Survival Action Claims in Georgia: What Families Need to Know

Table of Contents

  1. What Is a Survival Action in Georgia?
  2. How Is a Survival Action Different From a Wrongful Death Claim?  
  3. The Brown Firm Offers Guidance for Survival Actions and Wrongful Death Claims 

Grieving families face a range of emotions when a loved one is killed due to someone else’s carelessness or recklessness. People in this situation should absolutely pursue financial compensation for their losses—but how to do so can be complicated.  

Survival actions are often confused with wrongful death claims by those who’ve lost loved ones. These are two separate legal actions that apply to different circumstances, though in some situations a family may be able to pursue both simultaneously. 

This article will explain the purpose of a survival action and how to go about starting one in Georgia. We’ll also outline the differences between a wrongful death claim and a survival action, and how an experienced attorney can help families navigate both.     

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

What Is a Survival Action in Georgia? 

Under Georgia law, a survival action is an extension of a legal claim associated with a person who has died. Basically, it addresses the losses the deceased person experienced between their injury and death, and seeks compensation to benefit their survivors.  

Typically, survival actions are used when the injured person lived for a while after the injury itself — long enough to experience fear, pain, or medical treatment. It is meant to cover the sort of losses they might have included in a personal injury claim, had they lived.  

For example, if someone was injured in a car crash and lived one week before they died, the action might demand compensation for a week of: 

  • Medical expenses 
  • Lost wages 
  • Pain and suffering 

In Georgia, funeral expenses and burial costs may also be part of a survival action because they are considered costs of the deceased’s estate (more on that in a minute). Some states include demands for funeral and burial losses in wrongful death claims, rather than survival actions.    

Even if the person only lived for an hour, the family could claim the pain, suffering, fear, mental anguish, etc. their loved one endured before dying.   

Who May Bring a Survival Action? 

In Georgia, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate, often called the executor or administrator, brings (initiates) a survival action. The personal representative might already be named in the will, but if not, the court will generally appoint a family member to represent the estate. The estate includes anything still legally owned by the dead person and stands in for them in legal proceedings.  

Survival actions must be brought by the dead person’s estate, rather than their survivors. This is because the compensation is sought on behalf of the person who died for what they experienced, not for the losses their loved ones experienced because of the death.  

Ultimately, money secured from a survival action that isn’t needed for medical costs or other liens will go to survivors. It simply needs to go to the estate before being disbursed.  

Who Gets the Money From a Survival Action? 

Money secured from a survival action will go directly to the dead person’s estate. It is then considered an asset of the estate and treated like other items, such as bank accounts, property, and retirement funds. 

These assets go to the beneficiaries named by the deceased. If there isn’t a will or named beneficiaries, the money will be disbursed according to Georgia intestacy law. Usually, the money will go to the deceased person’s spouse, children, parents, or other close family members. 

survival action
survival action

How Is a Survival Action Different From a Wrongful Death Claim?  

Simply put, a survival action is on behalf of the deceased person themselves. A wrongful death claim is on behalf of the deceased person’s survivors.  

A survival action seeks compensation for the damages (losses) a person suffered before dying. A wrongful death claim seeks compensation for the damages survivors suffer because of the death.   

A wrongful death action or claim may be the one we hear about more often, and it may feel counter-intuitive to hear wrongful death and survival in the same sentence. However, surviving family members may wind up taking both actions to get the compensation they deserve after a family member’s death. Let’s dig into the differences. 

RELATED POST: The Complete Guide To Wrongful Death Lawsuits 

Damages Sought in a Georgia Survivor Action Claim 

The damages that “survive” a person killed by another’s negligence can include: 

  • Medical bills 
  • Lost earnings 
  • Pain and suffering 
  • Mental anguish 
  • Funeral and burial costs 

Damages Sought in a Georgia Wrongful Death Lawsuit or Claim 

The damages impacting the survivors of a person killed by another’s negligence can include:  

  • Lost income the deceased person would have made in the rest of their career 
  • Benefits held through the deceased person, such as health insurance and retirement plans 
  • The value of services the deceased provided for their household, like home repairs and yard work 
  • Lost care, support, affection, and guidance that the deceased person provided to survivors 
  • Lost consortium, which is the access to intimacy and companionship between spouses and partners 

Additionally, in South Carolina (where The Brown Firm also practices), wrongful death lawsuits can include claims for the family members’ (as opposed to the deceased person’s) emotional pain and suffering, as well as punitive damage to punish the negligent parties in the case of extreme recklessness or malice. However, these types of damages are not available under Georgia law. 

Differences in How Survival Action and Wrongful Death Claims Are Paid Out 

As discussed above, any money recovered in a survival action claim becomes property of the estate, which can then be distributed according to any will left by the deceased. 

By contrast, money recovered in a wrongful death claim are not property of the estate (because it is meant to benefit the survivors directly, not the deceased) and will always be distributed strictly according to Georgia’s intestacy law. In other words, this means that wrongful death settlements are always divided to heirs as if no will exists, regardless of whether the deceased person left one or not. 

RELATED POST: Who Gets the Money From a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? 

Georgia survival action statute
Georgia survival action statute

How Does Personal Injury Law Relate to Survival Action and Wrongful Death? 

In Georgia, personal injury attorneys often represent families filing survival actions or wrongful death claims.  

Even though these are not technically personal injury cases, the claims process, relevant damages, and compensation center on similar factors, such as medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. This is because, in all cases, the injuries or deaths were caused by another party’s carelessness or recklessness.     

Both a survival action and a wrongful death claim may be options if your loved one was killed because of someone else’s carelessness or recklessness. Determining what’s best for your family depends on the specifics of the case.  

An experienced personal injury attorney will help you understand and navigate all the options when you’ve lost a loved one in this manner.    

RELATED: The Complete Guide to Wrongful Death Lawsuits 

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

The Brown Firm Offers Guidance for Survival Actions and Wrongful Death Claims 

The period after losing a loved one is difficult and unpredictable, making it that much harder for surviving family members to understand and manage the details of a legal undertaking. At the Brown Firm, we are committed to walking through complex cases with our clients and doing it with skill and compassion.    

We begin every attorney-client relationship with a free case evaluation, including cases involving survival actions or wrongful death claims. To set up your free consultation today, call (800) 529-1441 or use the easy contact form on our site.  

 

 

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject. 

Our Recent Personal Injury Articles

Contact The Brown Firm

Get the Answers and Compensation You Deserve

You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our simple online form.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Wrongful Death Cases in South Carolina: What Grieving Families Need to Know

If you’ve recently experienced the unexpected death of a loved one, money may be the last thing on your mind. No amount of money could ever take the place of a family member, and no compensation for their death could ever truly be “fair.”

At the same time, though, you shouldn’t have to worry about what a sudden loss of income and emotional support will mean for your family’s future. The grief and sorrow of losing a loved one is more than enough to bear.

If you’ve lost a family member because of someone else’s wrongful act or carelessness, you may be entitled to financial compensation. But you shouldn’t navigate the legal system alone, especially not when you’re grieving.

We understand that this kind of loss makes everything harder, including research. With that in mind, we’ve created a guide on wrongful death and what South Carolina law has to say about it. We’ll also outline the process of getting compensation for surviving family members, which brings some peace of mind during a difficult time.

If you’re considering a South Carolina wrongful death claim or lawsuit, keep this guide handy as you move forward. Along with an experienced wrongful death attorney, it can provide support while you cope with your loved one’s death.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

Do I Have a Wrongful Death Claim?

According to South Carolina law, wrongful death claims may arise when a wrongful act, neglect, or default causes another person’s death. It may be an accidental or intentional act, and something the deceased person could have filed a personal injury claim for if they’d lived.

Examples of incidents that may result in wrongful death claims are:

Whatever the manner of your loved one’s death, if you believe the fatal accident or incident occurred because of another party’s negligence or recklessness, you may pursue a wrongful death claim under South Carolina law.

Who May File a Wrongful Death Claim in South Carolina?

The claim itself must be brought by the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate. In South Carolina, this person might be called a personal representative, and must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind (meaning, a court would consider them able to make rational decisions).

The main job of a personal representative is to protect the property until any outstanding debts or taxes are paid, and then disburse the remainder to the deceased’s heirs.

The personal representative is typically named in a deceased person’s estate plan or will. It’s possible for someone to make a corporation or bank their executor if they don’t have an individual they want to name. While this isn’t likely, it’s good to be prepared if you see it on the will.

If the person dies without leaving a will or estate planning, or if the named personal representative is unavailable, the court can name someone to the job. This person may be the deceased’s:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Parent
  • Child
  • Sibling
  • Aunt or uncle
  • Niece or nephew
  • Mother- or father-in-law
  • Son- or daughter-in-law
  • Grandparent
  • Grandchild

Who Is Eligible to Receive Wrongful Death Benefits?

In South Carolina, wrongful death benefits are paid out in the same manner as if the estate were being divided and the deceased did not leave a will, also known as intestate succession.

The deceased’s spouse and children receive priority when disbursing wrongful death benefits:

  • If the deceased was married with no known children, the spouse receives 100% of the benefit.
  • If the deceased was married with children, the spouse receives 50% and the children split the remainder equally. (If any of the deceased’s children are also already deceased, but had one or more children of their own, their share passes down to the next generation.)
  • If the deceased had children but no surviving spouse, the children (or their heirs, as described above) split the benefit evenly.

If the deceased did not have a living spouse or any known children, the wrongful death benefit may be paid to other family members or heirs, according to the following priority:

  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Other next-of-kin

The rules about which heirs can receive wrongful death benefits (and how much they receive) under South Carolina law are set in stone, and can not be altered by a will or estate plan.

