Losing a loved one to a preventable accident is a tragedy that no one should have to suffer. If your loved one died because of another person's carelessness or inaction, you can file a Wrongful Death Lawsuit against the responsible party.
Our Wrongful Death Attorneys in Duluth, Ga, have the skills and experience these sensitive and complicated cases require. Our Accident Lawyers are well-versed in wrongful death laws, legal deadlines for filing claims, and all of the components necessary to prove fault in wrongful death cases.
If you have lost your family member because of the wrongful acts of another in Duluth, GA, you may have a valid wrongful death lawsuit. The Brown Firm can help your family find closure and receive the financial compensation your family deserves.
With over 30 years of dedicated experience, the law office of The Brown Firm has Personal Injury Attorneys who are proud to represent those who have fallen victim to another person's negligent actions. It would be an honor to help you through this tragic situation.
Understanding Your Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Georgia State Law defines a "wrongful death" as the death of one person caused by the "negligent, reckless, intentional, or criminal" acts of another person or entity. Wrongful Death only occurs when the loss of life is due to another person's negligent actions and could have been prevented.
When you file a wrongful death claim with your attorney in Duluth, you are trying to obtain compensation from the party at fault.
Wrongful Death cases can be very complex and are substantially different from other personal injury cases. In a typical personal injury case, the victim files the claim against the responsible party. In a wrongful death case, the family or estate must file the claim to recover damages.
There are complications with filing a wrongful death claim, and the process can be quite confusing for loved ones. There are unique challenges even for seasoned trial lawyers. Because of Wrongful Death Cases' complicated nature, it is important to seek professional legal help before filing a claim in Duluth, GA.
Skilled lawyers understand Georgia's laws and regulations necessary for a fair outcome in a wrongful death suit.
Common Wrongful Death Accident Lawsuits:
If you have lost a loved one in a wrongful death accident, one of our expert lawyers can help you navigate the many steps involved in filing a claim and seeking compensation for loss of future income. You may seek compensation for pain and suffering and other expenses as well. Our lawyers are experienced helping families who have lost a loved one in the following types of accidents:
- Motor Vehicle Negligence or Recklessness including Drunk Driving
- Inadequate Safety by a Business Owner
- A Work Site Accident
- Truck Accidents
- Fires, explosions, and electrical injuries
- Defective Premises
- Other Accidental Death Causes
You need an experienced attorney to increase your chances of a favorable case outcome by preserving important evidence, conducting your investigation, and gathering available testimonies.
Filing Wrongful Death Actions in Duluth, Georgia
If you intend to take legal action after losing a family member in an accident, it is important that you act quickly. Keep in mind that filing a wrongful death lawsuit and determining who has the right to make a claim must wait until after death, not the time of injury.
The Statute of Limitations limits the time survivors or personal representatives have to bring a wrongful death suit to court. In almost all cases, the claim must be filed within two years of the date of death. If the wrongful death claim is not filed within the two year period, those involved no longer have a right to make a case.
Georgia Recognizes Two Types of Wrongful Death
- Wrongful Death Claim
In Georgia, this traditional claim establishes that another's negligence took the "full value of the life of the deceased." This claim is brought on behalf of the surviving family members of the deceased person. This claim includes monetary damages, including lost wages, lost benefits, loss of care, loss of companionship, and other intangible benefits.
- Estate Claim
This claim can only be brought forth by the estate and is not used to value the deceased's life. Instead, an Estate Claim establishes any expenses the Estate has incurred resulting from the injury and death, including pain and suffering. Damages that may be recovered in this claim include medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, and conscious pain and suffering endured by the deceased before death.
How To File a Survivorship Claim?
Wrongful death claims involve all types of fatal accidents, from simple car accidents to complicated medical malpractice or product liability cases. Persons, companies, and governmental agencies can be found to be legally at fault for acting negligently or intentionally. Georgia wrongful death law sets up a hierarchy of relatives who have standing to sue for the death of a loved one. The hierarchy is as follows:
- Spouse of the Deceased - If a loved one lost to wrongful death has a spouse, then that spouse has a right to file a wrongful death suit. If the loved one is survived by a spouse and children, then the spouse must file on behalf of themselves and then the children. The spouse and the children split compensation. One-third of damages awarded goes to the spouse, and the rest is split between the children.
- Children of the Deceased - If your loved one was not survived by a spouse, then the deceased's children have the right to file a wrongful death claim.
- Parents of the Deceased - if your loved one was not survived by a spouse or children, then a surviving parent has the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
- The Executor of the Deceased's Estate - if none of the above survive the loved one, then the estate has the right to file a wrongful death claim. Any damages recovered are held by the estate to benefit the deceased person's next of kin.
To file a lawsuit, a family member or heir must first be appointed the estate or descendant's personal representative. This process is done through the county's probate court, where the descendant last resided or owned property. The estate can also be opened in the county the death occurred or where the lawsuit will be filed.
We know how complicated it can be to pursue wrongful death actions, so we recommend that you not attempt to file your claim on your own. When you choose to partner with The Brown Firm in Duluth, we will handle the probate process from start to finish. Hiring experienced legal representation is crucial to the outcome of your case. We know from experience.
The Court and Legal Processes Involved in Bringing Forth a Claim
The first step involved in filing a suit is to hire an experienced attorney who can investigate the facts and details of your wrongful death to determine if you have a valid suit. Once the attorney has decided that there is a valid wrongful death case, the next step is for a personal representative appointed by the probate court to file the lawsuit on behalf of the deceased's estate or survivor.
The lawsuit is a legal document, called the Complaint, that is filed at the courthouse. This document sets forth the legal basis for the claim, including allegations of negligence or intentional acts that caused the death. The lawsuit also implores the various types of compensation allowed under the state's statutes and ordinance.
Wrongful Death Settlements In Duluth
Wrongful Death Settlements include compensation paid for both non-economic and economic losses. Some of those losses are financial, while other losses are emotional, such as losing the deceased’s love and companionship.
There are no written guidelines for determining the compensation amount for non-economic wrongful death claims. If the case went to trial, a jury would be responsible for deciding the claim's monetary value. Non-economic losses include:
- Loss of Emotional Support
- Loss of Comfort
- Loss of Companionship
- Loss to Society
- Loss of Moral support
- Pain and Suffering from the time of the injury through the date of death
Compensation is also owed to the family for economic losses caused by the death of a loved one. This includes:
- Loss of earnings (past, present, and future)
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of work benefits (health insurance, pension)
- Funeral expenses
It is not uncommon for an economist to also place a financial value on the loss of household services, such as care of children that the descendant would have provided to the family if not for the death. This type of claim would be added to the settlement amount.
How A Duluth, Georgia Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help
If you have lost someone you love due to someone else's negligence, you may be entitled to receive compensation for their wrongful death. Our Duluth Personal Injury Lawyers are here to help lift the burden from families facing the loss of a loved one and are committed to helping you with your personal injury case.
We believe that every client has specific goals and needs, so we take a personal approach. We want you to know that your case is receiving the right amount of time and attention. Our superior customer service is backed by a staff that truly cares about you. Our team of attorneys has the gratitude, understanding, and compassion your specific circumstances call for. If you live in or near the city of Duluth, GA, our attorneys can help you through this difficult time.
At The Brown Firm, our attorneys have many years of experience advocating on behalf of the families who lost someone dear to them due to wrongful death. We are dedicated to helping you recover the compensation that you deserve during this tragic time.
At the law firm office of The Brown Firm, we offer a Free Consultation to see how we can best assist with your specific needs. Click on the link below to speak with one of our Duluth, Georgia wrongful Death Attorneys!