The Georgia Wrongful Death Guide was created by The Gunnels Law Firm to help those who have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Losing a loved one for any reason is a terrible thing to go through. It can be particularly horrible if you have lost this loved one due to someone else’s carelessness or negligence. When a loved one is fatally injured in an accident that is caused by someone else’s mistakes, you may be able to bring a wrongful death suit against the liable party. We understand that, while this does not cure the pain of losing someone, it helps your family from coming financially ruined. After you learn about your wrongful death cause and how to make your case as successful as possible, please do not hesitate to call our Atlanta wrongful death attorney to set up a free consultation. We will do everything that is necessary to get you the fullest and fairest amount of compensation for your family after this tragic event.
You Have Legal Rights When You Lose a Loved One
When you bring a lawsuit for wrongful death, you need to know that there are many different people or entities who could potentially be responsible for your loved one’s passing. It could be someone individually, a company, or an entity such as a government. If one or more of these people acted in a way that was either careless, negligent, or both, then they can and will be held responsible for the death of your loved one. Legally, there are only certain people who are permitted to bring this wrongful death claim and receive compensation. Typically speaking, it will either be the spouse, the minor child, or the parents of the deceased who are permitted to bring a claim. Rarely are there exceptions to this. The compensation for these claims involve all of the medical expenses that were billed for life-saving treatment, funeral and burial costs, any wages that your loved one would have reasonably made in their lifetime, and lastly you will receive compensation for the loss of companionship.
It is quite difficult to figure out how much compensation should be given for a wrongful death claim because a lot of the damages are considered to be non-economic such as the loss of companionship and in some cases pain and suffering your loved one endured before passing. Many times, there has to be an expert come in to evaluate the case to determine the economic damages. It is a very mathematic process that involved calculating the approximate life expectancy for your loved one had they been unharmed by the accident, multiplied by how much they would have made at their profession in their lifetime to get a dollar amount which you will be compensated. Our Georgia wrongful death attorney will be here to guide you through this process as it is complex and should not be a burden on your shoulders in this time of intense grief.
Types of Georgia Wrongful Death Cases
Wrongful death is defined by the fatal injury of a person in the event of negligence of another individual or entity. That may mean that someone has breached their duty to protect your loved one’s safety or it may mean that individual or entity did something wrong that directly contributed to the loss of your loved one. The most common types of wrongful death cases that we have seen include:
- Auto accidents (including car, trucks, buses, and motorcycles)
- Slip and falls
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Construction accidents
- Terrible dog attack
- Defective products
- Acts of violence
- Negligent security
- Premises liability
All of these kinds of claims would be a reason for you to reach out to a Georgia wrongful death attorney for help with your legal case. You will be bringing this case against the person who was responsible for the death of your loved one and you will either resolve this case through negotiations or you will have it settled in court with the help of your attorney.
Frequently Asked Wrongful Death Questions
How Do I Find the Right Lawyer?
One of the most difficult types of claims that we encounter are wrongful death cases. A wrongful death claim is one that arises when someone has lost their life due to the negligence or carelessness of another. It is exceedingly important to make sure that you find a personal injury attorney that is experienced in handling wrongful death cases. Wrongful death cases involve very specialized knowledge, and you need to make sure that you have someone that knows how to work them through to conclusion. At The Gunnels Law Firm, we have handled many wrongful death cases successfully, and we know what to do in these cases to present them in the best possible light.
It’s also important for you to know that your attorney has knowledge about how the insurance industry works. These types of claims involve insurance money as compensation, and it’s important to know that your attorney can get you through that system as efficiently as possible. I spent many years of my career representing insurance companies and defendants in these wrongful death cases before I decided I was on the wrong side, and that I should be helping people that deserve compensation. I can take that experience that I learned in working for insurance companies and put it to use for my clients in helping them navigate the insurance process. I know what gets their attention, I know what works, and I can put that to work for you.
Finally, it’s important to know that you have an attorney that will take a case all the way through trial, if necessary. Insurance companies know that there are a lot of attorneys who will not take a case to trial. Those attorneys do not get the best offers and the best resolutions for their cases because the insurance companies don’t fear them. Insurance companies know that at The Gunnels Law Firm we will take cases to trial, and that helps us get the best possible resolutions for our clients. We spend much of our time in the courtroom, and we know how to present a case to a jury effectively in order to get the best possible result.