Is a Wrongful Death Claim Different Than a Murder Charge?

A wrongful death claim begins a civil case, while a murder charge begins a criminal case. The primary difference is that civil cases honor the rights of people who’ve been wronged, and a criminal case punishes someone who committed a crime.

South Carolina

  • Civil Wrongful Death Case: The goal is to help surviving family members recover damages and get financial support for funeral expenses, lost income, and mental anguish after a loved one’s death. In rare cases, the responsible party may owe punitive damages as a punishment.

To accomplish this, a wrongful death attorney must show that the at-fault party owed the deceased person a duty of care (the care expected of a driver or employer, for example), breached that duty, and caused the death.

  • Criminal Homicide Case: Unlike wrongful death claims, criminal homicide cases aren’t for the family members’ benefit. While punitive damages are only occasionally used to punish someone in a wrongful death lawsuit, a criminal case happens specifically to uphold South Carolina state law by punishing someone criminally guilty of causing a death.

The accused party has a criminal defense attorney who works to protect them from a punishment they don’t deserve. However, these cases may end with the accused person going to jail or prison, which doesn’t happen in a civil case.

Be aware that a single incident can lead to both a wrongful death case and a criminal homicide case, but the two cases will be carried out completely separately.

RELATED: What Qualifies as Wrongful Death?

wrongful death cases in south carolina
wrongful death cases in south carolina

Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in South Carolina

A wrongful death lawsuit begins with the executor filing a legal claim. This must happen by the state’s deadline for wrongful death claims (called a statute of limitations), which is 3 years from the date the person died. A wrongful death lawyer will then negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company for money to cover funeral expenses and other costs.

If negotiations break down, you may need to file a wrongful death lawsuit. A lawsuit is a legal action involving the courts, although it doesn’t mean the case will necessarily go to trial.

When a deceased person was killed because of someone else’s actions in South Carolina, survivors may file two types of legal claims: a wrongful death action (such as a wrongful death lawsuit) and a survival action. Both focus on compensating family and heirs of the deceased person for financial and emotional losses, but one considers what happened after the incident and before the decedent’s death.

Wrongful Death Action

In a wrongful death action, the damages recovered compensate for the losses of survivors, including:

  • Funeral costs
  • Burial expenses
  • Benefits loss (benefits through the dead person’s job, for example)
  • Mental anguish
  • Companionship
  • Future income

Economic costs, such as funeral expenses and missed income, are easier to calculate than mental anguish and loss of companionship. Still, all of these are considered during wrongful death claim negotiations.

Survival Action

Survival actions are similar to a typical personal injury case, benefiting the deceased’s estate with what they could have demanded in a personal injury case had they survived. Survival actions demand compensation for damages incurred between the incident and death, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Income losses
  • Conscious pain and suffering
  • Funeral expenses (unless family can recover damages through a wrongful death claim)

A survival action may be brought along with a South Carolina wrongful death action and is disbursed the same way among surviving family and heirs.

wrongful death cases in south carolina
wrongful death cases in south carolina

A Strong Attorney-Client Relationship Is Invaluable to a Wrongful Death Claim in South Carolina

Managing a deceased person’s estate and navigating the legal system are complex responsibilities even in ideal circumstances, and are made all the more difficult when you’re grieving. Skilled and compassionate wrongful death attorneys have the knowledge and experience you need to move forward after the loss of a family member in South Carolina.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, uncertain, or afraid, now is the time to reach out for help. Local wrongful death lawyers who work in your area know the community and are well-acquainted with the state laws governing your case.

RELATED: Who Gets the Money From a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Georgia or South Carolina?

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

The Brown Firm Is Here for Families Filing Wrongful Death Lawsuits

At The Brown Firm, we lead with compassion. If your family is facing the aftermath of a loved one’s death due to someone else’s negligent actions, you can count on us to explore all the options and consider your most pressing needs.

We begin every case with a free case evaluation in which we get to know you and your case well enough to determine the best plan forward. To schedule yours today, please call (800) 529-1441 or use the simple contact form on our site.

References

Civil Remedies and Procedures, S.C. Code Ann. § 15-51 (2021).

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

Our Recent Personal Injury Articles

Contact The Brown Firm

Get the Answers and Compensation You Deserve

You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our simple online form.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Who Gets the Money From a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Georgia or South Carolina?

There is no amount of money that can ever truly make up for the loss of a loved one. However, if someone in your life was killed due to the negligence or recklessness of a person, you may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit and seek financial compensation.

While this obviously can’t ever truly make things right, it can at least help grieving families seek accountability and closure, and ease any financial challenges that result from the unexpected loss of a family member—including funeral expenses, wage losses, and payment of debts.

However, wrongful death claims are often very complex, and the insurance company responsible for compensating your loved one’s heirs will be looking to settle for as little as possible. During this time of incredible grief, a compassionate and experienced wrongful death attorney can act on your behalf to negotiate the best possible settlement from the insurer while you focus on yourself and spending time with your loved ones.

In this post, we’ll examine who can file a wrongful death suit in Georgia and South Carolina, and talk about how payouts are distributed.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

In simple terms, wrongful death claims demand compensation after a loved one dies due to an at-fault party’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional action to do harm. Common causes of wrongful death include car accidents, medical malpractice, and slips and falls resulting from unsafe conditions.

It’s important to understand that, while similar in some ways, wrongful death is very distinct from personal injury cases in terms of who can seek compensation, how compensation amounts are determined, and how they are paid.

Wrongful death is also separate from criminal cases, in which an individual or organization is prosecuted by the state. Criminal cases can result in jail time or fines paid to the government, but do not financially compensate families for their profound losses. Both types of cases can be ongoing at the same time.

RELATED: What Qualifies as Wrongful Death?

who gets the money in a wrongful death lawsuit
who gets the money in a wrongful death lawsuit

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

The question of who, exactly, can file depends on the state where the claim is made. Different states have different statutes and laws. Let’s take a closer look at both states our firm serves:

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia

In Georgia, there is an order of priority for who can file. If there are no surviving representatives at a higher level of priority, the responsibility falls to the next level down.

The priority list is:

  • Spouse
  • Child or children
  • Parent or parents
  • Administrator or executor of the deceased person’s estate

No other relatives or friends of the deceased, such as siblings or long-term unmarried partners, are ever eligible to file (unless they are the administrator of their loved one’s estate).

In most cases, you have two years after the date of the person’s death to file a wrongful death claim, although this deadline can be extended in certain cases (such as whether there is also a criminal case stemming from the same event, or if the estate isn’t going through probate).

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in South Carolina

In South Carolina, the wrongful death claim must be filed by the executor (also commonly known as a “personal representative”) of the deceased person’s estate.

If the deceased person left a will, it would typically name an executor. If there was no will, or the will did not name a personal representative, the probate court will appoint one. Usually this falls to a spouse or an adult child. If none are available, the responsibility may fall to other heirs or relatives, or potentially even creditors.

In South Carolina, the personal representative has three years from the date of death to file a wrongful death suit.

How Is a Wrongful Death Settlement Divided?

Once again, the rules on how funds are distributed vary significantly from state to state, and in some cases can be complex.

These state rules are also quite rigid about identifying heirs and assigning shares for wrongful death settlements. In both Georgia and South Carolina, wrongful death payouts are distributed to heirs according to state intestacy laws—or in other words, the “default” inheritance rules that apply when there is no will.

Unlike a will, in which a deceased person can divide their estate however they choose to whomever they choose, wrongful death settlements must be divided precisely according to state statute, even if the person left a valid will.

Who Gets the Money From a Wrongful Death Settlement in Georgia?

In Georgia, the basic rule is that wrongful death settlements are divided in equal shares between a surviving spouse and all surviving children, but with the spouse entitled to no less than one third of the total amount.

To give you some simple examples:

  • 1 Spouse, 1 child—Each receives 1/2
  • 1 Spouse, 2 children—Each receives 1/3
  • 1 Spouse, 3 children—Spouse receives 1/3, each child receives 2/9 (or in other words, the remaining 2/3 not paid to the spouse is split evenly 3 ways).
  • No spouse, 4 children—Each receives 1/4

Grandchildren or other descendants typically do not get shares, unless their parent (the child of the deceased) is also deceased. In that case, any grandchildren would split the share that would have gone to their parent.

For example, suppose the deceased had:

  • No surviving spouse
  • Two surviving children
  • One deceased child who had two children of his/her own

In this case, each of the surviving children would receive 1/3 each, and the two grandchildren with a deceased parent would receive 1/6 each.

If the deceased has no surviving spouse or descendants, but at least one surviving parent, the parent(s) will be the beneficiaries of the wrongful death lawsuit. If there are no parents, then any surviving siblings will be the beneficiaries.

Who Gets the Money From a Wrongful Death Settlement in South Carolina?

The main difference between Georgia and South Carolina is that, in South Carolina, a surviving spouse is entitled to not less than half of a wrongful death settlement. Looking at the same examples as we did before:

  • 1 Spouse, 1 child—Each receives 1/2
  • 1 Spouse, 2 children—Spouse receives 1/2, each child receives 1/4
  • 1 Spouse, 3 children—Spouse receives 1/2, each child receives 1/6
  • No spouse, 4 children—Each receives 1/4

Another difference in South Carolina is that, if the deceased was unmarried and had no children but has living parents, the judge can limit (or outright deny) the share of a parent if it’s determined that the parent did not support the child while they were growing up.

Otherwise, the basic process is the same as it is in Georgia.

Common Questions and Atypical Scenarios

While the above information covers most family situations, you may still have some questions. Here are a few additional things to keep in mind.

