According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 38,680 people died in car accidents on US roadways in 2020 alone. In Georgia, car crashes are the leading cause of injury and death. A fatal car accident can be emotionally and financially devastating for the victim’s family.
You have the right to pursue justice and compensation on behalf of your loved one. With over 20 years of experience, our Athens car accident lawyers at John Foy & Associates will fight hard to get you fair financial compensation for severe injury or wrongful death. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you pursue compensation from the at-fault party.
The Consequences of a Fatal Car Accident in Athens
In the aftermath of a fatal Athens car accident, there are significant emotional and financial ramifications for the affected family. The victim’s dependents may wind up struggling with short-term as well as long-term expenses and damages, including:
- Hospital bills. The medical bills could be astronomical if the victim died in a hospital.
- Funeral and burial expenses. Funeral expenses can quickly add up to thousands of dollars.
- Loss of support. If you were dependent on the victim, their death would place significant stress on you and your family.
- Pain and suffering. The pain of losing a loved one can affect various aspects of your life, including your ability to work and attend to other obligations.
Losing a loved one in a car accident often creates financial hardship when income and other support are lost. While no amount of money will erase the pain of losing a loved one, receiving compensation will ease some of the stress brought about by the accident.
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How an Athens Fatal Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Vehicle crashes in Athens, GA, occur in a variety of situations. In many cases, car accidents result from negligent or irresponsible behavior, such as drunk driving by a motorist. Negligence in a vehicle crash can take many forms, but it often involves reckless or careless actions by the other driver.
Since Georgia is an at-fault state, the motorist who caused the accident is required to pay for all the damages. As an immediate family member, you have the legal right to pursue a wrongful death claim with an insurance company or via the court system if the crash leads to the death of a loved one. However, pursuing a wrongful death claim is a complex process.
You have to provide evidence that the negligent party’s actions led to the death of your loved one. In other words, you must establish that, but for the other party’s negligence, the accident would not have happened. An Athens fatal car accident lawyer will guide you through every step, gather and organize all evidence relevant to your claim, and represent you in court.
Building a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia
A financial settlement may not take away your pain, but it can make life easier for your grieving family. An Athens fatal car accident lawyer can help you build a wrongful death claim by:
- Gathering evidence. Evidence gathering is one of the most important aspects of a wrongful death claim. Without sufficient evidence, you won’t be able to negotiate a fair settlement.
- Negotiating a settlement. Having an experienced Athens fatal car accident attorney in your corner will often lead to a settlement offer by the other driver’s insurance company. They will take on negotiations with the insurer and make every attempt to ensure a satisfactory offer is made.
- Arguing in court. If both parties can’t agree on a fair settlement or the negotiations break down, the case will go to trial. A fatal car accident attorney in Athens can argue your case before a judge or a jury to demonstrate negligence on the other party’s part.
How Fault Is Determined in an Athens Car Accident
You will need to prove that the other party was at fault to recover compensation after a car accident in Athens. To find fault on the part of the other driver, the first thing is establishing a duty of care. Every motorist on Athens roads has a duty to drive with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would.
Next, your attorney must establish that the other driver failed to uphold their duty of care. Reckless actions, such as operating the vehicle carelessly, texting while driving, or violating traffic laws, are tantamount to breach of duty. The next step is to prove that the plaintiff suffered damage in the accident, which, in this case, is the loss of a loved one.
The final step in determining fault in an Athens fatal car accident is holding the other driver responsible. To do that, your attorney must demonstrate that the other party’s breach of duty caused the death of your loved one. When proving fault, you might have to contest allegations of fault made against you.
The Statute of Limitations for a Georgia Wrongful Death Claim
The statute of limitations refers to the amount of time within which you must file a lawsuit against another party. If this period ends before you take any legal action, you may lose the right to recover compensation for the loss of a loved one in a fatal car accident. In Georgia, the affected party has two years from the date of death to file a suit against the responsible party.
Get Help from an Experienced Fatal Car Accident Lawyer in Athens
Dealing with the loss of a loved one is always painful, but it can be particularly devastating when the negligent driver causes death. The emotional distress and the financial burden from medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, and loss of support can be overwhelming.
Our Athens fatal car accident lawyers serve clients throughout Clarke County, helping them hold drivers accountable for all kinds of fatal accidents. We will make sure that you are fairly compensated for the loss of your loved one. Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced Athens fatal car accident lawyer.