wrongful death lawsuit is handled separately from those charges and is filed in civil court. Under the law, only certain family members or representative of the victim’s estate are allowed to file a wrongful death claim and that claim must be filed before the statute of limitation expires. This is why it is critical to contact a Georgia wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible.
A Georgia wrongful death lawyer can evaluate a family’s case to determine what legal options they may have. In order to be successful, there are three elements that an attorney must prove:
- The at-fault party owed a duty of care to the victim. For example, all drivers owe a duty of care to operate a vehicle safely and obey all rules of the road. In a drunk driving accident, the driver failed to obey that duty when they chose to drink and drive.
- The at-fault party breached that duty of care that they owed the victim. In a drunk driving accident, the driver breaks the law by driving drunk.
- The at-fault party’s action caused the death of the victim.
Contact a Georgia Wrongful Death Lawyer
At Butler Law, our wrongful death attorneys have successfully represented many families who have lost their loved ones because of someone else’s actions. If you have lost a loved one and would like to meet with one of our attorneys to find out how we can help, contact our firm today. We offer free and confidential consultations.
According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 18 million American adults chose to cohabitate in 2016. Although cohabitating is a healthy choice for many couples, it can complicate certain legal matters. For example, when one partner dies, it may be more difficult for an unmarried partner to file a wrongful death claim when his or her romantic partner passes away due to an accident. In such cases, it is important for the surviving partner to seek legal counsel. A wrongful death lawyer at Georgia law firm Butle Law may be able to help surviving partners recover damages associated with the loss of their loved ones.
As marriage rates have fallen, an increasing number of couples have opted to live together outside the formalized process of marriage. As the structure of the American family has evolved, so has the law. Increasingly, the law recognizes that partners deserve certain rights and protections, even when they have not opted to obtain legal marital status. However, the law generally evolves at a slower rate than societal change. As society’s approach plows onward, the law tends to play a continual game of “catch up.” As a result, partners now receive some legal recognition but are not empowered with as many relationship-related rights as married individuals are.
It is significantly more difficult for unmarried individuals to file wrongful death claims on behalf of their partners than it is for widows and widowers to file these same kinds of claims. Each state’s requirements are different, so it is important to understand that there are no general “hard and fast rules” in this area of law. Contacting a wrongful death lawyer in Georgia may be helpful if you live in Georgia or your partner died in an accident here. It is important to remember that the law is continuing to evolve. But currently, most of the time only legally-recognized immediate family members may file wrongful death suits.
The notable exception to this general rule is that registered domestic partners are generally able to file wrongful death claims with the same relative ease that married individuals are. The formal process of registering as a domestic partner has become less popular in the years since single-sex marriage became available nationwide. It is also a process primarily embraced by older Americans who do not wish to become formally married again after divorce or the death of a former spouse. As a result, many younger individuals are left wondering about their legal options when a beloved partner has suffered a preventable death as a result of another’s negligence, recklessness or intentional behavior. Contacting a Georgia wrongful death lawyer with your questions can help to clarify your legal options.
It is worth noting that even when partners are not permitted to file wrongful death claims that the estate of the deceased may be able to do so. This is a viable option for unmarried individuals to explore in the wake of a preventable loss.
Legal Assistance Is Available
If you have questions about wrongful death claims, please do not hesitate to reach out to a wrongful death lawyer Georgia clients recommend from Butler Law. This area of law continues to evolve, so it is generally a good idea to consult with an experienced lawyer before determining that filing a claim is or is not a viable option in your case. Once an attorney becomes familiar with the details of your partner’s death, he or she will be able to advise you of any legal options that may be available to you.
Wrongful death matters are not always what they seem. As a result, please strongly consider seeking legal guidance from a Georgia wrongful death lawyer. Speaking with an attorney does not commit you to filing a claim. All a consultation will do is better ensure that your decisions are informed moving forward.