The death of a loved one in the family is one of the most difficult things anyone is likely to experience, especially in the event of carelessness or any other mistake. If the deceased was the sole breadwinner, those left behind often are unable to move through life because of the gap they left. However, the law in Georgia similar to common in other states allows for a process by that the bereaved family member or spouse can receive compensation in the event of their loss.
If you’ve lost someone you love due to the carelessness of someone else, our Jonesboro wrongful death lawyers can help you pursue a wrongful death claim in order to secure the compensation you and your family deserve. While the loss of life can’t be completely compensated, obtaining monetary damages can help you as well as your family get the money you require to live your life.
It is important to note, however, that it isn’t easy to pursue a wrongful-death lawsuit because of the numerous statutes and laws in Georgia. If you are considering filing claims for wrongful death in Jonesboro, it is a good idea to think about contacting Wade Law for the legal counsel and representation you need to pursue a successful claim against the responsible parties.
Our personal injury attorneys have a passion for obtaining justice for those who have been prematurely robbed of their loved ones. We’d love to help you as well! Call us today at 770-282-1188 for a free consultation, without obligation with one of our expert wrongful death attorneys.
What Is Wrongful Death in Georgia?
Georgia law defines “wrongful death” as the death caused by the negligent, reckless, careless, or criminal actions of an individual or entity, or a product or property which was made in a defective manner, regardless of whether negligence was at play. Simply put, wrongful demise refers to the death of someone due to the misconduct or negligence of another entity or person.
- A defective product
- Medical negligence
- A deliberate act (such as a crime)
- Incidents that are caused by negligence (such as car accidents)
In the case of wrongful deaths, the liability of the at-fault party is only expressed in terms “damages” or financial compensation which is imposed by the court to the at-fault to pay the estate of the deceased or his family. This is among the main distinctions between wrongful death cases and criminal homicide instances where convictions can result in jail or prison time or probation, fines, and other penalties.
Who Can Start a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
A wrongful death claim cannot be filed by anyone just because they knew or are related to the deceased. The legal right to file a wrongful death claim is generally restricted by statutes to specific members of the family of the deceased. Georgia’s Wrongful Death Act outlines who are able to file wrongful death claims in the following manner:
- First, the spouse of the deceased;
- If there’s not a spouse, then the children.
- If there’s no children or spouse, then the deceased’s living parent(s) and
- If there’s no spouse, children, or parent(s), then the estate administrator.
What Damages May the Family Be Entitled to in a Wrongful Death Case?
The loved ones or representatives of the deceased’s estate are entitled to two primary kinds of compensation:
- Economic Damages: This covers financial losses that are calculable, such as lost income, lost benefits, medical costs, and funeral costs.
- Non-Economic Damages: These include the intangible pains suffered by bereaved families, including emotional anguish, grief, loss of friendship, loss of training, loss of direction as well as other losses.
There is a chance that you won’t be the sole recipient of the compensation depending on what Georgia’s Wrongful death law stipulates. If there are several beneficiaries, the distribution of the compensation can be a challenge. This is why it’s best to consult a Senoia lawyer who is wrongful-death to assist you.
Is It Possible for the Family of the Deceased to Seek Punitive Damages?
In Georgia, punitive damages are not mentioned in the laws surrounding wrongful death. Because of this, judges in Georgia strictly interpret the law and don’t permit the award of punitive damages in cases that involve wrongful death.
While that may be the case it isn’t the end of the world, there are ways to exploit loopholes. A survival action is one type of lawsuit which permits victims to seek punitive damages. Survival action falls under the common personal injury law. The estate of the deceased can initiate a personal injury claim where a punitive damages claim could be added.
It’s important to understand that this exemption only applies in situations where the deceased lived for at least a short time (even if only minutes) before they passed away. It is not possible to seek punitive damages when the death was immediate. The only recourse is to bring a wrongful death claim.
How Do You Prove Negligence in Wrongful Death Cases in Georgia?
To allow the estate or the family members to receive compensation in Georgia the family must demonstrate that the death of their loved ones was due to carelessness, negligence or malice on the part of the defendant. If you plan to pursue a wrongful death claim, then please note that you’ll have to prove the following:
- Duty: The defendant owed your loved one an obligation of care when the incident occurred, and this means defining the obligations that they have to perform for the decedent.
- Breach of Duty: The defendant has not performed their duty of care for your loved one.
- Causation: The failure to perform the duty in a timely manner resulted in the death of your loved person.
- Damages: The defendant’s actions led to financial and/or physical harm, in this instance the loss of your loved one and the subsequent expenses.
How Do You Begin a Wrongful Death Case in Georgia?
Before filing claims for compensation in Georgia the first step is to determine if you are legally eligible to file a claim for wrongful death. Is your name included in his or her estate plan as the spouse, child, or personal representative?
If you’re one of them, your next step should be to understand how wrongful deaths are handled in Georgia. The first thing to note is that there’s a limitation on when you can start a wrongful death claim in the state of Georgia. That statute of limitations for filing the claim for wrongful death in Georgia is two years.
You can ensure that everything is running smoothly by getting in touch with a Jonesboro wrongful death lawyer at Wade Law. They’ll handle your case the way complex wrongful-death claims can be.
Your lawyer will explain your rights, what you can do to claim it and what you’ll need to do. In addition, they’ll prepare your case, and defend your rights in court to make sure you get the amount you are due.
What Can a Jonesboro Wrongful Death Lawyer Do to Assist You?
Our attorneys are here to help with each step of making a claim for wrongful death in Georgia.
Our lawyers will determine the fault and gather evidence. This makes it easier for you to establish a duty of care as well as breach of duty damages and causality.
Drafting and File a Claim
Your lawyer will collect all the evidence and details needed to create a formal filing. Then, your attorney will present it to the court and officially start the claim. The document your lawyer submits includes important information, such as the at-fault party, provides the evidence in the case and outlines the amount you’re seeking in compensation.
Discovery and Deposition
When the lawsuit is filed in the first instance, you and the at-fault party will be able to discover specifics as well as evidence and facts regarding your claim. The attorney will then conduct an deposition. This is where witnesses are asked to make statements in front of the hearing.
Settlement or Trial
Sometimes, the lawsuits are settled before they can ever proceed to trial. If you and the person at fault can’t agree on the facts The next step is to request that the matter be considered by a jury or judge.
What Is the Difference Between an Estate Claim and an Wrongful Death Claims?
Wrongful death claims in Georgia are civil lawsuits filed by the family of the deceased, seeking punitive damages and compensation for the loss of a loved one. Estate claims are filed by the estate of the deceased to compensate for financial losses.
Get in Touch With Our Jonesboro Wrongful Death Lawyers
Wade Law has wrongful death attorneys who can assist you to defend the life of someone you love. And while no amount of money can ever replace the value of a person’s life, obtaining compensation for the loss you suffered can aid in ensuring that your family and you will have the financial resources you need to live your life.