A wrongful death lawyer can help the surviving loved ones or the estate of the deceased person bring a lawsuit against the party responsible for the death of a spouse, child, or parent if the death was from someone else’s negligence or intentional act. The attorney can evaluate the facts, determine who is liable, collect the evidence, and litigate the case.
Identify Who Can File a Wrongful Death Case
The decedent’s estate, through the personal representative, can file a lawsuit for wrongful death in Georgia. The surviving spouse of a deceased adult can bring legal action. Any child of the adult decedent can sue for wrongful death if there is no surviving spouse.
When a child dies, the child’s surviving spouse or child has the first priority for filing a lawsuit for wrongful death. If the deceased child left behind no spouse or children, the decedent’s parents can bring the case. In the event of no such survivors, a personal representative or the executor or administrator of the estate can file the lawsuit.
You do not have to figure out these legal issues. We can talk with you and let you know who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in your situation.
Gather the Evidence to Prove Your Case
Your wrongful death lawyer will collect the accident report, medical records, and any other relevant information to build your case. We can also talk with witnesses and hire experts, if appropriate.
File and Handle the Lawsuit
Filing lawsuits can be tricky, and with so much at stake in a wrongful death case, you might want to have a professional on board. Your wrongful death lawyer can prepare the documents, arrange for service on the defendants, file the initial pleadings with the court, and handle the lawsuit.
What We Have to Prove in a Wrongful Death Case
We have to prove all four of these elements to hold someone responsible for the wrongful death of your loved one:
Duty of care. The defendant must have had a legal duty toward the decedent. Let’s say that the defendant was driving while intoxicated when he hit and killed a pedestrian. All drivers have a duty to follow the laws when operating motor vehicles, including being sober and cautious.
Breach of duty of care. When a person fails to satisfy the duty of care, it is negligence. Driving drunk is negligence.
Causation. The negligence must be what caused the death of the decedent. Driving while above the legal limit for blood alcohol caused the defendant to crash into the pedestrian, killing him, so this fact pattern meets the causation element.
Measurable damages. Loss of the financial support or services of the decedent are examples of measurable damages that the beneficiaries of the wrongful death lawsuit can experience. If the deceased pedestrian was the mother of a young child, that child has lost the support and services of her mother.
A wrongful death attorney will investigate the case and gather the evidence to show that the claim satisfies all four required elements of liability.
Identify & Pursue Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
Personal representative. The personal representative of the decedent can request an award of damages that includes the expenses, like medical bills for the fatal injury and the funeral and burial costs.
The personal representative stands in the shoes of the deceased person and can seek the financial losses of the death, as well as any other claims the decedent would have if he had survived the injury.
Surviving loved ones. The surviving loved ones can seek damages for the “full value of the life” of the decedent, which can include economic losses, like the total income he would have earned during his lifetime. Georgia law does not reduce the income by the living expenses the deceased person would have incurred. The survivors can also seek compensation for the loss of companionship and other non-economic losses.
How to Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer
Sometimes a family suspects that someone else’s carelessness or intentional act robbed them of their loved one. In these tragic situations, you can talk with a lawyer who will treat you and your family with respect and dignity.
We will not charge to talk with you and let you know if you might be eligible for compensation. Please call us today at 404-474-0804, so that we can arrange your free consultation. There is no obligation.