Loss of Life
If your loved one has been killed by someone else’s carelessness, you may be left feeling hopeless and helpless, but you have rights to assert. You may be able to seek damages from the at-fault party through a wrongful death claim, or you may be able to seek death benefits if your loved one died in a workplace accident. At the Law Offices of T. Andrew Miller, our skilled Atlanta wrongful death lawyer knows how to navigate cases arising from a loss of life and vigorously pursue the outcome that you deserve. While no amount of money can bring back your loved one, compensation may be able to help pay the bills that often pile up after such an accident and give you a sense that justice has been served.Understanding Your Legal Options Following a Fatal Accident
In some particularly tragic cases, a devastating accident may directly lead to the untimely loss of life of the victim. In these instances, a family member may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the party that caused their loved one’s untimely passing.
Under Georgia law, a wrongful death occurs when a person dies due to the “negligent, reckless, intentional, or criminal” acts of another person or entity. Essentially, a wrongful death action is the assertion of a civil claim for monetary damages against an at-fault party who was responsible for causing or contributing to the victim’s death. Negligence takes place when an injury or death occurs as a result of someone failing to use the level of care that a reasonably prudent person would have used under the same circumstances.
In Georgia, a wrongful death claim may only be filed by certain surviving family members of the victim, such as the spouse, children, or heirs at law, depending on the circumstances. The damages available in Georgia wrongful death claims include medical expenses, lost income and benefits, loss of future income, loss of care, and loss of companionship. Of course, each case is different, and the amount of compensation that will be awarded in a particular case will depend on the circumstances of that case.
If you have lost a loved one, you may also be able to file a survivor action, which is a claim brought by the executor or administrator of an estate. This seeks compensation for the conscious pain and suffering that the victim endured prior to their death, as well as medical and funeral expenses. Surviving family members may choose to pursue one or both claims with the assistance of a wrongful death attorney in Atlanta.
Georgia, like every other state, imposes a time frame in which wrongful death claims must be filed, known as the statute of limitations. Wrongful death lawsuits must typically be brought in civil court within two years from the date of death. Failing to file within this time means almost certainly losing your right to be heard before a court. There are some exceptions to this general rule in a narrow set of situations.
A workplace accident also may claim the life of a victim. When this happens, their family may be able to obtain death benefits through the state workers’ compensation system. They also may be able to bring a third-party personal injury claim if another person or entity other than the victim’s employer or co-worker was at least partly responsible for causing the fatal accident.Discuss Your Situation with a Wrongful Death Lawyer in the Atlanta Area
Losing a loved one is never easy, and it is even more painful when the death is unexpected. If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of someone else, you should contact an Atlanta wrongful death attorney who can help you assert your rights. At the Law Offices of T. Andrew Miller, we understand the nuances of this area of law, and we can apply that knowledge to your case. We also represent families in Stone Mountain, Marietta, Lawrenceville, Norcross, and other communities in Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb, and Gwinnett Counties. For a free consultation with a personal injury attorney or a workers’ compensation lawyer, contact us online or by calling us at (678) 894-4758.