If your loved one died because of another party’s negligence or intentional act, you may be able to take legal action for wrongful death. A claim or lawsuit for wrongful death must meet the criteria to hold a defendant liable for the deceased’s death.
Criteria That Constitute a Wrongful Death Case
For example, let’s say your loved one died in a car accident when another driver ran a red light and struck her vehicle. There are four steps to evaluating whether the law will hold the other driver responsible for her death.
- Duty of care. The defendant had a duty to drive his vehicle in a safe manner and obey all traffic laws.
- Breach of duty of care. The defendant breached his duty of care by running a red light, which violated traffic laws and put other drivers at risk of harm. Breach of duty is negligence.
- Causation. The defendant’s negligence must have caused the fatal injury. If your loved one died from injuries sustained in the accident caused by the defendant running the red light, it establishes a connection between the defendant’s negligence and your loved one’s death.
- Damages. The beneficiaries of the wrongful death lawsuit must have suffered damages, such as funeral costs, medical bills, and loss of financial support or services of the decedent.
After we establish that the defendant is liable for the death of your loved one, we can evaluate who can file a wrongful death lawsuit and what damages they can seek.
Types of Accidents That Constitute a Wrongful Death Case
Any accident caused by a negligent party that leads to the death of another person may qualify for a wrongful death case. Here are some common types of accidents that may constitute a wrongful death case if the victim passes away:
- Car Accidents
- Medical Malpractice
- Truck Accidents
- Accidents on Another Party’s Property
- Dog Bites and Animal Attacks
An attorney at the Law Offices of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. can evaluate your case and help you take action against the party responsible for your loved one’s death. Call us at 404-474-0804.
Getting Compensation for Damages in a Wrongful Death Action
Full Value of the Life
Georgia law allows the deceased person’s loved ones to seek damages for the full value of the decedent’s life, to recover what they lost with the passing of the decedent.
The “full value of the life” means both the economic losses like the income he would have earned with a typical life expectancy and non-economic losses, like the loss of companionship. Georgia does not reduce potential future income by the living expenses the decedent would have incurred.
Recoverable Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
- Medical bills
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost lifetime earning potential
- Loss of love and affection
- Loss of parental guidance
The personal representative of the estate can pursue these damages because the personal representative’s job is to manage the decedent’s assets, including restoring to the estate assets that would be part of the estate but for the wrongful actions of the defendant.
Loved ones (e.g., spouse and children of the deceased) are beneficiaries of the estate, and, generally, ultimately will receive the compensation recovered in the wrongful death action.
Talk to a lawyer at our firm about the value of a wrongful death settlement for your case.
How to Get Help with a Wrongful Death Claim
If your loved one died in an accident, the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C., can help you take legal action against the liable party or parties. Our team can help you prove liability and establish the value of your wrongful death case.
There is no charge for the consultation, and there is no obligation. We do not charge attorney fees until you recover compensation. Please call us today at 404-474-0804 for your free consultation.