  • Half relatives are counted the same as full or whole relatives.
  • Foster children and stepchildren do not receive a share unless they were legally adopted by the deceased.
  • Unborn children of the deceased receive a share if they are born within 10 months of the death.
  • Children born outside of marriage receive a share so long as paternity is legally established (although the exact standards for this vary somewhat between Georgia and South Carolina).
  • In general, every possible effort will be made to pay the wrongful death damages to surviving family members, even comparably distant ones (like uncles and aunts, cousins, nephews and nieces) if there is no living spouse, descendent, parent, or sibling.
wrongful death settlement distribution
wrongful death settlement distribution

How Are Wrongful Death Damages Calculated?

While the person filing the wrongful death claim has no control over who the beneficiaries will be, the actual amount claimed is much more subjective. Similar to a personal injury case, there can be both economic and non-economic damages.

For example, claimed damages (whether your case is in Georgia or South Carolina) can include:

  • Medical bills and other necessary expenses related to the fundamental cause of the wrongful death (like a motor vehicle accident, defective product, or medical malpractice claim)
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Lost wages and financial support, which the deceased person would reasonably had earned (and used to support family members) if they had lived
  • Loss of care, guidance, nurturing, and protection that the deceased person can no longer provide to their loved ones

Georgia separates damages into two categories. The first category is compensation for the “full value of life of the decedent,” which includes wage losses and lost care, counsel, and other damages. The second category specifically addresses financial losses to the estate (funeral, burial, and medical expenses) and must be brought by the executor of the estate.

South Carolina is a little different. The state doesn’t explicitly divide claimable damages into two separate categories, but considers them as a whole. Additionally, wrongful death claims in South Carolina (but not Georgia) can also include:

  • Pain and suffering experienced by family members of the deceased
  • Punitive damages in cases where the wrongful death was caused by exceptional recklessness or intentional malice (such as driving while intoxicated, or homicide.)

RELATED: How To Prove Your Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

wrongful death settlement distribution
wrongful death settlement distribution

The Brown Firm: Helping Grieving Families After the Loss of a Loved One

If this sounds like a lot of information to process, you’re right.

When you’re grieving the loss of a loved one due to another party’s negligent behavior, you shouldn’t also have to worry about calculating what your wrongful death case is worth, fighting with an insurance company, and figuring out how you’ll be able to make ends meet without your loved one’s income.

The Brown Firm takes a compassionate and determined approach to wrongful death cases. Our wrongful death attorneys get to know you, your family, and what your loved one meant to you. We’ll also do the hard work of investigating the death, making sure critical evidence is preserved, building the strongest possible case we can, and aggressively representing your interests in negotiations with the insurance company.

We know that there’s no such thing as “fair” compensation for losing a spouse, parent, child, or other important family member. But you still deserve accountability, closure, and the peace of mind that comes from knowing you will still be able to provide for your family’s financial needs. Our law firm will fight hard to get you the largest settlement or verdict we can, so that you can focus on your emotional recovery and rebuilding your life.

To schedule a free consultation with one of our wrongful death lawyers, please call us today at (912) 324-2498 or complete our online contact form. We serve all of Georgia and South Carolina, and look forward to meeting you.

 

References

Ga. Code § 51-4-2, 3, 4, 5 (2021)

Ga. Code § 53-2-1 (2019)

S.C. Code § 15-51-20 (2021)

S.C. Code § 62-2-102 (2013)

S.C. Code § 62-2-103 (2013)

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

Our Recent Personal Injury Articles

Contact The Brown Firm

Get the Answers and Compensation You Deserve

You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our simple online form.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

What Qualifies as Wrongful Death?

If you’ve had a loved one die in an accident, you might be wondering if you can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil suit that’s brought against a negligent person or entity whose actions caused the death of another person.

Wrongful death lawsuits also apply in cases where intentional violence kills someone, even if that person is also facing criminal prosecution.

Wrongful death lawsuits are very similar to personal injury claims, except for the fact that the deceased person can’t bring a claim forward.

In the article below, our wrongful death lawyers will go in-depth about wrongful death claims and what could qualify.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

When Is a Wrongful Death Claim Applicable?

Wrongful death claims can arrive in situations where a victim who would have a personal injury claim is killed due to the defendant’s wrongful actions.

This can occur in a variety of situations, like when someone is intentionally killed.

Even if someone is facing criminal charges, they can still be sued in civil court for the victim’s wrongful death.

A wrongful death claim is also applicable when someone dies as a result of medical malpractice.

If a doctor fails to diagnose or misdiagnosis a condition, or if they act carelessly while providing care, and a patient dies as a result, a wrongful death action might be possible against the doctor.

Car accident fatalities involving negligence can also lead to wrongful death claims.

These are a few examples of personal injury cases that can turn into wrongful death claims if the victim dies.

A wrongful death claim can stem from just about any kind of personal injury situation.

However, one exception may be for work injuries that result in death.

These cases usually need to be handled exclusively through the worker’s compensation system.

A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed against individuals, doctors and other medical professionals, companies that develop and manufacture products, and government agencies.

If you’re wondering if you have a case that may qualify as a wrongful death lawsuit, you should enlist the help of an attorney experienced in handling wrongful death claims and personal injury cases.

Your wrongful death attorney will look at the facts surrounding your case to discover whether negligence or a wrongful act, such as an act of violence, occurred.

If such an act occurred and it can be proven, your attorney will help you proceed.

wrongful death cases in south carolina

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

People can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit if a loved one’s death results from someone’s negligent actions.

A few examples of people who could be at fault for someone else’s death could be a driver in a car accident, a bartender who served too much alcohol to someone who then drove, a doctor who failed to diagnose a medical condition, or the owner of a business that failed in the upkeep of their property.

The spouse of the deceased person or their children are typically allowed to file wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of the deceased.

The statutes for wrongful death will vary from state to state.

The statutes of your state will define who can sue for wrongful death and provides limits on the amount that can be awarded for damages.

These types of lawsuits aim to provide financial support for orphans and widows and anyone else affected by the death.

How Do You Prove Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death isn’t always easy to prove.

To have a wrongful death lawsuit, you have to prove that someone’s negligent actions caused the accident that caused the death.

When someone’s negligence has caused the accident or incident that led to the death, you also have to prove that:

  • The at-fault party had a duty of care toward the deceased person. For example, a driver has an obligation to drive safely and obey traffic laws.
  • The person then breached their duty of care. For example, the driver drove at unsafe speeds.
  • There’s a direct link between breaching the duty of care and death. When the driver drove too fast, they caused an accident that led directly to the person’s injuries and subsequent death.

This is a simplified answer to the question of how you can prove wrongful death.

It can actually be a very complex process depending upon the unique circumstances of each accident.

Your wrongful death attorney will be able to evaluate your case and take the necessary steps based on the evidence to prove negligence and win your wrongful death case.

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

Damages In A Wrongful Death Case

Loved ones can be compensated for the damage sustained in a wrongful death accident.

The damages, or losses for which survivors may be able to receive compensation, include:

  • the deceased person’s pre-death “pain and suffering.”
  • medical expenses the deceased victim incurred as a result of the injury before their death
  • funeral expenses and burial expenses
  • loss of income from the deceased person
  • loss of inheritance as a result of the death
  • the value of the services that the deceased person would have provided
  • loss of care, guidance, and nurturing that the deceased person would have provided
  • loss of love and companionship
  • loss of consortium

Our Recent Personal Injury Articles

Contact The Brown Firm

Get the Answers and Compensation You Deserve

You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild. We serve all of Georgia and South Carolina from four conveniently located offices.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (912) 324-2498 or completing our simple online form.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Who Pays For A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

If a loved one or someone you know was killed due to someone else’s negligence, you might have the right to file a wrongful death claim.

Spouses, domestic partners, children, and other family members may have the right to receive monetary damages after the death of someone close to them.

Families may be entitled to benefits to pay for the expenses incurred due to their loved one’s death and to replace the financial contributions of the deceased to their family members.

If you have lost a loved one due to another party’s negligent actions, it’s important to contact an experienced attorney who deals with wrongful death settlements.

They will help you better understand your legal rights and options after your loss.

Wrongful death is a very complex area of the law, and dealing with such cases on your own can be overwhelming.

A knowledgeable attorney can help compile the evidence necessary to help you secure maximum compensation and hold the negligent parties accountable.

But, who pays for the wrongful death lawsuit?

We’ll explore that question in the article below.

 

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

Who is Responsible for Paying a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? 

If a negligent party is found responsible for your loved one’s death, they are responsible for paying the amount the court mandates.

Wrongful death is a civil suit, not criminal, and each wrongful death case will vary.

Wrongful death lawsuits are commonly brought against hospitals or physicians for improper care or medical malpractice that leads to death.

They can also be brought against motorists who drive irresponsibly or under the influence of alcohol and caused someone’s death.

A wrongful death lawsuit can also be brought against a company that marketed or manufactured a defective product that leads to an individual’s death.

Wrongful death settlements may also have to be paid by an employer who failed to make conditions safe for employees or actively made them harmful.

For example, a construction company that failed to provide harnesses to employees working at great heights can have a lawsuit brought against them.

Architects or landlords whose buildings were unsafe for residents can also be held liable for wrongful deaths.

Check out a related blog: What Qualifies as a Wrongful Death?

personal injury attorney with two clients

Statute of Limitations Can Affect Your Wrongful Death Case

The statute of limitation laws of each state will differ.

Each state has a time limit on the amount of time a family member or representative of a victim’s estate has to bring forward a wrongful death lawsuit.

In many states, the statute of limitations is two years, but it can be longer or shorter depending on where you live.

Sometimes the statute of limitations can be extended.

You may be granted more time to file a lawsuit if your family member died from an injury, but you learned about the injury responsible for the death years after the fact.

