Understanding Georgia Wrongful Death
If you have suffered the loss of a loved one due to an accident or injury caused by the negligence of another person or entity, no amount of compensation could ever replace the loss of your loved one. Yet, you and your family should not have to suffer further through financial hardships. During this incredibly difficult time, it is important to protect your family from unscrupulous insurance companies by speaking to a wrongful death attorney.
The legal term for your loss is wrongful death. Wrongful death claims are made by the survivors of a person who has died as the result of the misconduct of another, after which the law allows family members to seek monetary damages to compensate for the wrongful death. Wrongful death can bring devastation to family members, both emotionally and, unfortunately, financially. While no one’s first thought following the loss of a loved one is money, there may be loved ones who depended heavily on the deceased for financial support, making it necessary to consider the financial aspect.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit?
Under Georgia law, survivors of the deceased are allowed to seek compensation following the death of their loved one. The specific survivors who are allowed to seek compensation include the following:
- The spouse of the deceased may recover compensation for the loss of companionship, as well as mental pain and suffering resulting from the death.
- The minor children of the deceased are allowed to recover compensation for lost parental companionship, guidance, and mental pain and suffering resulting from the death.
- Parents of a minor child who died from a wrongful death may recover damages for mental pain and suffering, and if there is no spouse or children, the parents of an adult child may also recover damages.
- Each of the above survivors are allowed to seek recovery for the value of lost support from the date of their loved one’s death, along with loss of future support. Medical or funeral expenses may also be recovered and reimbursed to the loved one who paid the expenses.
If the surviving spouse and the deceased had minor children, the surviving spouse is required to represent the interests of the children in court. The surviving spouse cannot receive less than one-third of the total recovery, regardless of the number of children.
Proving Wrongful Death
When reckless or deliberate behavior results in a fatality, negligence has occurred and a wrongful death suit could be warranted. Negligence in a wrongful death suit refers to the manner in which a reasonable person or medical professional would have acted under the same circumstances. Your attorney will show that there was a duty of care owed to the deceased, that this duty of care was breached, that such wrongful actions resulted in death, and that damages resulted from that death.
Damages from a Wrongful Death
When determining what level of damages that you are entitled to in your wrongful death suit, there are a number of factors the court will consider, such as:
- The relationship between yourself and the deceased
- The “value” of the services of the deceased to you
- The normal life expectancy of both you and the deceased
- The amount of the deceased’s income available to you
Medical and funeral expenses may be reimbursed to you or your loved one’s estate, and you may be eligible to recover:
- Loss of wages and earnings
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of parental guidance (depending on your relationship with the deceased)
Your attorney can bring in an expert to help value the economic losses that you and your family will incur as the result of the death of your loved one. This expert will offer expert testimony regarding your economic losses, as well as the replacement value of all of the services that your deceased love one provided to you or your family.
How Evans Litigation and Trial Law Can Help Following a Wrongful Death
Evans Litigation and Trial Law has a long history of helping grieving family members recover compensation that fully recognizes the value of the deceased. Perhaps the single-most important decision that family members can make during this very difficult time is to speak to a highly experienced Georgia wrongful death attorney from Evans Litigation and Trial Law. The extra burden that you would face, should you try to recover damages on your own, is usually much more than grieving family members can deal with.
I will ensure that an equitable settlement is reached in your wrongful death suit, from filing the complaint that sets the process in motion and following through from there. Your wrongful death complaint will contain the reasons why you are filing the lawsuit against the defendant, as well as the specific Georgia laws supporting those claims. The ultimate goal of Evans Litigation and Trial Law is to ease your financial burden (as well as your emotional burden), during this difficult time. Call us today at 1-404-334-8009 or fill out our confidential contact form for more information.