Have you lost a loved one due to the carelessness or intentional acts of someone else?
Our expert Wrongful Death Attorneys in Stone Mountain, Georgia can help you seek the compensation and damages you deserve after losing a family member.
We understand money is the last thing on your mind when you are grieving a death, trust our Wrongful Death Lawyers with your losses we are committed to your family and their best interests throughout the duration of your claim. With over 30 years of dedicated experience, The Brown Firm can help your family find closure and gain financial compensation to which your family rightfully deserves.
Our personal injury attorney's represent those who have fallen victim to another person's negligent or intentional actions; we offer free consultations, Click Below to speak with a wrongful death accident specialist.
Understanding Your Wrongful Death Settlement
Wrongful Death Claims allow the estate of the deceased person to file a lawsuit against the party who is legally liable for the death. The suit is generally filed by the representative of the estate, on behalf of surviving family members and other affected parties.
Wrongful Death Settlements include financial compensation paid for both non-economic and economic losses. Some of those losses are financial while other losses are innate, such as the loss of the deceased’s love and companionship. There are no written rules for deciding the compensation amount for non-economic wrongful death claims. In the situation that the case would go to trial, a jury would be responsible for deciding the monetary value of the allegation. Non-economic losses include:
- The loss of emotional support
- 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( the past, present, and future)
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of work benefits (health insurance, pension)
- Funeral expenses
Additionally, It's not uncommon for an economist to place a monetary value on the loss of household services that the descendant would have provided to the family if not for the death. This type of claim would be added into the settlement amount.
The Complexities of a Georgia Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The privilege to file a lawsuit for wrongful death is a relatively new concept and has only been around the last hundred years. It is also brought in a civil action and is not a criminal trial, even though the death in the query may have been due to an illegal action.
If you aim to take legal action after losing a family member in an accident, it is imperative that you act fast To hold the defendant accountable in a wrongful death suit, the plaintiffs in the claim must meet the same burden of proof that the victim would have had to meet had the victim lived.
Georgia State Law defines a "wrongful death" as the death of one person caused by the "careless, heedless, purposeful, or criminal" acts of another person or entity. Wrongful Death only occurs when the loss of life is due to the negligent actions of another person, which could have been averted. By filing a wrongful death lawsuit with your personal injury attorney in Stone Mountain, you are trying to obtain compensation from the party at fault.
We hope you never have to encounter the death of a loved one due to the laxity of another. Wrongful Death cases can be very involved and are substantially diverse from other personal injury claims. In a typical personal injury claim the victim brings forth a claim against the guilty party. In a wrongful death case, the survivors or estate must file the claim for the recovery of damages. There are complications with filing a wrongful death claim and the process can be quite confusing for loved ones. There are even unique challenges and areas for error for seasoned trial lawyers. That's why it's important to seek professional legal help that has the experience and knowledge of your state's laws and regulations pertaining to your wrongful death suit.
You need a skilled attorney who will help preserve relevant evidence, organize your investigation, and gather all evidence and testimony available to increase your chances of a positive case outcome.
Wrongful Death Claim VS. Estate Claim
When you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, Georgia recognizes two separate and unique types of wrongful death claims:
- The Wrongful Death Claim- In Georgia, this traditional claim is to establish the "full value of the life of the deceased" taken by the negligence of another. This claim is brought on part of the surviving family members of the deceased person, it includes monetary damages, such as lost wages and benefits or loss of care, companionship, and other intangible benefits.
- The Estate Claim- This claim can only be brought forth by the estate and it is not for the value of the life of the expired but instead any expenses the Estate has acquired resulting from the injury and death, as well as 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.
Keep in mind; it isn't until the time of death, not the date of injury when it will be determined who has the claim and the right to file a lawsuit.
The Statute of Limitations limits the time survivors, or personal representative has to bring a wrongful death suit to court. In almost all cases, the claim must be filed within two years of the date of mortality. If the wrongful death claim is not filed within the two-year statute, the right to bring it is almost always lost.
Bringing Forth A Wrongful Death Civil Lawsuit
Wrongful death is a civil lawsuit (initiated by survivors or estates against individuals or corporations responsible for the death and which cannot immediately lead to incarceration, meaning the judgment will not imply incarceration), while murder is a criminal lawsuit (instituted by criminal prosecutors and which can result in incarceration).
The first step to filing a suit is to hire an experienced attorney who can investigate the facts and details of your wrongful death and determine if you have a valid suit.
Common Wrongful Death Accidents Our Personal Injury Law Firm Handles:
Once the attorney has decided that there is a legitimate case, the next step is to have a personal representative assigned by the probate court to file the lawsuit on the behalf of the estate or survivor of the deceased.
The lawsuit is a legal document, called the Complaint, that is filed at the courthouse and sets forth the legal basis for the claim. This includes 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.
Relatives That Can Sue for the Passing of a Loved One
Wrongful death claims involve all sorts of fatal accidents from simple car accidents to complicated medical malpractice or product liability cases. Persons, companies, and governmental agencies can be legally at blame for acting recklessly and for acting intentionally. Georgia wrongful death law sets up a hierarchy of relatives who have standing to sue for the passing of a loved one. The hierarchy as follows:
- Spouse of the Deceased, If your loved one is survived by a spouse then the spouse has a right to file a wrongful death suit. However, if your loved one is survived by spouse and children then the spouse must file on behalf of himself or herself and then the children. The spouse and the children then split the compensation and awarded damages, 1/3 to the spouse and the rest split amongst the children
- Children of the Deceased, If your loved one was not survived by a spouse, then the children of the deceased have the right to file a wrongful death claim.
- Parents of the Deceased, if your loved one was not survived by a spouse your children, then the surviving parent has the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
- The Executor of the Deceased's Estate, if none of the above has survived, then the estate has the wrongful death claim.
If the executor or personal representative brings the claim, any damages recovered are held by the estate for the benefit of the deceased person's next of kin.
In order to file a lawsuit, a family member or heir must first be appointed the personal representative of the estate or descendant. This process is done through the probate court in the county where the descendant last resided or had property. Or the estate can be opened in the county the death occurred or the lawsuit will be filed.
We know better than anyone that it can be difficult to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, so do not attempt to file your claim alone.
Our Georgia Personal Injury Law Firm handles the probate process from start to finish when you choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Hiring experienced representation is crucial to the outcome of your case because we have successfully handled many similar cases before.
Contact Our Stone Mountain Accident Injury Lawyers for the Quality Representation you Deserve
If you have lost someone you love due to the negligence of someone else, you may be entitled to receive compensation for their wrongful death. Our Stone Mountain personal injury lawyers are committed to helping you with your personal injury case.
We understand that each and every client has specific goals and needs which is why we take a personal approach so each case is receiving the right amount of time and attention.
Our superb customer service is reinforced by a staff that cares about you, and a team of attorneys who have the gratitude, understanding, and compassion for your particular circumstances.
At The Brown Firm, we offer a Free Consultation to see how we can best assist with your specific needs. Contact a Stone Mountain, Georgia Wrongful Death Attorney Today!