When a person dies as a result of a car accident that was caused by the negligence of someone else, the decedent’s family members have the right to seek compensation for the financial and emotional impacts of their loss, in accordance with Georgia’s Wrongful Death Act, also known as Georgia Code §51-4-2. In fact, this law states that the decedent’s family members can make a claim for “the full value of the life of the decedent.”
If you have lost a loved one due to a fatal car accident, an Atlanta car accident lawyer from John Foy & Associates can help you and your family understand the process of making a claim to obtain compensation for both the loss of financial support provided by the deceased, as well as the profound emotional impacts of the loss.
How a Fatal Car Accident Lawyer in Atlanta Can Help Your Claim
One of the most devastating situations in life is the unexpected loss of a loved one. In many situations, the initial grief and devastation are compounded by the financial stress that comes from losing a primary source of household income and the costs incurred through the medical treatment of the decedent’s final injuries, funeral and burial expenses, and even the expense of repairing or replacing the family car that was also lost due to the accident.
An Atlanta fatal car accident attorney can provide guidance about the wrongful death claims process and ensure that the claimant has the information needed to make decisions about their case. They can also help establish a value to the claim, determine who was liable for the accident, and manage communication with the liable party’s insurance provider.
They can gather evidence, negotiate a settlement, or represent the claim in court. At the conclusion of the case, they can help their client obtain the compensation owed as a result of the settlement or court decision and assist in settling any liens from the client’s creditors.
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Proving Negligence in a Fatal Car Accident Claim
One of the services an Atlanta fatal car accident lawyer can provide for a wrongful death claimant is assistance in determining who was legally responsible for the accident that caused their loved one’s death.
In order to prove liability in a wrongful death claim, the claimant’s attorney must be able to show through evidence and witness testimony that the at-fault party had a duty to take reasonable actions to protect others from harm, and that duty was breached by recklessness or carelessness, and the carelessness or recklessness was the cause of an accident in which someone died. In the complex legal landscape of Georgia, many families turn to Atlanta personal injury lawyers like John Foy and Associates to help navigate such claims.
Establish Duty of Care
Establishing a duty of care is essential in a fatal car accident claim. All motorists owe other drivers and passengers alike a duty of care. This means they are required to operate their vehicle in a safe manner so as to prevent the vehicle from crashing or causing injury to another party.
However, if negligent driving was not the cause of your loved one’s fatal car accident, establishing a duty of care may be more challenging. If dangerous roads caused your loved one’s fatal accident, your attorney may need to show that the government agencies and municipalities responsible for road safety and maintenance are at fault. These parties’ obligation to ensure the integrity of the roadways is considered a duty of care.
Prove Duty of Care Was Breached
Showing there was a breach in the duty of care is critical. Your fatal car accident attorney in Atlanta will need to show that the defendant made a mistake, failed to take action, or otherwise failed to uphold their duty of care.
If a motorist caused your fatal car accident due to drunk driving, distracted driving, distracted driving, aggressive driving, or any other type of unsafe driving, this could be considered a breach of the duty of care.
Show that the Breach Resulted in Injury and Loss
For your family to have grounds for a fatal car accident claim in Atlanta, your attorney at our firm will need to show that the defendant’s breach in their duty of care caused injuries and damages. The loss of your loved one may be evidence enough that the defendant’s breach caused damages.
However, your attorney will also need to show that your family has suffered economic and or non-economic damages as well. Some of the different types of losses that could be awarded in an Atlanta fatal car accident claim include:
- The loss of the decedent’s financial support, including potential inheritances, wages, salary increases, bonuses, and retirement savings contributions
- The surviving family member’s loss of love, protection, support, guidance, advice, society, and companionship
- The decedent’s funeral and burial expenses
- The decedent’s medical expenses
Who Can File a Fatal Car Crash Claim in Atlanta?
When a fatal accident occurs, the deceased’s spouse is permitted to file a wrongful death claim. If there is no spouse, then the deceased’s children have the right to file a claim. If there is no surviving spouse or children, then the claim can be filed by the deceased’s parents or an executor of the estate.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Fatal Car Accident in Georgia?
There is no average settlement for a fatal car accident in Georgia. This is, in part, because there are so many factors that could have an impact on the amount of compensation surviving family members are awarded. Some families may suffer insurmountable financial losses, while others may be dealing with a combination of economic damages and emotional trauma.
Your attorney will work diligently to ensure the liable party is held accountable to the fullest extent of the law and compelled to compensate your family for all of the ways your life and the decedent’s life were impacted by their negligence or misconduct. After the resolution of your claim through either a settlement or a court decision, the at-fault party’s insurer will send the payment directly to the claimant’s attorney. Because wrongful death lawyers work on a contingent-fee basis, they are not paid for the services they provide to the client until the compensation is received.
From the amount, they will deduct payment for their services and assist in satisfying any liens against the recovery. The remainder of the funds will then be given to the claimant.
Contact Our Atlanta Fatal Car Accident Attorneys
If you have lost a loved one due to a fatal car accident, an Atlanta fatal car accident attorney from John Foy & Associates can provide more information about the wrongful death claims process and their services during a free case evaluation. Contact a fatal car accident lawyer in Atlanta to get started on your claim.