Losing a loved one for any reason can be devastating. If you’ve recently lost someone, we’re very sorry for your loss.
When dealing with grief, people often begin to wonder if their loved one’s death could have been prevented, especially if it happened suddenly, such as with an accident. Sometimes accidents do happen, but in many cases, the negligence of another party may have contributed to the accident. If wondering about the cause of your loved one’s death is troubling you, speaking with an Atlanta wrongful death lawyer may help you get answers and determine your options for moving forward.
If you feel overwhelmed with questions and concerns, remember that attorney Ali Awad, the CEO lawyer, is here to stand up for your legal rights. He and the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm team can review the details of your loved one’s death and put together a picture of what happened. Arm yourself with the legal representation you need to seek out answers to your questions.
If you have concerns about a loved one’s sudden passing, don’t wait to call Ali Awad for a no-obligation consultation of your case. The CEO lawyer and his team work on a contingency basis, which means they don’t receive any payment unless you do. You have nothing to lose by calling (833) 254-2923 to discuss the details of your case.
What Can You Do If You Believe Another Party’s Negligence caused a Loved One’s Death?
It’s common to want some justice after a tragedy has taken a loved one’s life. In some cases, the criminal justice system may get involved. For example, if a person dies due to the actions of a drunk driver, the driver will often be arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter. If they are found guilty and receive a lengthy sentence, the victim’s family may feel some sense of justice being served.
However, this criminal process doesn’t always end with a conviction for various reasons. Sometimes the district attorney will accept a deal where the intoxicated driver pleads guilty to some lesser charge and only spends a few years in jail. In other situations, a lack of evidence may prevent the case from being prosecuted at all, or it may not result in a guilty verdict. There are also many circumstances where the other party’s negligence may have resulted in someone else’s death, but their actions don’t rise to a level of criminal behavior. This can be frustrating to learn, but it does happen a lot.
Even when the criminal court system successfully prosecutes someone for a negligent death, you may still have to deal with problems like funeral costs, medical bills, and the loss of income if you were financially dependent on your loved one. The responsible party going to jail may make you feel some sense of justice being served, but unfortunately, it won’t help pay your bills or help you and your family put your lives back together.
Fortunately, the criminal court system isn’t the only way to seek compensation for a terrible loss. You can also file a civil suit for wrongful death against the party or parties you believe are responsible. The burden of proof is much lower in a wrongful death case than in a criminal one, so the defendant may be found liable even if they are not found to have committed a crime.
Causes of Wrongful Death
By far, the most common reason people file a wrongful death claim is car accidents. The other driver does not need to have committed a crime (such as driving under the influence) to be sued for wrongful death. Your Atlanta wrongful death attorney will only need to demonstrate that the other driver’s negligence led to the accident and that the accident caused the death.
However, just because your loved one didn’t die in an auto accident doesn’t mean you don’t have a wrongful death case. There are many other situations where another party’s negligence could lead to death. A person might die in different kinds of accidents, like plane or train crashes or accidents at work. For example, many people are killed each year in construction accidents. In other situations, people may die due to defective products, exposure to toxic chemicals, or medical malpractice. Regardless of the situation, if you have concerns that your loved one’s death could have been prevented, it’s best to speak with an attorney who offers free consultations so you can learn more about your options.
Who Can Pursue a Wrongful Death Case in Georgia?
Under Georgia law, the surviving spouse can file a wrongful death case if the victim was married. If they were unmarried, their children are next in line to file a claim. (If the children are still minors, their legal guardian may file a claim on their behalf.) If the victim had neither a spouse nor children, their parents could make a claim. When no spouse, children, or parents survived the decedent, their estate may pursue a wrongful death claim, as well as separate claims for the victim’s pain and suffering and medical costs.
If the lawsuit is successful, the settlement will be divided between the surviving spouse and children, with the spouse receiving at least one-third of the award regardless of the number of children. When the estate files a claim, the settlement will be divided among the heirs as dictated by the terms of the victim’s will.
How Is Compensation Determined In A Wrongful Death Case?
This is often difficult to talk about because there is no way to put a price tag on the life of a loved one. Unfortunately, that is what the court asks you to do in a wrongful death claim. Because you can only seek economic compensation in a civil case, the court will have to choose a number that it deems reasonable if the case is decided in your favor.
Georgia courts define the “full value” of a wrongful death claim using two measures – economic and non-economic losses (even though all compensation is economic). Economic losses are typically focused on the potential lifetime earnings the decedent would have made if they’d lived. It may also include an estimated value of services the victim would have performed for family members, such as home or childcare, if they typically did those tasks. These also include medical costs incurred by the victim. Economic losses are usually calculated on the current or average value for the income or service.
For example, if Bob made $100,000 a year in income when he died, and he was expected to work for another ten years before retirement, you could estimate that Bob would have earned about $1 million in that time. Or a little more if you assume he would have gotten a few raises during that period. If Bob was a stay-at-home parent, you could estimate how much his surviving spouse might pay a nanny and a housekeeper for childcare and cleaning services for X number of years.
Non-economic losses are somewhat harder to estimate. Again, it’s tough to place an economic value on things like your spouse’s companionship or having a parent around for the important milestones in your life. Your attorney will do their best to decide on a reasonable amount, as tricky as it is to do so.
The defendant owed a “duty of care” or “due care” in the situation. In the example of a car accident, typically, a lawyer would argue that the defendant owed a duty to other people on the road to drive carefully and avoid reckless behavior that might cause an accident.
The defendant breached this duty. For example, a reckless driver may have breached their duty of care by going way over the speed limit or driving while intoxicated.
This breach of duty led to the victim’s death. Often this is more difficult to prove than the first two points. It may not be hard to prove that drivers have a duty to drive safely or that a driver failed in this duty. But it may be tougher to prove that this caused the victim’s death, especially if there were multiple cars involved in the accident or other factors at play. Your lawyer will work hard to present evidence proving causation.
The plaintiff (the person or parties bringing the lawsuit) suffered damages as a result. These will include the economic and non-economic losses we discussed earlier.
Depending on the nature of the case, your lawyer may use various types of evidence, including accident scene photos, putting witnesses on the stand, interviewing accident experts, etc. The more convincing the evidence is, the more likely your claim will be successful.
What If You’re Not Sure If You Have a Case?
We often hear this in situations where the person has a solid case. But it can be challenging for the average person to know for sure, so we recommend you contact an Atlanta wrongful death attorney to review your case. They will be able to advise you on your options for bringing a claim or other ways you may be able to handle your expenses.
With the know-how and the determination to get it done, CEO Lawyer Ali Awad and his injury and accident attorney team will fight to earn you the compensation you need to put your life back together after a tragedy takes a loved one from you. Call (833) 254-2923 or contact us online today to get started.
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Frequently Asked Questions
After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!
To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.
Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?
The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.
Georgia's Personal Injury & Accident Firm
Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.
What to Expect From Your Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney?
During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process.
Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today.
We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.
Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.