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The loss of a family member can be devastating, and for some, their grief is complicated by questions and concerns about their loved one’s passing.
It’s not unusual to wonder if the death could have been prevented somehow, especially if it was sudden or unexpected. But some people also wonder if another party’s negligence might be responsible for the death, and if so, what can they do about it?
A wrongful death attorney can help you determine if your loved one’s death was caused by negligence or was simply a terrible accident that no one could have foreseen. If we find evidence of negligence, we can help you file a wrongful death claim.
While nothing can replace your loved one, recovering damages from the negligent party can allow you to move forward and provide for your family without the financial stress that often accompanies an unexpected passing.
We’ll evaluate your case for the following elements of negligence:
There are three types of damages available under Georgia law:
We understand that no one wants to try to place a financial value on their loved one’s life, but unfortunately, it’s the only way to pursue relief in civil court.
Georgia’s Wrongful Death Act establishes that family members may pursue the full value of the decedent’s life as shown by evidence, so we will help you uncover the specific damages included under this umbrella. Then, we’ll work to arrive at a fair amount of compensation.
This category has two components: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are somewhat simpler to determine as they are usually based on existing numbers—what the decedent earned and what they would have earned in the future had they lived.
Essentially, the goal is to replace the financial support the deceased would have given their family if their life hadn’t been cut short.
We can still calculate these damages when the decedent does not have an income. For example, a stay-at-home parent would not be expected to earn an income, but their work in the home will likely need to be replaced by the services of paid workers—a nanny, a babysitter, a daycare center, a housekeeper, etc.
We estimate the value of these services so the surviving parent can continue to care for their children and home. Likewise, we can still seek economic damages if the deceased was unemployed at the time of their death.
The fact that someone was temporarily in between jobs or unable to work doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t have had any future income. We’ll calculate their earning potential based on previous earnings, education, experience, and other factors.
Non-economic damages address the loss of the many intangibles in a relationship—companionship, consortium, care, guidance, advice, etc. We can create an estimate of what these losses are typically valued at in similar situations, but if your case goes to court, it will be up to the jury to decide their exact value.
That said, most wrongful death claims are settled out of court by negotiating with the other party or their insurance carrier.
We can seek to recover the cost of the funeral or burial, as well as any medical bills related to the decedent’s cause of death. This is separate from the Full Value of the Life of the Decedent claim and can only be filed by the personal representative or executor of the deceased person’s estate.
In some cases, we can file a survival action to recover for the decedent’s pain and suffering prior to their death.
This is a little like a personal injury case the deceased would file on their own behalf, had they lived, and is contingent on the decedent surviving for some time between the injury and the death. It’s also pursued by the estate, and any award will go to the estate and be distributed to the heirs per the will instructions or inheritance laws.
Wrongful deaths often involve accidents—car accidents are the most common, but we also see collisions involving boats and watercraft, golf carts, ATVs, and other recreational vehicles. Large truck accidents are particularly deadly for occupants of passenger vehicles due to the relative size and weight of the truck.
Additionally, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists are at high risk of fatal injuries when struck by a motor vehicle because they don’t have the protection of safety features found in a car.
However, not all wrongful deaths involve sudden accidents or collisions. We also see cases involving medical malpractice or defective products, including defective drugs or medical devices.
Some of these situations may be overlooked, as the victim’s family might assume they simply died from an illness. If you suspect a family member’s medical care was inadequate or that a medication or medical device may have contributed to their death, please speak with a wrongful death lawyer to learn more.
In most of the situations we’ve discussed, the wrongful death was unintentional, even if the negligent party was behaving recklessly. However, Georgia law allows for wrongful death claims for intentional acts, whether or not the perpetrator was found guilty in criminal court.
We sometimes meet clients who are understandably upset because the person they believe is responsible for their loved one’s death has not been punished in the criminal court system. A jury has to find a defendant guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt” in criminal court.
As a result, the district attorney may choose not to pursue a case if they don’t have enough evidence to meet this burden of proof. Or, they may try the case, and the defendant might be acquitted because the jury didn’t see enough evidence the defendant was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
It’s important to understand that the burden of proof in a criminal case is much higher than in a civil case. In a civil trial, the jury only has to find the defendant is more likely than not guilty based on a “preponderance of evidence.”
For this reason, it’s often possible to pursue a wrongful death claim even when the defendant wasn’t punished criminally. Some people find that this gives them a sense of justice when a criminal conviction isn’t possible.
If you have questions or concerns about a loved one’s death, please contact the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm for a free consultation. We’ll review the details, answer your questions, and explain the options for pursuing a claim.
Your consultation is confidential, and there is no obligation.
The CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm was founded by attorney Ali Awad, who quickly turned it into one of the fastest-growing law firms in the country. He and his knowledgeable team members have over twenty years of combined experience and have recovered millions of dollars in damages for injured people and their families.
In his spare time, Mr. Awad offers no-nonsense legal advice to more than a million followers on social media. Contact his team of expert lawyers by calling 833-254-2923 today.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.