We all will die one day, but we all prefer to do so when we’re old and have had a full life. When a loved one’s life is taken away early, by negligence or deliberate action, it’s not just tragic. It can completely throw a family’s future into financial turmoil.
If your loved one died wrongfully, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The wrongful death attorneys in Covington at John Foy & Associates will listen to your story, explain your options, and handle the matter for you. You could win substantial damages.
The Basics of Wrongful Death Cases
When someone dies from someone else’s neglect or deliberate action, the survivors of the family can file a wrongful death claim with the court. In Georgia, only certain family members can apply for a wrongful death claim. These are surviving spouses, dependent children, parents, siblings, and named personal representatives. The former have a greater claim than the latter.
The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to reduce the financial shock of losing a loved one. No amount of money can replace a loved one in your life. Yet compensation can help preserve your family’s financial situation and prevent a tragedy from getting worse.
To start a wrongful death claim, the best way is to work with a wrongful death lawyer. Our lawyers can tell you if you have a case, who is most eligible for filing the case, and will work to maximize your compensation.
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How do Damages Work in Wrongful Death Cases?
Wrongful death cases have two claims. One is the estate claim, which goes to the estate. The other is the full value of life claim, which goes to the survivors. The estate claim covers costs like medical bills, funeral costs, lost wages, property damage, and punitive damages, among others.
The full value of life claim covers damages like loss of consortium, loss of a parental relationship, loss of future financial support, and others. The court decides how these damages are split among the survivors. In Georgia, a third automatically goes to the surviving spouse.
Unlike the estate claim, all damages received from the full value of life claim belong solely to the survivors. Creditors of the deceased cannot access those funds. They can make claims against the estate claim, and those claims will be resolved via probate law.
Is There a Cap on Wrongful Death Damages in Georgia?
Georgia does not have damage caps for wrongful death, but there may be other limitations on how much you can collect. The first step is to calculate how much you’re owed in your case. That will tell us our options.
If the responsible party has insurance, that policy may cover the entire cost. This is the simplest solution, but the limits may not be enough. If this is so, you will need to go to trial to get the full value of your case.
One thing you don’t have to worry about is paying us while your case is in process. You only pay our wrongful death lawyers in Covington after you win your case, via a percentage of the final costs. Should you lose your case entirely, you do not owe us anything for our services.
How Long do I Have to File My Case?
The usual deadline to file a wrongful death claim in Georgia is two years from the date of death under Ga. Code § 9-3-33, but that deadline can change based on the circumstances of the death. Filing sooner is far better than later because once you pass the deadline, you cannot collect.
Your lawyer can pause the statute of limitations, as this deadline is known, if your loved one was killed because someone else broke the law. This pause gives your lawyer time to work on your case.
On the other side, if your loved one was killed through the actions of a government worker, your deadline could be shortened to six months, or even less. If you know this is the case, you do not have time to wait. Speak with a wrongful death lawyer immediately so they can pause the clock.
Our Covington Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help You
We understand you may be going through the worst time in your life after your loved one’s death. Yet you may have legal recourse to compensation that could help you during this time. Tell your story to our Covington wrongful death lawyers, and we’ll tell you if you have a case and help you through it.
To get your case started, contact our offices. A member of our team at John Foy & Associates will reach out to you to schedule a free consultation. We will listen to your story with compassion and sensitivity, and tell you your legal options on pursuing your wrongful death case.