Losing a loved one is devastating under any circumstances, but it may be even worse when the death is unexpected. If a family member has died due to the negligence of someone else, it is important to seek the help of an experienced injury attorney who can help you explore your rights and options. Atlanta wrongful death lawyer T. Andrew Miller is committed to helping grieving families seek the justice and compensation that they deserve for their loss.Bringing a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia
In Georgia, a wrongful death takes place when a person loses their life due to the “negligent, reckless, intentional, or criminal” acts of another person or entity. A tragic loss of life may occur as a result of a car crash, a motorcycle accident, or a collision with a commercial vehicle like a tractor-trailer. Tragedy can also strike in the form of a slip and fall accident, as a result of a negligent nursing home, an incident of medical malpractice, or an interaction with a defective product, among other situations.
Wrongful death claims are rooted in the theory of negligence. This is a legal concept that refers to the failure of an individual or entity to exercise the appropriate care, resulting in avoidable and foreseeable harm to someone else. To establish the elements of a negligence claim, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the victim a certain duty of care, the defendant breached the duty of care owed to the victim, the victim was hurt as a direct result of the defendant’s breach, and the plaintiff was forced to incur damages.
A wrongful death claim is similar to a personal injury claim except that the victim can no longer file their own case in court. To account for this issue and ensure that responsible parties still may be held accountable, the law allows the decedent’s family or personal representative to file a claim on the decedent’s behalf.
Georgia law identifies certain surviving family members who may file a wrongful death claim. These include the spouse, children, and parents of the victim. If the decedent does not have a spouse, child, or living parent, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate has a right to pursue a wrongful death claim. If the personal representative files the claim, any damages that are obtained through the lawsuit are held by a trust for the benefit of the decedent’s next of kin.
Wrongful death damages in Georgia typically include medical expenses incurred prior to the decedent’s death, funeral and burial costs, and the decedent’s pain and suffering. In addition, surviving family members may seek compensation for what income and benefits the deceased would have contributed to the household, loss of care, loss of companionship, and other intangible losses.Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer in the Atlanta Area
People who have lost a loved one due to the carelessness of another should seek legal representation as soon as possible. Wrongful death actions are often complex, which is why having an Atlanta wrongful death attorney on your side may make all the difference in your case. Attorney T. Andrew Miller is committed to providing each and every client with diligent and compassionate legal representation. He assists injured people and their families in Stone Mountain, Marietta, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Alpharetta, and other communities throughout Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb, and Gwinnett Counties. Call us at (678) 894-4758 or contact us online for a free consultation with a wrongful death attorney or guidance with another type of personal injury claim.