Unintentional injuries are the third leading cause of death in the United States. People die in car crashes, slip and fall, suffer severe injuries at work, and much more. Besides being devastating, these deaths take a serious financial toll on victims’ families.
If another person’s reckless behavior resulted in the death of your loved one, you can seek compensation. By establishing negligence and filing a wrongful death claim, you could recover sizable damages.
At John Foy and Associates, we are always ready to help with your wrongful death lawsuit. Call us for a free consultation at any convenient time.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
If your loved one died because someone acted negligently, you can seek wrongful death damages. They include:
- Pre-death expenses – if the death doesn’t occur on the date of the incident, you can seek damages for pre-death medical care, the decedent’s pain and suffering, and lost wages.
- Funeral and burial expenses – any expenses related to burying the decedent can be covered.
- Financial losses – it’s possible to get compensated for the loss of inheritance, loss of financial support, and the loss of wages the person would have earned if they would’ve stayed alive.
- Non–economic damages – you can try to obtain compensation for the loss of consortium and companionship.
The judge may also award punitive damage to punish the defendant for overly reckless and appalling behavior. The amount of wrongful death damages depends on several factors:
- Your ability to prove negligence.
- The extent of pre-death and post-death damages.
- The expertise of your attorney.
While it’s possible to obtain compensation without a wrongful death attorney in Austell, the process may be complicated and time-consuming. Eventually, you could end up receiving less money than you deserve.
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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Austell?
In Georgia, you can file a wrongful death claim, if you are:
- Surviving spouse
- Child (if there is no spouse)
- Parent (if there are no children or spouse)
- Estate representative (if there are no children, parents, or spouse)
Other relatives, such as siblings or grandparents, can’t seek compensatory damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Austell Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me 404-400-4000
Proving Negligence in a Wrongful Death Case
For the wrongful death claim to be valid, you need to prove that the at-fault party was negligent toward the decedent. This can be done by establishing these four factors:
- Legal duty of care – the at-fault party needs to have a legal duty of care to the decedent. For example, a vehicle driver has a legal duty of care to other motorists, passengers, and pedestrians to act reasonably and safely behind the wheel.
- Breach of legal duty – you would have to prove that the defendant breached their legal duty of care. For example, the motorist ran a red light.
- Causation – this involves showing that the breach of legal duty led to your loved one’s death. For example, the motorist ran a red light, hit the person’s car, and they died due to the impact.
- Damages – you would need to show that your loved one’s death generated damages. For example, you would have to provide medical bills, confirmation of lost income, funeral bills, and the like.
All the above aspects of negligence require a professional approach to collecting evidence, doing research, conducting an investigation, and presenting the case. Doing all that while you are grieving the loss of a loved one is tough. A wrongful death lawyer in Austell can handle your case professionally and prevent you from making any mistakes that could reduce the compensation.
The Statute of Limitation for a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia
In Georgia, you have a limited amount of time to file a wrongful death claim. According to Georgia Code Title 9 Chapter 3, the general statute of limitations is two years. The clock starts running on the date a person passes away.
However, some exceptions apply. They may extend or shorten the limit. For example, you can sue the at-fault party for the loss of consortium four years after the person’s death.
Even when the two years are up, you may still have an opportunity to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Speak to an Austell wrongful death lawyer to find out whether you might still have a case.
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Austell, call 404-400-4000
When You Need a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Austell
If your loved one died due to someone’s negligent actions, and you want to seek compensation, you may need an Austell wrongful death attorney. A legal representative can:
- Conduct an investigation – not all wrongful death lawsuits are straightforward. An extensive investigation may be necessary to prove negligence.
- Explain your legal rights – you should know exactly what you are entitled to in a wrongful death case.
- File all the necessary paperwork – wrongful death cases involve a substantial amount of legal paperwork. Missing a deadline or overlooking a few documents could lead to case dismissal.
- Negotiate a settlement – the lawyer speaks to the defendant’s legal team and insurance company to negotiate a fair settlement.
- Represent you in court – if the case goes to court, the attorney takes care of all its legal aspects with your best interests in mind.
While you aren’t legally obligated to hire a wrongful death attorney in Austell for damage recovery in a wrongful death case, handling it on your own is ill-advised. An experienced lawyer can improve your chances of obtaining fair compensation while giving you the time you need to grieve.
Speak to an Austell Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
If your loved one died because someone acted negligently, don’t wait. You only have a limited amount of time to file a wrongful death claim. Don’t try to handle all the mounting expenses on your own. You may be entitled to a sizable compensation.
At John Foy and Associates, we are always here to help. Contact us to discuss your options today.