Types of Compensation Your Family May Be Entitled To

You and your family members may be entitled to compensation for several types of damages, including economic and non-economic damages.

Wrongful death damages can include economic damages like the medical bills associated with the care your relative needed before they passed away.

Damages may also cover the costs for the funeral of your loved one.

If your loved one had a job and contributed to the family financially, you could be entitled to compensation for the loss of their income.

You may also be compensated for the value of services your family member would have provided had they not passed away.

Non-economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit can cover the intangible things involved in the relationship with your loved one that you lost when you lost them.

For instance, you may be compensated for the loss of companionship, loss of consortium, and the loss of affection, support, and guidance.

Other compensation for your pain and suffering may be available.

Who’s Able to File a Lawsuit? 

The people who can file a wrongful death lawsuit will vary depending on the state they live in.

Some states will only allow close relatives to file, like their spouse or children.

Other states allow the victim’s extended family to file for compensation for their loved one’s death.

Some states will even allow a victim’s romantic partner who was not a spouse, someone financially dependent on the deceased person, or someone who would have been entitled to an inheritance to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Some states don’t allow family members to file a wrongful death lawsuit and only allow an executor or a personal representative in charge of handling the deceased person’s affairs to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased.

The payment received by the representative will be collected and used to satisfy debts, and the remaining will be divided among eligible relatives.

Contact an Experienced Lawyer

The laws surrounding wrongful death lawsuits are complicated, so victims’ families need to contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer.

Your attorney will be on your side throughout the entire process and fight for your rights to ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your tremendous loss.

If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, the experienced wrongful death attorneys at The Brown Firm can help you pursue your legal rights.

To schedule your Free Consultation to discuss your claim with The Brown Firm attorneys, click the button below.

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

Our Recent Personal Injury Articles

Contact The Brown Firm

Get the Answers and Compensation You Deserve

You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our simple online form.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

What’s The Difference Between Negligence and Something Criminal?

The terms negligent or negligence are used a lot in the legal world.

Even most people outside of the legal industry are at least somewhat aware of what these words mean.

In this blog and many other legal blogs, people who have been injured in accidents are told to speak to lawyers if the negligence of others caused their injuries.

TV shows, movies, radio, and internet news sites are littered with news reports about incidents of negligence that have led to injuries.

But what is negligence? Is there a difference between something being deemed negligent and something being considered criminal?

In the legal world, there is negligence, or civil negligence, and criminal negligence.

The article below will define criminal negligence, civil negligence and the differences between the two.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

What Is Civil Negligence? 

The legal definition of negligence is “failure to use reasonable care, that a reasonable person would, resulting in damage or injury to another.”

Negligence is an integral part of personal injury cases because injuries are often the result of someone else’s negligence.

Negligence can occur in car accident cases, slip and falls, workplace accidents, and more.

Negligence cases have four basic elements that are used to prove whether or not a person acted negligently.

Those elements are:

  1. Duty – The defendant owed a legal duty to the plaintiff under the circumstances
  2. Breach – The defendant breached that legal duty by acting or failing to act in a certain way
  3. Causation – It was the defendant’s actions, or inaction, that caused the plaintiff’s injury
  4. Damages – The plaintiff was harmed or injured as a result of the defendant’s actions.

You have to prove each of these elements before your case can be settled. 

It is your attorney’s responsibility to prove that the defendant was at fault before you will be able to receive any compensation for your damages.

Proving negligence often requires extensive fact-gathering and collecting evidence regarding every moment that led to your accident and the moments following your accident.

Examples of Civil Negligence

There are plenty of examples of negligence that can lead to someone filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit. 

Some prime examples are:

  1. A doctor operating on the wrong patient or the wrong body part because they misread the chart.
  2. A driver running a stop sign and driving well over the legal speed limit.
  3. A restaurant owner who mops the slippery floor and doesn’t put up a “Wet Floor” sign.
  4. A company releasing a hazardous drug without thoroughly testing the medication and identifying side effects.
  5. A property owner that let the steps to their house decay, or never fixes a broken handrail could be negligent if they invite friends over to their house and their friends hurt themselves on the railing or steps.
  6. A store owner knowing that things get out-of-hand on Black Friday but still hosts a big sales event, encouraging a mob scene with no security.
  7. A person with a known dangerous dog that he takes to the park where the dog bites a small child.

What Is Criminal Negligence? 

Criminal negligence is conduct where a person ignores an obvious risk or disregards the life and safety of those around him.

Both federal and state courts describe this behavior as a form of recklessness.

The negligent person acts significantly different than most people would under similar circumstances.

An unfortunate example of this is a parent or guardian leaving a loaded firearm where a small child can get it.

Certain crimes base culpability on a criminally negligent standard.

An example of this is involuntary manslaughter.

To be convicted of this crime, and held criminally negligent, the prosecutor will have to prove that the defendant killed someone unintentionally but acted with unlawful negligence when they did it.

Elegant man crying at accident scene

Examples of Criminal Negligence

A few examples of a person acting with criminal negligence are:

  1. Firing a weapon in the air during a celebration at a public space park
  2. Leaving your child in your car unattended in hot weather.
  3. Swiping at someone’s hand while they are holding a loaded gun
  4. Texting and speeding while driving.

We mentioned this above, but a textbook example of criminal negligence is involuntary manslaughter. 

A person has committed involuntary manslaughter if:

  1. They kill someone unintentionally
  2. They do so via criminal negligence or in the commission of a crime that’s not a felony.

What About Criminal Neglect? 

A term that is often confused with negligence is neglect.

These two terms are related, but they describe two different kinds of actions.

Both civil and criminal negligence describe failures to exercise reasonable levels of care in certain circumstances, but neglect describes a type of abuse where a person fails to care for someone who cannot care for themselves.

This often occurs in familiar or other caretaking settings.

Neglect can often rise above the level of criminal behavior, but criminal neglect is different from criminal negligence.

Examining The Differences in Negligence and Criminal Negligence

Criminal negligence and civil negligence definitions share much of the same terminology, like the “standard of care,” and “a reasonable person.”

Still, there are some clear differences.

Criminal negligence requires someone to fail to know of a substantial and unjustifiable risk to be convicted.

That same requirement doesn’t exist for civil negligence.

Also, criminal negligence requires a gross deviation from a reasonable standard of care.

Civil negligence can be found if there is any deviation from a reasonable standard of care.

This makes it much harder to meet the criminal definition of negligence than to meet the civil definition.

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

Intent in Criminal Law

To find someone guilty of a crime, it has to be proven that the person committed a criminal act and had the appropriate means rea.

Mens rea translates to guilty mind, but it has come to mean criminal intent in criminal law.

Most statutes that criminalize behavior will also specify a level of intent required for conviction, but all will.

There are many levels of criminal intent, including intentional behavior, criminal negligent behavior, and reckless behavior.

Needing intent is vital for many societal and policy reasons.

Criminal convictions can result in incarceration, fines, and probation, so there’s a belief that a person’s conduct should be intentional, grossly negligent, or grossly negligent to be convicted.

When Does Negligence Come Into Play? 

Only the government can bring a case when it comes to criminal negligence.

That means the appropriate prosecutorial body will examine facts and have the responsibility to decide if a criminal charge should be filed.

If it is decided that a criminal charge should be filed, the elements of the criminal case have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Civil negligence is used to determine liability in car accidents and many other types of civil actions.

Civil negligence is used to determine liability in:

  • motor vehicle accidents
  • semi-truck crashes
  • medical malpractice
  • slip and fall accidents
  • nursing home liability
  • premises liability

Any case in which one person sues another person for negligently causing injury to the victim falls under the civil negligence umbrella. 

As a plaintiff, to win a civil negligence case, you only need evidence to back up your claim.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

If you are unable to prove negligence, whether it is civil or criminal negligence, in your personal injury case, there’s no way for you to recover monetary damages.

That means you will be responsible for paying your medical expenses and any other damages incurred in the accident without any financial assistance.

Negligence is a tricky term because it depends on things like “a gross deviation from a standard of care” and deciding what a reasonable person would do. 

Depending on your case, there isn’t always an easy way to identify the parameters around a reasonable standard of care.

This is why criminal and civil negligence cases are often complicated, expensive, and unpredictable.

That’s why if you’ve been injured in an accident, you need to enlist the help of a law firm.

As the victim of someone else’s negligence, it is the job of your attorney to prove that the defendant was negligent.

This can often be done before going to trial, but some civil cases do make it to court because it isn’t clear if the defendant is negligent or not.

An experienced personal injury attorney will not be afraid of taking a personal injury case to court to win compensation for their client.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney at The Brown Firm Today

Recognizing both criminal negligence and civil negligence keeps society safer by holding people accountable for their behavior.

That’s why the experienced personal injury attorneys at The Brown Firm take their job of holding negligent parties responsible for their actions seriously.

If you have been injured due to the negligence of someone else, you might not be sure what to do next and have several questions about your rights.

If so, please contact The Brown Firm today to set up a Free Consultation so they can go over the facts of your case.

Our Recent Personal Injury Articles

Contact The Brown Firm

Get the Answers and Compensation You Deserve

You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our simple online form.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Talcum Powder & Ovarian Cancer: What You Need to Know

For decades, talcum powder has been used as a feminine hygiene product.

Unfortunately, regular use of talcum powder for this purpose has been linked to the development of deadly ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer is an aggressive type of cancer that starts in a woman’s ovaries, but quickly spreads to other parts of her body as the cancer grows.

It has few initial warning signs, so women often do not discover that they have ovarian cancer until it has progressed.

As a result, treatments like chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation are less effective, and the cancer causes many fatalities.