What Mistakes Should I Avoid?
We often have people seek our help to pursue a wrongful death claim and, unknowingly, they’ve already harmed their case before it’s even gotten started. We want to make sure that you don’t fall into this trap and do the same. One thing that we frequently see that can be very detrimental to a wrongful death claim is having the client delay too long and not pursue the case quickly enough. When a wrongful death claim is involved, generally the person who would bring the claim is grieving. That person has lost a significant loved one, and that person is having a lot of other things to deal with and just doesn’t feel the mental energy is there to bring forward a wrongful death claim. They also may have concerns about going through the process because they know that nothing that can be done in the court system that will bring their loved one back.
It’s important to remember that there’s more to a wrongful death case than trying to seek compensation for what has been taken. There is a factor of accountability in making sure this doesn’t happen to other people. When people who have suffered the death of a loved one refuse to pursue these claims, then the responsible party doesn’t get held accountable. It’s up to us to make sure our community is as safe as possible, and when we have these instances we need to make sure that there are consequences to the people involved. If there are no consequences, then actions don’t change.
Another thing we see people frequently do is hire the wrong attorney or not hiring an attorney soon enough, and that will create a very big problem in their case because things are not being done right. It’s an important part of the case to preserve evidence and make sure things are being done in the right order. If you hire an attorney who’s not experienced handling this type of case, it’s your case that’s going to suffer. Immediately hire an experienced wrongful death attorney, an attorney who can take your case all the way through trial, if necessary. Don’t delay and don’t hire the wrong attorney, or you might see this case vanish.
Finally, we often have clients who are not willing to do what’s required to preserve or present their case in the most effective fashion. This is extremely important in wrongful death cases because the way you assign value in a death case is to be able to paint the picture of what the deceased person’s life was like and what they are missing out on in not being able to live out the rest of it. That can only be developed through people who knew the person, not just through the attorney. It’s important to make sure that you interact, to the extent your attorney needs, to be able to paint this picture.
How Much is My Case Worth?
When we have clients come in who have lost a family member and are thinking of pursuing a wrongful death claim, one of the things that they want to know is the value of their claim. Under Georgia Law, the family or estate of a person who was wrongfully deceased is entitled to what is called the full value of the life of that person. It really comes down to what a jury thinks the value of that life is, and cannot be determined early on.
You can’t determine those things until you’ve had an attorney build that case to try to show what the value of that life was. In a lot of ways, it is built on showing how much that person meant to other people in his or her life. That takes a lot of time and effort to work up, to be able to show that evidence to a jury. There’s really not a good way to calculate that, other than building it up and having an experienced attorney.
How Long Will This Case Take?
When we have clients come to see us about wrongful death claims, one of the first things they always ask is how long it will take to resolve their case. The answer to that is it greatly depends on the circumstances. When you have a wrongful death case and the liability of the at-fault party is clear, oftentimes those cases can be resolved relatively quickly. It’s dependent on the amount of insurance coverage that’s available.
For instance, if the at-fault party has $50,000 worth of coverage, the insurance company is not going to be able to give you that $50,000 quick enough. Those cases can resolve much more quickly. If you have a commercial truck that’s caused the death and has commercial insurance policy, generally worth millions of dollars, it’s very important to see those cases through as far as they can go, and those are the ones that the insurance companies will often fight about. It really comes back to the amount of insurance coverage available.
If the parties cannot agree and work out the claim, then a lawsuit has to be filed. Lawsuits for personal injuries in Georgia have a two-year statute of limitations. They have to be filed within two years of the date of the incident. From the time that the lawsuit is filed, a pretty fair estimation of how long it would take would be somewhere around one to three years to get it resolved.
Contact Our Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorney Today
Wrongful death cases have the potential to be completely intricate, it is very imperative to hire a capable attorney to help you. Our Atlanta wrongful death attorney has handled many cases like yours and will be more than glad to take on yours. You deserve to have your case be a priority and we want to ensure that you are being taken care of. If you have lost a loved one in a tragic accident, please do not hesitate to reach out to our attorney to see how we can help you and your family recover the compensation that is right and fair. You should be allowed time to grieve without having to concern yourself with the events of a wrongful death case, so please allow us to use our time to help you succeed in this pursuit for compensation.