If you’ve lost a loved one in a fatal car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Damage recovery is a complex process that may require professional assistance.
Dealing with legal matters while grieving a family member can be taxing. By hiring an experienced Macon fatal car accident attorney from John Foy and Associates, you improve your chances of getting compensation while gaining time to recover.
Who Pays in a Fatal Car Accident?
If your loved one died in a car accident that occurred due to someone else’s negligent actions, you could seek damages. Figuring out who should provide compensation can be complicated. Several parties may be responsible for a fatal outcome.
In many cases, another driver is responsible for a fatal car accident. If they acted negligently on the road, their insurance company should make the payment. If the driver doesn’t have insurance, you could sue them for compensation directly.
If the driver was doing their job at the moment of the crash, a company might be responsible for covering the damages. Common examples are truck drivers’ employers and ridesharing companies.
If the fatal accident occurred because of serious damage on the road or a lack of proper signs, you might be able to sue the government. However, getting compensation from a government entity may be much harder than from other parties.
Pedestrians and Other Traffic Participants
In some cases, the negligent behavior of other traffic participants, such as pedestrians or cyclists, may cause an accident. These parties can be found partially responsible.
Discovering the negligent party is the key to getting compensation. A fatal car accident attorney in Macon can help investigate the accident and find out who the responsible parties are. This can simplify further legal action and help you get the money you deserve.
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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Macon?
When your family member dies in a car accident, you can recover damages by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. However, not all family members can do so.
In Macon, Georgia, parties who can file a wrongful death lawsuit are:
- A spouse of the decedent
- A child of the decedent (if there is no surviving spouse)
- A parent of the decedent (if there are no surviving spouses or children)
- An estate representative (in case there aren’t any surviving spouses, children, and parents)
If the estate representative files a claim, they can distribute the compensation to the decedent’s next of kin.
Negligence in a Fatal Car Accident
Once you discover who the responsible parties are, you need to prove their negligence. This involves:
- Proving that the negligent party had a legal duty of care to the victim.
- Showing that the at-fault party breached that legal duty of care.
- Demonstrating that this breach led to injuries and death.
- Proving that your loved one’s injuries and death led to damage
Even if the at-fault party’s negligence seems obvious, it’s still your responsibility to prove it to the insurance company or the judge.
Evidence You Need to Prove Your Case
To prove negligence and make your case, you need to collect robust evidence, including:
- Photos and videos from the scene of the accident demonstrating the at-fault party’s negligence
- Medical bills for pre-death treatment, if any
- Proof of funeral and burial expenses
- Police report
- Autopsy report
- Witness statements
- Expert witness testimony
- Family financial records
- Physical evidence (bloody clothing and personal items)
A fatal car accident attorney from Macon can explain which evidence helps prove your case. They can also conduct an investigation and collect the necessary evidence.
The Statute of Limitations in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
You only have a limited time to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Macon. In Georgia, the statute of limitations is two years from death. Once these two years are up, your chances of recovering fair compensation are minimal.
The statute of limitations can be extended for five years if the decedent’s estate isn’t probated.
How Much Money Can You Recover?
If you can prove negligence and conduct successful negotiations with the insurance company or win your case in court, you can recover a variety of damages, including:
- Medical costs (if the victim needed medical assistance before death)
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of support and consortium
- Loss of future wages and inheritance
The final amount of your compensation can depend on many different factors, including:
- The quality of the presented evidence
- The extent of the damages
Another factor that may affect the amount is the insurance limit. If the at-fault party’s insurance limit is lower than the size of your damages, you may need to sue the party directly for the rest of the amount.
Do You Need a Fatal Car Accident Lawyer in Macon?
It’s possible to recover some damages without hiring a Macon fatal car accident attorney. However, the chances of getting fair compensation are minimal. To make sure you get the money you deserve, the attorney can:
- Conduct an in-depth investigation to find responsible parties and collect evidence.
- Negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company.
- Build a strong case.
- File all the necessary documents.
- Prove your case to the judge and jury.
- Take witness statements and hire expert witnesses.
- Provide valuable consultation throughout the case.
Doing all the above on your own while you are grieving a loved one is tough. Unless you have legal experience with similar cases, you may need professional assistance.
Contact an Experienced Macon Fatal Accident Lawyer Today
Did you lose a family member in a car accident? You may be entitled to compensation. By working with a fatal accident attorney in Macon, you are delegating all legal action to the experts.
At John Foy and Associates, we can help you fight for the money you deserve. Contact us for a free case evaluation at any convenient time.