Of all the reproductive cancers, ovarian cancer is the most deadly.

In the article below, we’ll discuss the likelihood of talcum powder causing your ovarian cancer, and what you can do about it.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

Talcum Powder Injuries And Side Effects

The most severe potential side effect of women using talcum powder is ovarian cancer.

According to the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer, frequent powder use on the female genital area increases the risk of cancer between 30-60%.

The more often she uses it, the more likely she is to experience cancer.

It’s estimated that thousands of women get ovarian cancer each year through the use of talcum powder.

Prominent medical researchers all agree that regular perineal use of talc-containing products can increase a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer by about 30%.

Happy collaborating business colleagues discussing future plans

Did Talcum Powder Cause Your Ovarian Cancer?

When women use talcum powder to dust their sanitary napkins, tampons, and genital areas, the talc particles can travel through their reproductive system and into their ovaries.

There the particles can become embedded in ovarian tissues, causing inflammation, irritation, and damage to DNA, which allows the development and growth of ovarian cancer cells.

Numerous studies dating back to the 1970s have found talk particles in ovarian tumors of women who regularly use talcum powder as a feminine hygiene product.

As a result, many women and their families have been suing Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower, the two most popular products containing talc.

The lawsuits claim that Johnson & Johnson knew of the dangerous link between the use of its products for feminine hygiene and ovarian cancer, and failed to warn consumers of those dangers.

At the time of this writing, there have been at least 1,200 individual lawsuits and at least two class-action lawsuits filed so far.

Some of them have already been to trial, with juries awarding women and the families of deceased women who died of ovarian cancer millions in damages, including punitive damages.

Examples Of Talcum Powder Lawsuits

Below are just a few examples of talcum powder lawsuits that awarded damages to the victims of ovarian cancer caused by talcum powder.

August 2017 Eva Echeverria received a $417 million jury verdict. Eva was dying from stage 4 ovarian cancer, after having used baby powder daily from the 1950s through 2016. Eva won $68 million in compensatory damages and $340 million in punitive damages.

May 2017 A St. Louis jury awarded $110 million to Louis Slemp, who was being treated for aggressive ovarian cancer that had metastasized to her liver. Louis used baby powder for more than 40 years.

November 2016, A California jury returned a verdict of $70 million for Deborah Giannecchini. She was undergoing radiation and chemotherapy for ovarian cancer after using talcum powder for more than 40 years. Sixty-five million dollars of the verdict was for punitive damages.

July 2018 A St. Louis jury awarded 22 women $4.6 billion against Johnson & Johnson for causing them to suffer ovarian cancer related to the use of baby powder and asbestos fibers contained in their product.

May 2016 A jury awarded Gloria Ristesund, who was being treated for ovarian cancer, $55 million. She had used Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder for decades.

February 2016 A jury determined that Johnson & Johnson was responsible for the death of Jacqueline Fox, who had been using talcum powder for personal hygiene for more than 35 years. The total award was $72 million, including $62 million in punitive damages.

harry brown

Should You Pursue A Talcum Powder Claim?

If you regularly used talcum powder for personal hygiene and developed ovarian cancer, you’re probably wondering if your cancer was caused by the use of talcum powder.

And, you’re probably wondering if you should pursue a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson because of it.

Understanding the criteria used to determine whether to pursue a claim can help you decide if you should move forward with a lawsuit.

In most cases, lawyers ask the women interested in pursuing a lawsuit these questions:

  • Have you been diagnosed with an ovarian-type cancer?
  • Have you used talcum powder on a regular basis for four years or more as a feminine hygiene product?
  • Have you used Johnson’s Baby Powder or Shower to Shower?
  • Have you had biopsy results that show evidence of talcum powder?
  • Do you have a family history of ovarian cancer or a genetic disorder pre-disposing her to ovarian cancer, such as the BRCA-1 gene?

Now you might be wondering what happens if you’ve answered yes to some of these questions and no to others.

Maybe you answered yes to using talcum powder, but it wasn’t for at least four years.

Because things like this get complicated rather quickly, you don’t want to decide whether or not you should pursue a claim on your own.

Even if you don’t meet all of the criteria, you still might have a claim for compensation.

It’s in your best interest to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can investigate your claim, review your medical records, and decide as to whether or not you should pursue a lawsuit.

Contact The Brown Firm Today

If you think you or a loved one is suffering from ovarian cancer due to the use of talcum powder as a feminine hygiene product, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.

The experienced attorney’s at The Brown Firm has years of experience and expertise helping people just like you.

They’re ready to help you and your loved ones today.

To get started with The Brown Firm, click the button below.

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

Our Recent Personal Injury Articles

Contact The Brown Firm

Get the Answers and Compensation You Deserve

You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our simple online form.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

How Do I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Georgia?

Losing someone you love is tragic, and when their death is caused by someone else’s negligence the pain and anger can be unbearable.

In legal terms, when someone is killed because of someone else’s careless or negligent actions, it is referred to as Wrongful Death. 

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

Understanding Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Wrongful Death can be brought about for a number of reasons, none of which make the passing of a loved one any easier. However, when you lose someone you love because of wrongful death, a lawsuit can be filed for compensation.

The various laws and regulations of the Georgia legal system can make filing a wrongful death claim very challenging for an individual without training in the legal field.

Knowing the time limitations and the appropriate damage amount requires particular knowledge and skill that can only be found in an experienced Wrongful Death Attorney. 

If you lost someone you love due to wrongful death, you may be wondering How do I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit, and the simple answer is, you find an attorney who will file the lawsuit on your behalf. 

blog_img1
blog_img2
Grounds for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Georgia

Civil lawsuits require grounds, which means there needs to be a legally supported reason for the claim.

Under Georgia law, the party bringing the lawsuit must have a substantial connection to the wrongful death victim.

Who has a sanding to sue for a wrongful death claim in Georgia:

  1. The surviving spouse may file a lawsuit to recover losses.
  2. If the deceases is survived by a spouse and children, the spouse is allowed to file the lawsuit on behalf of him or herself, as well as the children.
  3. If there is NO spouse, the surviving children may file the lawsuit.
  4. If the deceased has no spouse or children, then the surviving parents of the victims may file the claim for compensation.
  5. The court may appoint another representative of the deceased to bring the lawsuit on the behalf of the victim’s heirs if none of the above situations apply.

Whoever brings the claim forward needs to have a supportable reason for the claim.

Wrongful death lawsuits are not only for the deceased person but to show that because of the negligence that caused the accident, someone else related to the deceased was directly impacted, emotionally and financially by their death.

The surviving family members of the deceased must establish two things if they wish to have a successful claim:

1. They must be able to prove that their loved one died because of the negligence of another person’s reckless or deliberate acts and that the event was not brought upon by his/her own action or inaction.

2. The surviving family of the deceases must be able to establish that they suffered a substantial loss due to the death of their loved one.

Proving the above may sound easy, but remember, you will more than likely be up against a team of attorneys who will want to minimize your loss during this tragic time.

Having an attorney on your side who understands the legal system and who will fight for you will give you a much better chance at obtaining the benefits that you deserve during this difficult time.
blog_img3
blog_img4
Determining Damages
Determining damages after a wrongful death accident will also be much easier with the help of an experienced attorney.
 
The deceased’s life will be evaluated, and a calculation of their life is often one of the most contentious aspects of the case. 
 
In Georgia, the amount of compensated to be recovered is determined from the perspective of the survivors of the deceases.
 
This means the damages that will be awarded will reflect what the surviving family lost. 
 
The surviving family members may be able to collect damages for the following: 
  1. Medical Expenses of the deceased that accumulated before their death. 
  2. Damages for the lost wages of the deceased that they would have earned had they not died in the accident.
  3. Damages for pain and suffering that the family endured because of their loved one’s death.
  4. Punitive damages which are intended to punish the at-fault party who caused the accident due to their reckless behavior.

If you want to be able to obtain the maximum amount of compensation that you are owed, having an attorney on your side will make this process much easier.

Wrongful death cases can take years to settle, and you should not be left to handle it alone.

When you are on your own, the insurance company will hope to wear you down by taking their time in hopes that you agree to a much lower settlement than you deserve.

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

blog_img5
blog_img6
Hire an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney in Georgia

When you lose someone you love because of the recklessness of another, you deserve to be financially compensated for your loss.

Losing someone you love is tragic, and dealing with an insurance company who will inevitably try to minimize the loss of your loved one is something nobody should have to go through.

You should not be worried about money during this difficult time or how the funeral of the person who was taken too soon is going to be paid.

When you hire an attorney from The Brown Firm, we make sure that you are taken care of every step of the way.

We handle all of the negotiations with the insurance company, and it is our goal to make sure that you receive the best settlement possible for the loss of your loved one.

Our attorneys have been representing the families of the deceased for over 30 years.

We have the training and skills to make sure that you are taken care of and that your settlement is what you deserve.

Our lawyers will speak to you for free so we can find out the details of your case and let you know how we will be able to assist with the recovery of your losses.

Of course, no monetary amount will ever make up for the loss of someone you love, however it is our goal to make the burden of the loss just a bit lighter so you can heal and not worry about finances.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced Wrongful Death Attorneys in GA, please click on the link below now. If you need more information about Wrongful Death Cases, please use this guide.

Original Article Source Here 

Our Recent Personal Injury Articles

Contact The Brown Firm

Get the Answers and Compensation You Deserve

You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our simple online form.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Suable Damages in a Wrongful Death Case

Losing loved ones is hard. It is never easy to say goodbye to someone you love dearly due to sickness or old age.  However, to have a loved one taken from you because of the action of someone else so much harder. 

If you have recently found yourself in this situation, we created a complete guide to wrongful death lawsuits.

