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A wrongful death is defined as one that happens because of another party’s negligence or intentional act.
Many deaths classified as “accidental” are wrongful deaths because someone negligently caused them—for example, a car driver, a manufacturer of a defective product, etc. However, an accidental death can also be due to circumstances that would have been impossible to predict or avoid, and these situations are not wrongful deaths.
If you are wondering whether your loved one’s passing was wrongful or a tragic accident, a wrongful death attorney will take the time to review the records of what happened and help you find answers. If we detect evidence of negligence, we will walk you through the possibilities should you want to pursue damages.
This is a hard question to answer on your own. Your lawyer will look at the details of the case and explain if certain items indicate negligence. Here are the conditions that must be satisfied to prove negligence:
A duty of care is a legal obligation to use reasonable care in a given situation to avoid harming others. This changes with the situation, but in general, people and organizations should avoid acting recklessly or behaving in a way that poses obvious risks.
The defendant in a wrongful death suit will be the person or entity whose negligence caused the death.
Sometimes, more than one party contributed to the death. In other cases, the client may tell us they believe a specific party is responsible, but we later find evidence that someone else was at fault.
Once we determine who the responsible party is, we can work to define their duty of care under the circumstances. For instance, a person operating a boat has a duty to follow state and local laws and safety regulations and avoid actions that might cause an accident.
A nursing home has a duty to provide a safe environment for its residents or patients. A property owner has a duty to warn guests about a loose porch railing so they can avoid injury (until the railing can be fixed).
The final thing to understand about the duty of care is that the word reasonable is key. No one can anticipate and address every possible way a person could be hurt in any given situation.
If a wrongful death case goes to trial, a judge will interpret what expectations are reasonable in the particular circumstances that led to the death. In most cases, if the defendant should have known that a situation was likely to cause harm, it is reasonable to expect they should have either remedied the hazard or warned others about it.
Once we’ve shown the defendant’s duty of care, we can then demonstrate exactly where they failed in this duty. Examples might include:
This is often one of the most complicated areas of a wrongful death case. It is necessary to show that the defendant’s failed duty of care was the proximate cause of the death—in other words, the decedent would still be alive but for the defendant’s actions.
Sometimes, it seems like this part should be simple. You might think it’s obvious that your loved one would still be alive if the defendant hadn’t driven 70 MPH and hit a pedestrian.
Unfortunately, the driver and their insurance company may present a different version of events. The driver might claim the pedestrian jumped out in front of them, and even if they hadn’t been speeding, they couldn’t have stopped in time.
The insurance company is also likely to push this narrative because it could save them money.
Under Georgia’s modified comparative negligence laws, it’s possible for two parties to share responsibility for a personal injury, including a wrongful death claim. It might be difficult to show that a pedestrian was entirely at fault when the driver who hit them was going 45 MPH over the speed limit.
However, the insurance company might make a case that the pedestrian contributed some fault to the collision.
Why does this matter to the insurance company? Because it could mean a smaller settlement.
Modified comparative negligence statutes allow the injured party to recover damages as long as they are less than 50 percent at fault. However, if the decedent is, for instance, 20 percent responsible, you would lose 20 percent of the recovery.
We understand how upsetting it is to hear the defendant or their insurance company claim your family member was even partly responsible for the events that caused their death, and we will do everything we can to show this narrative is incorrect. Our investigators will leave no stone unturned in searching for evidence to support your claim.
There are three kinds of damages available in a wrongful death case:
If the defendant’s actions were not only negligent but grossly so, punitive damages may be awarded in some cases. These are intended to punish the negligent party rather than address specific damages the decedent or their loved ones suffered.
In most cases, the statute of limitations is two years, although in a few specific circumstances, you may have more time. However, your attorney will need to investigate your case, plan a strategy, and handle other tasks related to your lawsuit, so we recommend seeking legal advice as soon as possible.
If you are struggling with questions about your loved one’s death or suspect someone else’s negligence may have caused it, please contact the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm for a free, confidential consultation. We’ll review your case, answer your questions, and lay out your options for pursuing a claim.
There is never any fee until we win or settle your case, so you don’t have to worry about upfront costs.
The CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm was founded by attorney Ali Awad, who then turned it into one of the fastest-growing law firms in the country. He and his team are dedicated to helping injured people and their families and have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for clients.
When he’s not working on a case, Mr. Awad explains legal issues to more than a million followers on social media. Work with the CEO Lawyer by calling 833-254-2923.
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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.