After the death of a loved one, you can be left wondering where to turn and how to pay for the associated expenses. If someone else caused your family member’s accident, you shouldn’t be saddled with the consequences of their actions. Turn to John Foy & Associates.
With the help of our wrongful death lawyers in Decatur, you can hold the at-fault party liable and get compensation for the damages you’ve suffered. Compensation won’t bring your loved one back, but it can be the first step to moving past funeral expenses, bills, and more reminders of their passing.
What Constitutes Wrongful Death in Georgia?
Any death is tragic, but the law only sees certain instances as wrongful death. In Georgia law, a wrongful death has to be caused by the reckless, negligent, or criminal acts of another party. Negligence, which is a common factor that we see in wrongful death cases, is the failure to do the bare minimum to keep others safe.
To receive compensation for wrongful death, you also must have suffered financially because of your loved one’s death. The Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) § 51-4-1 states that those filing wrongful death claims are able to recover the “full value of the life of the decedent,” which is the income they brought in and the expenses you had to pay because of the accident.
You also must be a family member of the decedent to collect compensation for their death in most cases. Georgia is strict about who files a wrongful death claim – you have to be a spouse, a child, or a parent. If none of those are living, you must be designated as an executor of the decedent’s estate.
We know it’s hard to put a number on your loved one’s life, but you are also owed for the damages you’ve suffered. With the help of a skilled attorney, you can find out exactly how much you’re owed for your damages and you can hold the at-fault party accountable for their negligence.
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How Medical Malpractice Can Cause Wrongful Death
Unfortunately, one of the most common places that wrongful death occurs is the hospital. In fact, CNBC reports that medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in America. Malpractice doesn’t just have to be a mistake in surgery – it can happen at any point in a patient’s treatment.
Common examples of wrongful death due to medical malpractice include:
- Incorrectly prescribed drugs or dosages
- Failure to diagnose a serious condition
- Misdiagnosing a condition
- Anesthesia error
- Failure to take action on alarming test results
In general, malpractice is decided based on a doctor’s duty of care. That’s the basic standard that anyone in their position can be reasonably held to. If a healthcare professional breaks that duty by failing to do something that any other caregiver would do in their situation, they are usually found negligent and are liable for damages that their malpractice causes.
Usually, a hospital or other institution is responsible for their employees’ training and education, and the hospital is usually the party that is actually liable for malpractice. If your loved one died because of a negligent doctor, nurse, or other professional, a Decatur wrongful death lawyer can make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
Is Wrongful Death Hard to Prove?
How difficult it is to prove your loved one’s wrongful death depends heavily on the specifics of their case. Some deaths are obviously caused by someone else’s negligence, but some require strong evidence, extensive negotiation, and a lengthy claims process.
In any wrongful death, you need to be able to prove four things:
- That the at-fault party owed a duty of care
- That the at-fault party breached that duty of care
- That the breach of duty caused your family member’s death
- That you have financial and non-economic damages due to your family member’s passing
To do that, your attorney may have to gather a wide range of evidence that spans from medical records to photos to expert testimony. Your lawyer may call on you, your family, and any witnesses of what happened to state what you know about your loved one’s accident and the aftermath.
How Much Is a Wrongful Death Claim Worth?
Every person’s life is valuable in its own way, and the damage done to your family by a wrongful death is unique from that of any other case. Because of that, the worth of your wrongful death claim will depend on the unique damages that you suffered due to the at-fault party’s negligence.
It’s impossible to say how much you might get from your claim without knowing about your situation. That’s why a free consultation can be so valuable. A wrongful death lawyer in Decatur can assess your case and give you an estimate.
Typical damages that you can recover for your loved one’s wrongful death can include:
- Hospital bills that your family member incurred before they died
- Loss of income that your family member brought to the household
- The cost of your loved one’s funeral arrangements
- The pain and suffering that your loved one experienced before their death
- The grief and mental anguish that you and your family are going through
- The loss of consortium and companionship that your loved one offered
By looking at your bills, receipts, and other documents, your attorney will calculate the full scope of your damages and prove how much you’re entitled to.
Talk to a Wrongful Death Attorney in Decatur Today
Your loved one’s death is a tragic event in any case, but when someone else caused it, even negligently, they should be held accountable. The Decatur wrongful death lawyers at John Foy & Associates can help you recover money for the damages they caused.
Call us or contact us online for a free consultation with a member of our team. We’re available to talk to you 24/7.