How To Pursue A Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Losing a loved one is devastating under any circumstances, but it can be made 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 legal rights and options.
Atlanta lawyer T. Andrew Miller is committed to helping grieving families seek the justice and compensation that they deserve for their loss.
How To Bring 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 under many circumstances, including:
- Car accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Truck accident
- Slip-and-fall accident
- Negligence at a nursing home
- Medical malpractice
- Defective product
Wrongful death claims are rooted in the theory of negligence. To establish negligence, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the victim a 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 incurred 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.
Who’s Allowed To File A Wrongful Death Claim?
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.
What Damages Can Be Sought?
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.
Put An Experienced Attorney On Your Side
People who have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party should seek legal representation as soon as possible. Lawyer T. Andrew Miller is committed to providing each and every client with diligent and compassionate legal representation.