If your loved one suffered a wrongful death, you may not know where to turn or what to do. A wrongful death lawyer in Atlanta can help you seek justice for the loss of your loved one and hold those liable parties responsible and accountable for your loved one’s death.
With decades of experience on our side, our attorneys at John Foy & Associates can help you fight for compensation to cover things like funeral and burial costs, medical treatment your loved one may have received before their passing, and your loss of consortium and financial support.
Wrongful Death Law in Georgia
A wrongful death claim occurs when somebody loses their life through somebody else’s fault, negligence, recklessness, or criminal behavior. This can happen in any number of ways, including a car wreck, tractor/trailer wreck, a slip and fall, dog attack, or nursing home abuse. If you are unsure if you have a wrongful death cause of action, get free legal counsel with us.
There are a variety of Georgia laws that govern how wrongful death claims are handled, and your Atlanta wrongful death attorney can help you navigate those issues.
How Long Do You Have to File an Atlanta Wrongful Death Claim?
Georgia Code § 9-3-33 sets the statute of limitations for claims arising from injuries (including wrongful death) at two years from the date of the incident. Depending on the context of your claim, such as whether medical malpractice played a role in your loved one’s injury or death, you may have a shorter deadline by which you must file your claim.
Wrongful death lawyers can help you ensure that all your paperwork is filed on time. Don’t delay; call an attorney. No matter the statute of limitations, the sooner you call an attorney, the faster we can start investigating your case.
The more time that passes, the more difficult a case can become. “Witnesses disappear, memories fade and it becomes very difficult to put together the pieces to your case,” says firm founder John Foy.
Who Can Bring a Lawsuit for Wrongful Death in Georgia?
There are specific people who are legally allowed to bring a wrongful death claim to court. In order of priority, the law says the following people can file for a loved one’s wrongful death.
- The surviving spouse of the decedent
- Children of the decedent
- If the decedent was not married and had no children, their parents can bring the claim
- The representative of the decedent’s estate
Thus, if you are the brother or sister of a loved one who passed away due to wrongful death, you can only bring a claim against the at-fault party through the official avenue of your loved one’s estate representative.
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Compensation in Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawsuits
The value of your wrongful death claim in Atlanta depends on the totality of the damages your loved one and your family suffered due to the actions or negligence of the at-fault party. Your total compensation is based on economic damages, non-economic damages, and any punitive damages the court wishes to apply in this case.
Economic and Non-Economic Damages Compensation
Collectively, your economic and non-economic damages are known as “compensable damages.” These are the items for which your wrongful death lawyer will argue explicitly in your case.
You can include damages in your claim that relate to funeral and burial costs, as well as reimbursement for any medical treatment your loved one received prior to their death. Further, you can include the loss of consortium as well as the loss of income to support you that you would have otherwise received if your loved one did not suffer a wrongful death.
Punitive Damages in Georgia Wrongful Death Claims
Punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer and are above and beyond the typical compensation for a victim. A court may award punitive damages to punish the wrongdoer. These damages are typically awarded in a DUI case or if the person being sued did something willfully or wantonly (meaning intentionally).
These claims are very difficult to prove, but our wrongful death attorneys in Atlanta have a 20-year track record of knowing when to fight for these claims. Municipalities and companies can also be responsible for providing compensation for punitive damages.
Splitting Compensation Among Family Members
OCGA § 51-4-2(d)(1) states that a wrongful death award should be divided equally among the victim’s surviving spouse and children. However, the spouse will always keep at least one-third of the total award regardless of how many children the victim has.
The distribution of an estate claim depends on the terms stated in the victim’s will. If the victim died intestate, or without a will, Georgia law determines the distribution in this case. A Georgia wrongful death lawyer can help you understand how the compensation will be divided in your specific case.
A typical wrongful death settlement is not taxable. The only taxable income in a lawsuit is if you recover punitive damages.
Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me 404-400-4000
Who Is at Fault for Wrongful Death Cases in Atlanta?
A wrongful death may happen in any number of ways, but the grounds for a suit are fairly simple: somebody or some entity was at fault or negligent in causing someone else’s death.
The technical term for who can be sued is a tortfeasor. That means the person, persons, or entity that committed the wrongdoing. Only the tortfeasor can be sued for wrongful death. Typical tortfeasors sued in wrongful death claims include:
- Medical staff
- Drivers (including truck drivers and trucking companies)
- Auto parts manufacturers
- Product manufacturers or distributors
- Pharmaceutical companies who produce defective drugs
The details of your Atlanta wrongful death claim will determine who is at fault and who should be sued so that your family can collect their rightful compensation. For example, in medical cases, you can sue a hospital, doctor, nurse, or another hospital employee whose actions or negligence led to your loved one’s death.
Get in touch with Georgia wrongful death attorneys for help determining who all is responsible for your loved one’s death.
How Does an Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorney Help?
“In a civil action, the only way we can really compensate somebody for passing away is through a resource of money,” says firm founder John Foy. We take these cases very seriously and explain the process as we work. Our firm has been in business for more than 20 years, and we have an excellent team to work with us to fight for your family and protect its rights.
We work with you from the start of your case to its end, operating on contingency so that you pay us nothing unless and until we win you the compensation your family deserves. These are just some of the ways we may be able to help you.
The more time passes before you get in touch with an Atlanta wrongful death attorney, the higher the probability that evidence will disappear. We can collect and preserve evidence of the at-fault party’s actions and negligence, as well as your family’s damages. This includes:
- Photos or video of the accident scene
- Medical records
- Employer wage statements
- Official police crash reports
- Testimony from eyewitnesses
- Expert witness testimony (such as accident reconstructionists or physicians)
Filing Your Case on Time
Two years may seem like a long time, but it can go by quickly when you and your family have pressing concerns like funeral expenses and planning, adjusting to life without your loved one, and handling complications that arise due to lost income. Accidental death lawyers can file your claim within the appropriate deadline in order to preserve your right to compensation.
Negotiating With Opposing Counsel
Most cases settle long before ever going to court. However, you want to make sure your family isn’t offered a lowball settlement that doesn’t adequately compensate you for your suffering. Wrongful death attorneys in Georgia can negotiate with opposing counsel on your behalf, ensuring that your interests are honored.
Litigating Your Claim
In some cases, the at-fault party may refuse to pay an appropriate settlement amount. You want to have wrongful death lawer in Georgia on your side that is unafraid to take the claim to court if necessary.
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Atlanta, call 404-400-4000
Get a Free Consultation With an Atlanta Wrongful Death Law Firm
John Foy & Associates has more than 20 years of experience handling wrongful death claims in Georgia. When your family needs help getting compensation, our team of knowledgeable Atlanta wrongful death attorneys can step in and handle every step of your claim.
We provide all clients with a FREE consultation to discuss the details of your case, with no obligation to hire us. If you do decide that we are a good fit for your family, we work on a contingency basis. You owe us nothing until we win you the compensation your family needs.
To schedule an appointment with a Georgia wrongful death lawyer, call our office or fill out the free case evaluation form on our contact page.