You might be eligible for a wrongful death claim if you lost a loved one in Macon. However, only a few family members can bring this type of case. Learn more today from our Macon wrongful death lawyers.
We at John Foy & Associates have over 20 years of experience helping accident victims and their families. During that time, we’ve obtained over $1 billion in compensation for our clients. Our team brings the power of the “Strong Arm” to every case. To learn your rights during a free consultation, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.
What Counts as a Wrongful Death in Georgia?
According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §51-4-1, wrongful death claims seek to recover for the “full value of the life” of the deceased.
A wrongful death case considers what the victim would have earned and experienced if they’d lived. Certain surviving family members can sue for the damages.
Wrongful death claims are civil cases. They request compensation from the person whose negligence caused the death.
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Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death?
Georgia law is very clear about who can bring a wrongful death claim. OCGA §51-4-2 outlines the details.
The following people, in order, can bring a case:
- A surviving spouse
- A child or children
- Parents or guardians (according to OCGA §19-7-1)
- A representative for the deceased’s estate
The surviving spouse is entitled to bring a claim first. If there is no surviving spouse, the deceased’s child or children can bring a claim. If there are no surviving children or spouse, the parents of the dead have rights.
If no one is surviving to recover damages, an estate representative can take action.
A spouse can also bring a claim on behalf of surviving children. However, the spouse must receive at least one-third of the total recovery.
Macon Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me 478-400-4000
How Much Is a Wrongful Death Settlement Worth?
Wrongful death claims can be significant. It all depends on the details.
The claim will look at the full value of the deceased’s life.
“Full value of life” has two parts:
- The deceased’s reasons for living, such as personal relationships
- Income or contributions that the deceased would have provided
When a lawyer works on a wrongful death case, they will consider both parts. A wrongful death claim looks at the details from the perspective of the deceased.
The value of a settlement largely depends on the damages.
Damages the Deceased Experienced
A wrongful death claim should include damages that the deceased experienced from the time of the accident or injury to the time of death.
These damages might include:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial expenses
It’s important to consider everything your loved one experienced before they died. What was lost because of the at-fault party’s negligence?
Damages Their Family Members Experienced
Wrongful death damages also consider what the surviving family experiences. A claim should work to compensate loved ones for what they’ll lose (or have lost).
For example, say a husband died in a car accident that another driver caused. The husband has left behind children and a spouse, and he was the primary income earner.
The spouse can bring a wrongful death suit to recover what the husband would have earned if he’d lived. That includes any lost wages and benefits the deceased would have received.
Spouses in Georgia can also claim for “loss of consortium.” This helps compensate the spouse for the companionship they lost with the death.
Average Wrongful Death Settlements
It’s impossible to put a “typical” number on wrongful death claims and lawsuits. Every situation can vary so widely. However, some cases will range anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million or more.
Again, every case is different. To understand what your family might receive, it’s best to consult with a lawyer.
Our team at John Foy & Associates is here for you after an untimely death. We aim to make the recovery process as easy as possible during this challenging time. To discuss your options during a free consultation, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.
The Timeline for a Wrongful Death Case Is Only Two Years
Wrongful death cases can take time. Some might settle within months, while others can take a year or more.
Keep in mind that there is a deadline to file your claim. In Georgia, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death. That leaves limited time to take action. It’s best to protect your family’s rights by hiring a Macon wrongful death lawyer immediately.
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Macon, call 478-400-4000
What Happens After You File Your Claim?
Your lawyer can help file a complaint and bring the wrongful death claim. You and the other side might negotiate to reach a settlement amount. If you cannot settle, you’ll enter the pre-trial period.
Most claims settle without having to go to trial. However, there are exceptions for wrongful death lawsuits. Your attorney can help determine if going to court is best for you and your family.
Wrongful death cases can be lengthy and complicated. But they also help seek justice for deceased loved ones and their families. If someone else’s actions led to the death, that party is responsible for the costs.
How Hard Is It to Prove Wrongful Death?
Proving wrongful death can be challenging, but an experienced lawyer will know what to do.
There are four parts to proving wrongful death:
You must show that your loved one died because of another party’s negligence. Negligence is a legal term for carelessness.
In Georgia, the negligent party in an accident is liable for the costs. That includes accidents where someone dies.
2. Breached Duty
Everyone has a “duty of care” to others. For example, drivers in Georgia have a duty of care to be safe on the roads.
You must show that the other party breached their duty to the deceased loved one.
There must be a direct link from the breached duty to the loved one’s death. This is the only way to show that the at-fault party is responsible for the costs.
The loved one’s death must have led to damages. Your claim will need to outline all of the damages resulting from the accident and the death.
You must prove each part to be eligible for wrongful death damages. Thankfully, you don’t have to do it alone. Your attorney will work to establish each fact and fight for your rights.
Talk to Our Macon Wrongful Death Lawyers for Free Today
If you lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligence, take action today. Contact John Foy & Associates to get started on your case as soon as possible.
We do not collect a fee unless we win you compensation. You can get started at no risk today. Call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online for a free consultation.