Gwinnett County Wrongful Death Lawyer

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An old man leaving a bouquet of flowers at a grave, and a woman mourning behind him.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.

How Can a Gwinnett County Wrongful Death Attorney Help?

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.

How Do You Know If There Was Negligence in Your Loved One’s Death?

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:

The Defendant Had a Duty of Care

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.

The Duty of Care Was Breached, or the Defendant Failed in Their Duty

Once we’ve shown the defendant’s duty of care, we can then demonstrate exactly where they failed in this duty. Examples might include:

  • The defendant was driving 70 MPH in a residential zone with a speed limit of 25 MPH. They should have known that driving so fast significantly increased the risk of an accident, especially in a residential area where residents were likely to be walking outside. However, they continued speeding excessively, and as a result, they breached the duty of care all motorists have to drive carefully and avoid behavior that is likely to cause an accident.
  • A doctor has a duty to act in accordance with the standards of their chosen specialty. Typically, the question in a medical malpractice case is whether another healthcare provider in the same specialty would have taken the same actions. If a doctor was drinking on the job the day they performed your loved one’s surgery and left a surgical instrument inside the patient, it’s likely that other surgeons would not have made these serious errors.
  • It’s reasonable to expect that a nursing home or hospital will run background checks and verify employment history for potential employees who will be caring for patients. If a healthcare facility fails to do so, and an orderly neglects or abuses a patient, the facility has failed in its duty.
  • The defendant loaned a golf cart to a friend but failed to mention that the cart hadn’t been driven or maintained in nearly a year. A reasonable person would mention this information so the friend could carefully check everything before getting up to a faster speed. If the friend believes the cart is well-maintained and running normally, only to discover the brakes don’t work, the cart owner may have failed in their duty.

The Failed Duty of Care Caused the Death

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.

The Death Caused Damages

There are three kinds of damages available in a wrongful death case:

  • Economic damages related to the death, including funeral or burial expenses and final medical bills related to the decedent’s final illness or injury.
  • Full value of life. This includes the financial support the decedent would have provided their family if they had lived. We will estimate their likely earning potential, considering factors like their age, how much longer they would have worked until retirement, their most recent salary, etc. Although no one wants to think about placing a financial value on their loved one’s life, this process can allow the family to care for the decedent’s minor children, complete projects that were important to the deceased, or take time to grieve without worrying about how to pay bills. The full value of life also includes the value of domestic labor the decedent performed, such as childcare and housework.
  • Survival action. This is a way to address the decedent’s pain and suffering if they did not pass immediately after the fatal event.

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.

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

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.

Where Can You Get Help From a Gwinnett County Wrongful Death Law Firm?

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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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!

Contact us now (833) 254-2923.

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.