Wrongful Death occurs when someone loses their life due to recklessness, negligence, intentional, or criminal acts of another person or entity.

These situations can leave families devastated and overwhelmed with stress and confusion.  If you are not sure your situation is a wrongful death case, click here to learn more about Wrongful Death in the State of Georgia.

When it comes to dealing with the after-effects of a wrongful death it is important for the families of the victims to understand that it is okay to ask questions about compensation.  It is okay to want to be compensated for the loss of your spouse, parent, or child. There are different damages that you are able to sue for in the State of Georgia.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 
Wrongful Death Damages That You Can Sue for in the State of Georgia

There are three types of damages that may be available to you in a wrongful death lawsuit.  These damages are economic, non-economic, and punitive.

Economic Damages: There damages are the financial contributions that the victim would have normally been able to provide to the surviving family had they not passed away.  These damages include the following:

  • Loss of expected earnings
  • Loss of benefits, such as pension plans or medical coverage
  • Loss of inheritance due to the untimely death
  • The total value of the goods and services that the victim would have provided
  • Medical costs that incurred to the injury that caused the death of the victim
  • Expenses involving the medical and funeral care that is connected to the death

Non-Economic Damages: These types of damages are less tangible; however, they tend to have a significantly higher value over the economic damages because emotions are involved. These types of damages include:

  • Damages to the survivors’ mental anguish or pain and suffering
  • Loss of care, protection, advice, training, guidance, and nurturing from the deceased
  • Loss of love and companionship
  • Loss of consortium with a spouse

Punitive Damages: In the State of Georgia these damages are specifically

awarded to survivors of the deceased in order to punish the defendant for bad conduct. These types of damages are not common, and are often hard to receive when against certain defendants such as government agencies.

However, these damages can sometimes be worth up to three times the actual amount of damages in situations that involve elder abuse and death in nursing homes.

If someone you love recently lost their life due to the negligent actions of someone else, you may be entitled to compensation.  We know that no amount of money will ever be able to replace the life of your loved one, but it can help to relieve the financial burden.

Click below to speak with a Professional Wrongful Death Attorney at The Brown Firm Today.

Related Post: How Many Car Accidents are Caused by Texting in the US?

Original Article Shared Here 

blog_img3
blog_img4

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

Our Recent Personal Injury Articles

Contact The Brown Firm

Get the Answers and Compensation You Deserve

You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our simple online form.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Can I Sue For Wrongful Death In Georgia?

Losing someone you love is tragic, no matter the circumstances.

However, when you lose someone you love because of someone else’s negligence or careless behavior, these deaths are referred to as wrongful deaths, and the surviving family may deserve to be compensated for the loss of their loved one.

The complicated legal system in Georgia and the statute of limitations can make wrongful death claims difficult to pursue.

The statute of limitations will determine how long you have to file a case with the courts, and because of this and other time limitations, it takes the help of an expert Wrongful Death Lawyer if you want to win your case.

If you believe someone you loved lost their life because of another’s negligence, we are here to help you understand when you can sue for wrongful death in Georgia. 

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

Defining Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death occurs when a person loses their life because of negligence, recklessness, intentional, or criminal acts of another person or entity, such as a business. Negligence refers to the failure to uphold reasonable care when there is a duty to do so, and the result is harm to another.

In a few ways, a wrongful death case has similar aspects to a personal injury case. In both, negligence must be proven, however, in a wrongful death case, the injured person is no longer alive to bring a case to court.

This means that the case must be brought to court by the deceased person’s family, or by a representative of the deceased person’s estate if no family is living.

blog_img1
blog_img2

Who can File a Wrongful Death Claim

Georgia law has specific rules about who can file a wrongful death claim, beginning with the spouse of the deceased person.

If the spouse has minor children, the surviving spouse must also represent the children’s interests in court. If there is no spouse or surviving children of the deceased, the claim can be brought to court by:

  1. the surviving parents of the deceased
  2. the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate

If the deceased’s personal representative brings the claim to court, any damages that are recovered will be held by the estate for the benefits of the deceased person’s next of kin.

Damages in a Wrongful Death Case

Georgia recognizes two different types of wrongful death claims.

The first claim is to establish the value of the life of the deceased person. This is composed of monetary damages which include the financial and intangible value of the deceased person’s life. For example:

  1. Lost wages and benefits which include what the deceased person may have earned if they had lived.
  2. Loss of care, companionship, and other intangible benefits that the deceased person provided to their loved ones.

The second claim is meant to remedy the financial losses that are related to the deceased person’s death. This can include:

  1. Medical expenses are associated with the deceased person’s last injury or illness caused by the accident.
  2. Any funeral and burial expenses that accumulated.
  3. Conscious pain and suffering that was endured by the deceased person right before their death.

Previous Post: What is a Class Action Lawsuit and What is Its Purpose?

blog_img3
blog_img4

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

blog_img5
blog_img6

The Importance of Hiring a Wrongful Death Attorney in Georgia

If someone you love lost their life in an accident that was caused by another’s negligence, you have the right to sue that person or entity, for compensation.

Trying to file a wrongful death lawsuit on your own can be nearly impossible. The complex rules and regulations of the legal system make it very difficult for the family members to seek compensation on their own.

You can learn even more about the complexities of a Wrongful Death Case in Georgia with this guide.

The Brown Firm Attorneys have over 30 years of experience representing the family of wrongful death victims. Our lawyers have the training and skills to file a wrongful death claim and obtain the compensation that is owed to the surviving family members.

If someone you love has lost their life because of another’s negligence, you deserve to be compensated fully for your loss.

No amount of compensation can make up for the pain and suffering that you are feeling, but it is our hope, that you will not have an added burden on your life due to the financial loss that you are suffering.

Our lawyers offer a free consultation to see how we can best assist with your case. Click below to schedule an appointment to speak with one of The Brown Firm’s Top Wrongful Death Attorneys in Georgia today.

Our Recent Personal Injury Articles

Contact The Brown Firm

Get the Answers and Compensation You Deserve

You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our simple online form.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

The Complete Guide To Wrongful Death Lawsuits

The wrongful death claims are usually initiated against a defendant who has allegedly caused a person’s death. Whether the incident was an accident or intentional harm.

The wrongful death claims let the family of the deceased victim file a lawsuit. This is usually filed by an estate representative for the family of the surviving victim as well as other parties.

The wrongful death claim is a very special kind of personal injury lawsuit which can only be made when any party is killed due to the other party’s negligence or maybe after an intentional act.

There are so many incidents like this that happened, and the family of the victim is not able to get the right verdict that they deserve because of their limited knowledge about the legal process. So here is what you need to know about wrongful death lawsuits.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

What is a Personal Injury Law?

The Personal Injury Law is also called the tort law. It covers the situations where a person’s body, mind as well as emotions are hurt due to someone else’s negligence. This includes wrongful death or where the injury from the incident is fatal. The case will begin when the injured party or the plaintiff sue the person or maybe the business or called the defendant.

With the personal injury lawsuit, it claims that the defendant is the reason or the cause of the plaintiff’s injury or death and demands compensation. This is usually in the form of monetary payment or also called damages. Basically, a personal injury law covers any case where a person is injured.

blog_img1
blog_img2

What is a Wrongful Death?

If an individual is killed because of wrongful conduct, the family of the victim and the other beneficiaries may be able to file a wrongful death action against the person or the people who are responsible for the incident.

This Tort Law is governed by the statute. But the wrongful death statutes differ from every state. Here is the link to Georgia’s CodeBut generally, this will define who may sue for wrongful death and if there are any limits applied to the damages. 

Even before, the wrongful death statutes were created to provide the needed financial support for the widows and orphans and also to motivate people to exercise extra care to prevent injuries.

A wrongful death action is separate and very different from criminal charges. And neither of these two proceedings affects or controls the other. This only means that the defendant acquitted of murder can still be sued by the victim’s family in a civil action for wrongful death.

Wrongful Deaths May Be INTENTIONAL or UNINTENTIONAL.

These actions cause injury which results in death. For example, a blow to the head during an argument which will later result in the death of the person is a type of injury that is intentionally caused.

Another example is when the driver of a car unintentionally causes the death of another person in an accident can be sued for negligence. And if a person who violates the local law neglects to enclose a swimming pool which causes an accident of a child can be held responsible for his actions.

You must remember that the wrongful death statutes do not apply to unborn fetus since the individual has no legal status until he is born alive. But an exemption is, when an infant is born alive and later on passes away because of the injury caused before he is born, this can lead to wrongful death.

blog_img3
blog_img4

Wrongful Death Lawsuit: The History

The Historical Approach – Before the modern approach became official, you will not be able to sue someone in the civil court for the death of a relative or someone close to you even though it is caused by another person. The suspect can still go to jail, but the family of the deceased will not be receiving any monetary payment for the damages.

The Modern Approach – This is when every state has mandated that everyone should follow the laws that replaced the historical approach. These days, most wrongful death cases are now allowing a representative of the decedent or also a decedent’s estate to sue for the civil damages. This includes the losses incurred for grief, sorrow, as well as mental suffering.

Popular Systems Used By Wrongful Death Statutes

The Lord Campbell System

The “Lord Campbell’s Act” is the basis of most wrongful death statutes in most states. This was proposed in 1846 by the British Parliament. Based on this Act, any wrongful death claim can only be made by the beneficiary only specified by the statute. This is usually based on the relationship of the person to the decedent.

The benefits will only be given to these specified individuals. If in any case that there are no living relatives, the right will be passed on to the members of the next class. If sadly there are no members on any classes at this point, the claim for the wrongful death will not be possible.

