Dekalb County Wrongful Death Lawyer

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Two people standing at a wrongful death victim's grave after a funeral, mourning.A wrongful death occurs when a person suffers a fatal injury or illness due to the negligence of another. This negligent party could be an individual or an entity, such as a business.

A wrongful death can occur in almost any situation, so if you have concerns that someone’s negligence caused your loved one’s death, we recommend speaking with a wrongful death lawyer who can help you learn more.

How Does a Dekalb County Wrongful Death Attorney Know if a Death Is Wrongful?

We’ll review the circumstances of your family member’s passing, including any police reports or other documentation available, and we may ask you questions about the events leading up to the death. During this evaluation, we will look for evidence that the situation meets the criteria for establishing negligence:

  • The defendant had a duty of care. First, we must show that the defendant (the negligent party) had a duty to the deceased in this situation. The duty of care will change with the circumstances, but in most cases, people and entities have a duty to take reasonable care to avoid injuring others.
  • The defendant failed in this duty. It’s necessary to demonstrate the defendant failed to use reasonable care to avoid harming others. For instance, they were driving recklessly, they were drinking while operating a boat, they failed to fix a hazard on their property or warn guests about it, etc.
  • The failed duty of care was the proximate cause of the death. In many cases, this is the most complicated step in proving negligence. It’s not enough to show that the defendant was reckless or careless—we must provide clear evidence that these actions led to the death. Frequently, this means ruling out other potential causes so we can show the death would not have happened but for the defendant’s actions.
  • The plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the defendant’s negligence. In most personal injury cases, the plaintiff is the injured party. In a wrongful death case, the injured party is deceased. Under Georgia law, the plaintiff in a wrongful death case is usually a family member, typically a spouse, child, or parent of the decedent. You can seek damages for your own losses—such as loss of consortium, loss of financial support, and remaining medical or funeral bills—and sometimes additional damages for the decedent’s suffering prior to death.

Can a Death Be Wrongful Even if it Was Ruled Accidental?

Yes. Although wrongful deaths can be the result of intentional actions, they are most often accidents.

When a coroner or medical examiner rules a death as accidental, they are not passing judgment on fault or liability. They are simply saying they see no evidence of homicide, suicide, or natural causes like an illness.

For example, car accidents represent one of the most common causes of accidental death. Sometimes, the accident is due to unavoidable, unpredictable circumstances such as sudden weather changes or large animals like deer on the road.

In other cases, the accident was caused by another driver’s negligence, such as speeding, drunk driving, etc. The latter would likely be a wrongful death, while the former would not be.

What if the Death Wasn’t an Accident?

We also encounter situations where a decedent’s family member feels that an accidental death was actually a crime. In many cases, the family member has already talked to the police or possibly the district attorney and has been told there isn’t enough evidence to charge anyone with a crime.

Naturally, this news is very upsetting for the relative. It’s hard enough that they lost a loved one, but now the person they believe is responsible won’t be facing any consequences.

Sometimes, family members want to know if they can pursue a civil case against the responsible party in these cases. It depends on the situation, but often, the answer is yes; if there is enough evidence, we can pursue a claim in civil court for wrongful death.

If you’re wondering how there can be enough evidence for a civil suit but not a criminal case, it’s helpful to know that the burden of proof is much lower in civil court.

In criminal court, a defendant must be found “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.” In civil cases, the defendant must only be “more likely than not” guilty based on a “preponderance of evidence.”

As a result, there may be enough evidence for a civil case but not a criminal one. However, there are also cases where the negligent party was, in fact, convicted of one or more crimes like drunk driving, vehicular manslaughter, etc.

While the decedent’s family members may feel some sense of justice from this outcome, they still have to live with the consequences of the negligent party’s actions. This may include financial stress because of funeral or medical bills, loss of a spouse’s income, etc.

In these situations, pursuing a civil claim against the negligent party is possible. By doing so, we may be able to recover damages so that you can focus on your family without worrying about how to pay your bills.

We’ll seek any medical or funeral expenses, an estimated value of the financial support your loved one would have provided in the future, and other damages. While nothing can replace your family member, recovering compensation will allow you to provide for your children, support your deceased loved one’s causes, or honor their memory in any way you choose.

What Kinds of Situations Could Lead to a Wrongful Death Case?

As we discussed earlier, wrongful deaths can occur in all kinds of circumstances, but here are some of the more common types of cases we see:

  • Motor vehicle accidents. While accidents can have many causes, they often occur because of at least one driver’s negligence. Although people tend to think of car accidents, we also see cases involving large trucks (which are especially deadly because of their size and weight), buses, motorcycles, golf carts, ATVs, and other vehicles. This category also includes accidents where a vehicle strikes a pedestrian or bicyclist.
  • Boating accidents. The many waterways in Georgia can turn deadly if another boater behaves recklessly, such as boating under the influence, speeding, or ignoring local rules and signs.
  • Defective products. A product that malfunctions at the wrong time can cause severe injury and death. It may not be evident at first that the defect caused the accident, but in many cases, we discover the problem when investigating the death on behalf of a concerned family member. For instance, the relative may believe another driver was negligent in the death, but we later learn that a car component manufacturer was negligent instead.
  • Medical malpractice. Sometimes, people come to us because they have concerns about a loved one’s death in a hospital. Even if the decedent had been ill, they may have reason to believe a doctor or healthcare provider made a mistake that caused the death. Knowing if your worries are correct in these situations is challenging, so we will evaluate your case and consult with medical experts if needed.
  • Workplace accidents. If you lost your spouse in a workplace accident, you should be able to receive death benefits through the Workers’ Compensation system, including funeral/burial costs and up to 400 weeks of indemnity benefits. However, the insurance company may deny your claim, citing various reasons. We’ll take on the insurance company and fight for the benefits you deserve. In a few cases, we may also be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against a third party (not the decedent’s employer) if their negligence caused the death.

How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?

In most cases, you have two years to file a wrongful death claim, although in rare cases, you may have longer. Please remember that your attorney will need time to investigate the wrongful death, gather evidence, and create a strategy to win your case.

We encourage you to seek legal advice sooner rather than later.

What if You’re Not Sure if Anyone Was Negligent in a Loved One’s Death?

Often, clients tell us they suspect someone’s actions caused the death, but they can’t prove it, or they aren’t sure. We don’t want you to wrestle with this question on your own when you’re still struggling with grief and trying to put your life back together.

If you have questions or concerns about a loved one’s death, please contact the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm for a free, confidential consultation. We’ll review your case, answer your questions, and explain the options for pursuing compensation.

The CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm was founded by attorney Ali Awad, who transformed it into one of the fastest-growing law firms in the country. He has recovered millions of dollars in client compensation through his hard work and dedication to helping injured people and their families.

When he isn’t working on a case, he posts educational videos about legal topics for over a million followers on social media. Work with The CEO Lawyer today by calling 833-254-2923.

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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!

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Help Negotiating with Insurance Carriers

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.