The pain of losing a loved one can feel unbearable. But those feelings can be compounded knowing that someone else’s carelessness, reckless behavior, or negligence was the cause of your loved one’s wrongful death.
At DuBose Miller, our Atlanta wrongful death attorneys believe that your time is better spent trying to cope with this devastating tragedy and staying close to your family and loved ones. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that whatever party was responsible for your loss should be held fully accountable.
Our law firm has tremendous sympathy for anyone in this terrible situation. In addition to our compassion and support, we vow to put our experience and resources to work on behalf of clients who have suffered overwhelming losses. Our wrongful death lawyers can pursue the responsible parties for damages to help cover the financial hardships you now must face. Call our Atlanta office today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
Challenges for Surviving Family Members
Grieving the loss of a loved one is challenging under the best of circumstances. But it can be even more difficult when you know that their death was preventable. If another party’s negligent or reckless behavior contributed to your loved one’s injuries and resulting death, you may be able to pursue damages through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Wrongful death can happen due to any number of situations, including:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Dangerous products
- Premises liability
- Criminal acts
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
- Exposure to hazardous substances or conditions
- Police and jail misconduct
How Wrongful Death Claims in Georgia Work
Georgia Code Title 51, Chapter 4 defines wrongful death as death the negligent, reckless, intentional, or criminal acts of one person or entity cause. Certain family members can pursue a wrongful death claim, which are cases meant to protect those who had financial or emotional dependence on the person whose life was taken through no fault of their own.
A wrongful death case in Georgia consists of two claims:
Survivors’ Wrongful Death Claim
Surviving family members who are eligible can seek compensation after a wrongful death. These include the deceased’s:
- Children, if there is no surviving spouse
- Parents, if there is no surviving spouse or children
In cases where children are minors, the deceased’s spouse will represent the minor’s interests. The spouse shall receive at least one-third of any total award, but compensation should otherwise be split among the survivors. Further, damages awarded to minors should be held for them by a parent or guardian until they reach the age of 18.
In a survivor’s wrongful death claim, the plaintiffs can seek damages to compensate them for “the full value of the life of the decedent.” Under the law, this refers to collecting restitution from the responsible parties for:
- Lost wages and benefits, including the full lifetime earning capacity of the deceased, had they lived
- Loss of companionship and care, as well as any other intangible benefits the deceased provided
Estate’s Wrongful Death Claim
The second type of wrongful death claim in Georgia is brought by the estate to seek compensation for any bills related to the accident and death. This includes compensation for:
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Medical expenses incurred before the person’s death
- Pain and suffering experienced by the victim between the time of the accident and their death
In this claim, the survivor serves as the deceased person’s representative to pursue full and fair compensation for these damages. If there are no eligible survivors, the administrator or executor of the estate can pursue a claim.
Comparative Negligence and Wrongful Death Claims
Parties accused of causing wrongful death will often do anything necessary to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. Georgia is a comparative negligence state, meaning the finding that your loved one was partially at fault in the accident could impact your case or the number of damages you can recover.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, the defendant might try to shift the blame to the deceased. If they can convince a court that your loved one was more than 50% to blame for the accident, you won’t be able to recover anything. If the percentage of fault is less than half, the recovery would be reduced accordingly.
Listening to various attacks on your loved one’s integrity might add another layer of paint to your loss. An experienced wrongful death attorney can handle these counterattacks with ease and fight for the best possible outcome for you and your family.
How Our Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help
A wrongful death case is not something you can or should have to handle on your own. When you accuse another party of causing the death of your loved one, you can’t expect equitable treatment or a fair settlement. You have been through enough already, and our firm is committed to taking some of those worries off your plate.
When you choose DuBose Miller, our Atlanta wrongful death attorneys are dedicated to handling your case with an equal mix of compassion and ferocity. You get the compassion, and the responsible party and their insurance company will quickly learn that we don’t back down from a fight.
We will manage all aspects of your case, working hard to secure the justice your family truly deserves. We will focus our efforts on:
- Filing all necessary paperwork on your behalf with insurance companies and other organizations
- Investigating the accident, collecting evidence, determining fault, and hiring any necessary experts
- Fighting for the maximum compensation you need and deserve.
Our law firm handles wrongful death cases on contingency, meaning you don’t pay us any fees upfront. We only get paid when we win your case through the legal process.
Contact Our Experienced Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorneys
If you have lost a loved one due to another party’s negligence, carelessness, or criminal behavior, you have the right to pursue maximum damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. The experienced wrongful death attorneys at DuBose Miller will thoroughly investigate your case and aggressively advocate for your interests inside and outside the courtroom.
Accident investigations can be time-consuming, and evidence can disappear quickly. Georgia’s statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is just two years, so we recommend that clients act quickly, even if they are still in the grieving process. Please contact our Atlanta office by calling 404-720-8111 or reaching out to us online to schedule a free consultation.