The designated beneficiaries:

  • Immediate family members who include the spouse, the children, any adopted children, and also the parents of unmarried children.
  • Any distant family members like the siblings and also the grandparents.
  • The parents of the deceased fetus.
  • The domestic partners
  • Any financial dependents
  • Members who suffer financially because of the death.
The “Loss-To-Estate” System

A wrongful death claim in other states can only be made by the decedent’s estate. This is to compensate for any losses that were incurred because of the death of the decedent. The lawsuit will be brought about by the personal representative of the estate.

This representative will be appointed by the probate court who will administer the assets of the decedent. The representative will bring the suit under his or her own name, but the amount that will be recovered will be subject to a trust for the disbursement to the beneficiaries. This will again differ in different states.

Wrongful Death: When Is It Applicable?

A wrongful death claim in only applicable when a victim who was supposed to file a personal injury claim is killed because of the negligence of the person at fault or it can be because of an intentional act.

Here are the situations that wrongful death can be applied.

  • The victim is intentionally killed.
  • The victim dies because of medical malpractice. If for example, a doctor fails to diagnose a condition and if the doctor was too careless in providing care and results to death, it is considered as a wrongful act and can be taken against the doctor.
  • Vehicular accident death because of negligence. When a victim dies because of car accident injuries, a wrongful death claim is applicable.

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

blog_img5
blog_img6

Who Is Entitled To Compensation Following A Wrongful Death?

Individuals entitled to wrongful death compensation will depend on the state statute.

There are statutes that provide for the recovery by the surviving spouse, or next of kin, or maybe the children. There are some states that allow a surviving spouse to take action even when they are separated unless the spouse is proven guilty of desertion or maybe the spouse did not provide support.

There are some instances that the children will file a lawsuit for the wrongful death of their parents. And parents will also be able to file a lawsuit for the wrongful death of their children. There are some states that only minor children will be allowed to sue the one responsible for the wrongful death of their parents. And there are some state statutes which will not allow the parents to file a suit for an adult child who is already financially independent or married.

Wrongful Death Claim: Who Can File?

The claim is brought about by an estate representative of the victim. This will be on behalf of the survivors related to the victim. Remember that the considered survivors would be different in every state.

A spouse should be able to take action for the wrongful death on behalf of the deceased husband or wife. For the parents of the minors who were killed, they should also be able to bring a wrongful death action.

The argument in some states is if the parent of adult children, or if adult children can sue the responsible person for their parents, or whether the grown siblings can bring a wrongful death action.

The case where the relatives left are cousins, aunts, and uncles, or even grandparents are also the same. The case is, the more distant the family relationship is, the more difficult it will be to decide if you are allowed to claim for the wrongful death.

What Must Be PROVEN When Filing A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

For the defendant to be liable for the wrongful death claim, the plaintiff should be able to meet the proof required. Here is an article that talks about evidence.

This will be the same proof that the deceased victim would have provided if he or she lived.

By using “negligence” against the defendant, this goes to show that the defendant needs to provide the victim their deserved care.

This also means that the defendant did not meet his required duties where these duties were the cause the death of the victim. This also means that the death of the victim caused the damages which the plaintiff now in trying to recover.

How to Prove “Negligence” In Wrongful Death Case

Usually, the damages that are made incurred in a wrongful death case is different from the other standard negligence case. Still, the plaintiff should be able to prove this in the lawsuit.

The things that needed proof will be duty, breach of duty and also the causes and damages. You can learn more about these here.

For example: Let’s say, the defendant was driving negligently when the incident happened which resulted in the death of the decedent.

Related Post: Uber confronts wrongful death suit over girls death.

Proving Duty.

The defendant will only be accused of negligence when the defendant owes the decedent the required duty of due care. Due care is defined differently depending on the case. This means that keeping another person safe or making sure that nothing will harm the other person. For the example mentioned above, the plaintiff would argue that the defendant needs to have a duty of care when driving a vehicle.

For wrongful death cases, the judge and not the jury will decide whether the defendant owes a duty of care. Before the decision is made, a number of factors will be considered.

The factors will include the consequences of public policy when it comes to finding a duty with the same cases. The predictability of the harm and how it occurred will also be considered. Aside from this, the connection of the defendant’s actions and the harm will also be taken into consideration.

Proving Breach of Duty

If it is determined that duty is needed, the plaintiff should be able to present any evidence that the defendant breached the said duty.

Based on the example given above, say the plaintiff is able to provide a proof that the defendant is not paying attention when on the road when the accident happened, this is a statement is worthy enough to prove that the defendant is not a responsible driver, and by this, the driver breached the duty of due care on the said incident.

Proving The Defendant Caused the Accident

Then the plaintiff should be able to prove that because of the breach of duty, it resulted in losing the life of the decedent. With the example above, the plaintiff should prove that it was the defendant’s that hit the decedent.

Otherwise, the jury will not be able to prove that the breach of the duty of the defendant is what caused the accident. If for example the decedent is already severely wounded, and the defendant’s breach of duty caused harm and killed the decedent, the jury will decide that the defendant caused the death of the decedent.

Proving the Damages

Together with the breach of duty as well as causation, the plaintiff should prove that the decedent suffered damages. If a breach of duty and also causation is present in the wrongful death case, the damages will be obvious as of the death of the decedent. But for other negligence cases, the plaintiff would be able to prove the other elements but would fail to prove the suffering of the victim and will likely lose the case.

The IMMUNITY from a Lawsuit

There are certain exceptions when it comes to the rule of wrongful death claims. One of the traditional exceptions is applied to the family members. This is known as the “family immunity.” This means that the person is safe from the lawsuit which can be done by any member. This is to promote the unity of the family and also to prevent any fraudulent activity among the family members.

However, this rule has prevented the children from collecting money from the insurance. This is why many states have decided not to use the rule of family immunity. Some of these limitations are retained like allowing an adult child to sue a parent but should not allow a minor child to do this.

The Defendant’s Responsibility – Wrongful Death Damages

For the person to be able to sue for wrongful death, there should be proof that the defendant’s acts have caused the decedent’s injuries and death. This only means that the wrongful acts of the defendant have made natural reactions that have led to an injury which caused death.

Compensatory Damages – Each state law decides about the number of damages that can be covered by the statutory beneficiaries. Compensatory Damages are intended to make sure that it covers the amount of the money that was lost like the damages in the wrongful death actions.

The plaintiffs may be able to recover for the medical and the funeral expenses which will be in addition to the amount of the economic support that you will receive if the decedent lived. This amount will sum up to compensate for the grief as well as the loss of services and companionship.

Punitive Damages – This will be given in a wrongful death case if ever the actions of the defendant are proven reckless. Punitive Damages are meant to teach the defendant a lesson for his actions and will be awarded by the jury. The damages recovered will be distributed to the survivors. This will be divided based on the less of the beneficiary.

There are different categories of the losses for the damages of a wrongful death claim where a survivor will be able to receive compensation.

The categories are as follows:

  • The pain and suffering of the deceased person before he or she passed away. This is also called a survival claim.
  • It also includes medical costs where the deceased victim has spent because of the injury before death.
  • The funeral as well as the burial costs.
  • The loss of income of the deceased person.
  • The loss of inheritance because of the early death.
  • The average value of the services that the decedent could have provided.
  • The loss of love and companionship to spouse and children.

What is Considered For The Computation of Wrongful Death Damages

There are certain factors to be considered when determining the amount of the damages for the wrongful death. In order to compute the compensation, the salary of the decedent that he or she could have earned will be multiplied to the number of years of the possible number of years that the decedent could have lived but will also be adjusted with inflation.

There are actual tables used as a guide for the average life expectancy depending on the age and gender. The health status, as well as the nature of his or her work, will also be taken into consideration by the jury.

TIPS in Choosing A Lawyer for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

There are some important things that you have to know when choosing a lawyer to handle your wrongful death lawsuit.

Contact your local bar association and ask for a list of the best lawyers who are experts in wrongful deaths lawsuits, also search on Google and check out Attorney reviews.

If you know a medical provider, you can also ask for a referral that other patients have used as well. If you have friends who have had a wrongful death case experience, personal injury, or maybe medical malpractice, they are also a good source of information of the lawyers that they also trust.

Experience is a Must

When hiring a lawyer, you need to find someone who has the best experience in this kind of case. There are people who have been lawyers for decades but still, they don’t have enough experience.

Aside from this, the person should also be dedicated to the job. You will not need just any kind of attorney. You need to find someone who has specialized in personal injury especially in wrongful death cases.

Here are some other questions to ask your personal injury attorney.

Has a Good Reputation in the Community

The best lawyers usually have the best reputations as well. But you must remember that not all popular lawyers are good at what they are doing. You can start reading online reviews.

You can mostly find a good story about a lawyer that you might just have been looking for. It is also best if you can check your state bar association. This is to make sure that the lawyer does not have any bad history.

Trust Your Instincts

We always have that instinct about how we feel about a person even in just the first meeting. This is very important so you will know if this is the person that you would want to work with.

You should be able to discuss the frequency of your meetings, method of communication, your odds of winning, how you can help to win the case, and so much more. These are just simple questions, but it will help you decide how you feel about the person.

Losing a loved one is not something that anyone should have to experience. But accidents are inevitable. When this happens, you should know your rights and what settlements or benefits are you entitled to.

Do not be a victim and let the person who is responsible for your loss win over you. Know what you need to do.

Let this guide help you along the way. If you need further assistance, you can contact The Brown Firm Wrongful Death Attorneys for free legal advice.

