Death is something we all dread but is also a part of our lives’ journey. However, losing a loved one due to another’s negligence, reckless, or indifferent actions is unacceptable. The sudden demise of your family member can leave you facing financial and emotional turmoil. The law grants you the right to sue those responsible and seek compensation for your loved one’s death.
At Hartley, Rowe & Fowler, we’ve seen families go through difficult days after losing a loved one, especially when it was their primary breadwinner. Fortunately, our attorneys are highly accomplished and experienced in dealing with wrongful death cases. That is why we are who to consider if you are looking for a dedicated and reputable Carrollton wrongful death lawyer. We know that money will not fill the gap your late family member left, but we are confident that will help you feel hopeful about the future.
Our quest is to ensure justice is served, that those liable for the wrongful death are held accountable, and you are compensated for your pain and loss. Call our Carrollton personal injury lawyers today at 678-825-6004 to speak to a wrongful death attorney and schedule a free case review.
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How Is Wrongful Death Defined in the State of Georgia?
Georgia state laws define a wrongful death as an act caused by another’s criminal, negligent, reckless, or intentional actions. The lawyer handling your case will file the claim based on evidence that shows the circumstances leading up to your loved one’s death were suspect. The matter will be dealt with on similar grounds surrounding a personal injury claim, but the victim in question has succumbed to injuries and died.
Some of the cases where you can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia include:
- Murder and other criminal acts that result in death
- DUI accidents
- Pedestrian accident
- Medical malpractice (surgical errors, misdiagnosis, wrong prescription, medical neglect)
- Nursing home neglect or abuse
- Food poisoning
- Faulty construction and engineering malpractice
- Use of defective products that cause death
Who Is Qualified to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
Georgia state law stipulates that you must be related to the departed for you to qualify to file a wrongful death lawsuit. A spouse, parent, or child of the deceased can file a claim. A designated personal representative of the decedent’s estate also qualifies. A close friend or another relative who isn’t named as the deceased’s personal representative may not file a wrongful death suit.
The court will expect the estate representative to transfer recovered damages to the deceased’s next of kin or recognized beneficiaries. They must adhere to the directions as indicated in the deceased’s will. We can also be on hand to offer legal counsel, professional advice, and guidance regarding the disbursement of the entirety of the estate.
What Types of Damages Are Recoverable?
Those seeking compensation for their loved one’s wrongful death can recover damages amounting to the decedent’s total value of life without deducting possible personal expenses had they survived. It means that the claimant can receive compensation for economic and non-economic damages, which includes:
- Medical expenses incurred when trying to save your departed’ family member
- Lost benefits the deceased’s heirs could have received
- Lost financial support associated with the departed’s early death
- Lost protection
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost training and guidance
- Loss of affection and intimate relations
- Loss of companionship, comfort, and moral support
Our Carrollton wrongful death lawyers will take you through the different recoverable damages and ensure that all beneficiaries get what they are entitled to. We also will help iron out things if your departed family member had no will or estate plan with listed beneficiaries. If you were a spouse and had children, then the law stipulates that you are entitled to a third of the proceeds, and the rest will be shared equally among the children.
Can the Surviving Family File for Punitive Damages?
Yes and no. While punitive damages are recoverable in cases involving extreme or egregious behavior or willful negligence to punish the responsible party, these damages cannot be recovered through a typical wrongful death claim.
Punitive damages can only be recovered through an estate claim. An estate claim is filed by the decedent’s estate executor or administrator on behalf of the decedent’s next of kin.
Please contact our Carrollton wrongful death attorneys to learn more about the difference between a wrongful death claim and an estate claim. Georgia’s wrongful death laws can be quite complex, and recovering maximum compensation requires a thorough understanding of the nuances of Georgia’s wrongful death laws.
How Is Negligence Proved in a Wrongful Death Case?
Winning a wrongful death compensation case is highly dependent on proving liability, and this means show before the court the accused’s action constituted acts of negligence. Proving this demands that your Carrollton wrongful death lawyer focuses on giving evidence that supports the following:
- Duty: The liable party owed the decedent a duty of care.
- Breach: The accused breached the said duty of care.
- Causation: The liable party’s actions were the direct reason your loved one died.
- Damage: You suffered damages, in this case, the loss of your loved one and the resulting expenses.
How Do You Start a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
Consider an experienced professional law expert’s advice and guidance if you want to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Carrollton, Georgia. It is best to work with a team with the expertise and resources needed to ensure you get reliable legal counsel and commit to ensuring justice is served for your departed loved one.
At Hartley Rowe & Fowler, we will listen to your claims, review the case to determine it is worth pursuing, and advise you on what to expect and the best way forward. We will help you set up an estate plan or a will if the departed had not done so, or we can help you pick someone that can act as a designated estate representative. We will file the compensation case as soon as possible, doing what we can to expedite the process to avoid unnecessary delays.
What Is the Difference Between a Wrongful Death Claim and an Estate Claim?
When it comes to wrongful death claims, Georgia state laws allow you to simultaneously pursue a wrongful death and estate claim. Your lawyer will help you file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for the decedent’s “full value of life,” which means pursuing monetary compensation for lost wages, lost intangible benefits like care, love, compensation, training, and life guidance.
Conversely, filing an estate claim will focus on recovering all expenses incurred before and immediately after your loved one’s demise. The objective is to recover damages related to the deceased’s medical bills, funeral/burial expenses, and lost salary.
Hire a Seasoned Carrollton Wrongful Death Lawyer
At Hartley, Rowe & Fowler, we have seen families go through difficult days after losing their primary source of income. Fortunately, we have highly accomplished law professionals that have experience in dealing with wrongful death cases. That is why we are who to consider if you are looking for a dedicated and reputable wrongful death attorney in Carrollton, Georgia.
We know that money will not fill the gap your late family member left, but we are confident that will help you feel hopeful about the future. Our quest is to ensure justice is served, that those liable for the wrongful death are held accountable, and you are compensated for your pain and loss. Call us today at 678-825-6004 to schedule a free case review.