[Original Article Published Here]

Our Recent Personal Injury Articles

Contact The Brown Firm

Get the Answers and Compensation You Deserve

You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our simple online form.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

How To Prove Your Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Losing a loved one is heartbreaking, and when their death is caused due to the negligence of another person, the surviving family members may have the right file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party, but the question becomes, how to prove your wrongful death lawsuit.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A wrongful death claim can be filed against a person who’s conduct or negligence caused the death of another individual. If you wish to seek compensation, you claim will need to be filed as a civil lawsuit for monetary damages. Wrongful Death lawsuits can be complicated to handle alone, which is why you should hire an experienced Personal Injury Attorney to help with your case. 

blog_img1
blog_img2

How To Prove Wrongful Death

After you have hired a wrongful death attorney in Georgia to assist with your lawsuit, it will be up to you and your attorney to prove the various elements of a wrongful death claim before you can recover any damages.

The court will need to be made aware that due to the defendant’s negligent actions, another individual lost their life. 

To prove wrongful death occurred, the following must be established:

  • Duty of Care: You and your personal injury attorney will need to prove to the court that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased individual, and because that duty was neglected, the other person died.
  • Breach of Duty of Care: You will also need to prove that the duty of care that was owed to the deceased was breached by the defendant, such as, failing to abide by certain laws.
  • Causation: Along with proving a breach of duty in some way, you must also prove that the negligent actions of the defendant directly caused the wrongful death.

Contact an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney

If you have lost a loved one and believe their death resulted from the negligent actions of someone else, it is important to act quickly and hire an experienced attorney to help with your lawsuit.

At The Brown Firm, we have many years of experience handling Wrongful Death cases similar to yours. Our experienced lawyers understand the procedures to help you receive the compensation you deserve for the loss of your loved one.

We offer a free consultation to see how we can best assist with your Wrongful Death Case in Georgia. Click on the link below to speak with one of our experienced Personal Injury Attorneys.

Want to learn more? Check out our last article on Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Georgia.

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

Our Recent Personal Injury Articles

Contact The Brown Firm

Get the Answers and Compensation You Deserve

You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our simple online form.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

5 Most Common Wrongful Death Cases in Georgia

Wrongful death cases in Georgia can be incredibly complex. Many people are unfamiliar with wrongful death and do not fully understand the difference between wrongful death cases and criminal cases.

We hope you never have to experience the death of a loved one due to the negligence of another, but if you have, wanting to seek retribution for their loss of life is completely understandable. Here’s why you should hire a wrongful death attorney.

Listed below are some of the most common wrongful death cases in Georgia.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

5 Common Reasons for a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia

Motor Vehicle Accidents

There are thousands of motor vehicle accidents every day, and unfortunately, many of those result in death. Wrongful death accidents can result from defective mechanisms within the vehicle, but most commonly result from someone else’s negligent driving.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice that results in a wrongful death is usually due to a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional or facility’s negligent actions, or lack of action. Pharmacy error is another form of medical malpractice. Providing someone the wrong medication or the wrong dose of medication can be deadly.

Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse

Wrongful death cases involving your elderly loved one can be extremely devastating. Nursing homes are supposed to protect and care for your loved ones, but occasionally, employees are found liable for the abuse or neglect of the elderly. This behavior is often a direct cause of their death.

Work Place Accidents

On the job accidents that result in a wrongful death claim are usually a result of an unsafe workplace or inadequate training. Unknowingly using faulty equipment or not knowing the proper safety precautions also qualifies as wrongful death. Some fields are more dangerous than others and have a much higher rate of injury and death, such as health care and construction.

Defective Product Liability

Manufacturers are held accountable for all of the products they create, produce, and sell to consumers. If an innocent victim dies from using a defective product, a case may be built against the manufacturer. Additionally, these companies are required to state any dangers of using their product on the label, and issue recalls on faulty or dangerous products.

 If a loved one has suddenly died in a tragic wrongful death accident and you or the family wants to pursue the deserved compensation for the loss of their future income, pain and suffering, and medical and funeral expenses, then The Brown Firm can help.

The first step to receiving a favorable outcome to your wrongful death claim is retaining an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Savannah, Atlanta, or Athens.

Wrongful death cases in Georgia can be involved, so having the help of an experienced lawyer can be extremely beneficial. Our wrongful death attorneys will help you through the lengthy process of filing a claim and fight for the compensation you are owed.

Want to learn more? Check out these 4 Things to Consider When Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer.

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

Our Recent Personal Injury Articles

Contact The Brown Firm

Get the Answers and Compensation You Deserve

You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our simple online form.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Why Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney?

Wrongful death cases are not criminal cases. The negligent party is not punished via incarceration, but rather, with payable damages. Most people are unfamiliar with civil court cases and therefore require the assistance of an experienced Georgia lawyer to win and receive their rightful payout in a wrongful death case. You may also be asking yourself, “What is the difference between wrongful death and murder?

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

So, Why Hire A Georgia Wrongful Death Lawyer?

It is understandable that when a loved one suddenly dies a wrongful death that family members would want to seek compensation for the loss of potential future income, medical or funeral expenses, and of course, pain and suffering.

This type of legal action must be taken immediately and hiring an experienced attorney can take a big weight off of your shoulders. A Georgia wrongful death lawyer can help you file your claim and start building your case immediately. Having the resources to gather quickly evidence and witness statements is also critical to receiving a favorable outcome with your case.

Because there are so many different potential wrongful death cases, an experienced, knowledgeable, and well-rounded Georgia attorney is almost always necessary for winning your case.

blog_img1
blog_img2

What are Some of the Most Common Georgia Wrongful Death Claims?

  • Car and Truck Accidents 
    • Motor vehicle accidents that result in a wrongful death can be caused by manufacturer error or the fault of another driver negligent actions.
  • Medical Malpractice
    • Wrongful death as a result of medical malpractice is usually due to medical personnel’s actions or lack there of.
  • Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse
    • Wrongful death cases involving nursing homes usually result in employees being held liable for the abuse or extreme neglect of an elderly person, which results in their death.
  • Construction or Work Place Accident
    • Work-related deaths are usually a result of faulty equipment, unsafe work environment, lack of necessary precautions, or inadequate training. Some fields were particularly dangerous and have a higher rate of wrongful death cases, such as construction and healthcare.

If a loved one has tragically died in a wrongful death accident and you are considering suing to pursue the compensation owed to your family, then retaining a lawyer in Savannah, Atlanta, or Athens should be your first step.

Wrongful death cases are usually complex and differ from common personal injury cases. So, having the support of The Brown Firm’s Attorneys, who specialize in wrongful death cases, can be extremely beneficial to the outcome of your case.

Injured in a truck accident? Check out this article to learn about hiring an attorney to handle your case.

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

Our Recent Personal Injury Articles

Contact The Brown Firm

Get the Answers and Compensation You Deserve

You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our simple online form.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

What Is The Difference Between Murder and Wrongful Death?

Facing the death of a loved one can make it hard to know what to do next.

The grief of losing someone close to you can make it tough to understand what the loss means for you and your family.

Financial compensation can’t bring back your loved one, but it is often a necessary avenue to secure your family’s financial well-being.

If a loved one has died because of someone else’s negligence, it’s critical to understand the difference between wrongful death and murder so you can make the right decisions for your family.

In the article below, we will talk about the difference between murder and wrongful death.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

MURDER OR WRONGFUL DEATH?

Most people often wonder what the difference between murder and wrongful death is. When someone dies of unnatural causes, family and friends want to seek retribution for their loss.

Was their loved one murdered, or should they sue for wrongful death?

The main differences between the two are based on the case type, supporting evidence, and the punishment.

WHAT IS WRONGFUL DEATH?

Wrongful death cases are held in civil court after charges are filed against a negligent person or business accused of causing someone’s death. Negligence can be either the defendant’s specific action or lack of action.

For the defendant to be found responsible, they must be found guilty by a “preponderance of the evidence.”

This term means that the accused (defendant) is “more likely than not” guilty of causing the deceased party’s (plaintiff’s) death because the plaintiff proves there is more than a 50% chance the claim against the defendant is true.

Punishment for these types of cases is carried out solely by payable damages to the surviving family members.

COMMON WRONGFUL DEATH CASES

The most common wrongful death cases stem from the following:

Car Accidents – Wrongful death resulting from a car accident can be either the car manufacturer’s fault or another driver’s fault. If the other vehicle’s operator was negligent and disobeying traffic laws, they may be to blame.

If an accident occurred because of a faulty product released by the manufacturer, they are most likely at fault.

Medical Malpractice – Medical malpractice can result in wrongful death when doctors and other employees force patients to wait to receive care when they require medical attention.

Other forms of wrongful death via medical malpractice would be a surgical error performed by a surgeon, anesthesiologist, or any surgical team member. A misdiagnosis of a terminal illness that another professional in the same field could have easily diagnosed could also end up in court.

Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse – Nursing homes and their employees can be at fault for the wrongful death of an elderly person if they abuse or neglect a patient entrusted to their care.

SUING FOR WRONGFUL DEATH

When suing for wrongful death, a life expectancy table is used to determine what the deceased’s future earnings would have been.

Income at the time of death is multiplied by the number of years between the time of death and the date of retirement. In addition, variables such as retirement benefits are also included.

This is normally the amount the defendant must pay in damages to surviving family members if they are found liable.

CONTACT THE BROWN FIRM

If you have questions about murder or wrongful death after losing a loved one, contact The Brown Firm. When suing, it is necessary to retain a lawyer.

These cases can be extremely complex. The Brown Firm specializes in wrongful death cases, which can be extremely beneficial.

Our wrongful death lawyers in Georgia can help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.

Call today or click on the link below for a Free Case Evaluation with one of our experienced attorneys!

Stay updated on today’s top legal issues with our previous post on 4 Common Georgia Personal Injury Claims.

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

Our Recent Personal Injury Articles