If a car accident in Smyrna is severe enough, it can be fatal. Tragically, a deadly crash leaves loved ones behind to pick up the pieces. If you lost a family member to a collision, talk to a Smyrna fatal accident lawyer today.
At John Foy & Associates, we can help your family. Our lawyers will help protect your rights after a fatal accident. We can build a strong injury claim for compensation.
To learn more during a FREE consultation, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.
Types of Fatal Accident Claims in Smyrna
If a loved one dies in a car accident, specific parties can bring a wrongful death claim. The claim will seek compensation for the accident damages.
There are two types of wrongful deaths claims:
- Wrongful death claims from surviving family members.
- Wrongful death claims from the loved one’s estate.
In both situations, it’s crucial to know the damages. Fatal accident claims are often complicated and confusing. However, an experienced Smyrna lawyer can help you and your family build the case.
No one wants to deal with legalities after a family death. You need time to mourn the loss and focus on life in front of you. However, the law does not wait. You have limited time to bring a claim.
Wrongful death claims can help families tie up loose ends after a loss. While they cannot undo what has happened, they can help cover costs that the victim’s family shouldn’t bear.
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Understanding Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Accident Claim
Georgia Code Section 51-4-2 covers which parties can bring a wrongful death claim after an accident. Here’s how it works in Smyrna.
The deceased person’s spouse can bring a wrongful death claim first. If the spouse had children with the deceased, the children have rights too.
The surviving spouse must represent any minor children’s interests. Also, the spouse must receive at least one-third of the full recovery. The number of children does not change the spouse’s minimum recovery.
If there is no surviving spouse, the deceased’s children can bring a claim. The courts would divide the compensation between all children.
Parents or Guardians
If there are no surviving spouse or children, the deceased’s surviving parents can file a claim. If the deceased has a guardian instead of a parent, the legal guardian can bring a claim.
If there are no surviving spouses, children, or parents, any damages go to the victim’s estate. A personal representative for the estate must bring the claim.
The wrongful death damages would go to the estate. The money will remain with the estate until they go to the deceased’s next of kin (Georgia Code Section 51-4-5).
Eligible Damages After a Fatal Accident in Smyrna
Surviving family members can recover both economic and non-economic losses from the loved one’s death. Let’s look more closely at each of these damages.
Economic losses cover what income the loved one would have earned if they had lived. These losses can include:
- Work wages
- Employment benefits
- Retirement plans
- Health insurance coverage
If the deceased stayed at home, it’s more complicated. A lawyer will need to calculate the value of stay-at-home parents or spouse services, such as:
- Caring for children
- Cleaning the home
- Caregiving for an elderly family member
If the deceased was not yet earning money, a lawyer will need to determine their future earning capacity. If the loved one was very young, a jury might need to decide the potential earning capacity.
Determining what a victim would have earned is not straightforward. It’s best to work with a Smyrna fatal accident lawyer who can help. Your lawyer can calculate the economic losses from an expert’s point of view.
Non-economic losses are more subjective. These losses are about the value of the deceased’s life and what they brought to relationships.
In a wrongful death case, family members will often testify about the loved one’s character. They’ll cover the deceased’s sense of humor, love, passions, companionship, etc.
Intangible losses are tough to calculate. It’s best to work with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. To get a FREE consultation with John Foy & Associates today, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.
Making an Estate Claim After an Accident Death in Smyrna
Family members typically bring a wrongful death claim for the above losses. However, the deceased’s estate can also bring a claim. The representative can seek compensation for death-related expenses like:
- Medical bills from the deceased’s last injuries
- Funeral expenses
- Burial costs
- Pain and suffering the deceased experienced before they died
Pain and suffering damages are an option if the loved one suffered before they died. A fatal accident lawyer will handle this subject as delicately and respectfully as possible. A lawyer will need to demonstrate what the victim went through before their death.
If the fatal accident involved malicious behavior, punitive damages are a potential option. Your lawyer will need to show that the at-fault party was being incredibly careless.
Don’t Wait to Get Started with Your Case
After a fatal accident, it’s best to get started immediately. You only have two years from the date of death to bring a claim. If you miss the statute of limitations, you won’t be able to seek compensation.
Begin working on your case today to avoid missing the deadline. Otherwise, the courts will probably throw out your case.
Talk to a Smyrna Fatal Accident Lawyer for Free Today
At John Foy & Associates, we know how painful it is for families to lose a family member. Our lawyers can handle the legal side of things while you focus on being with loved ones. Plus, we don’t charge you a fee unless we win your case.
Our lawyers work on contingency so that you don’t have to worry about upfront costs. If we win your case, our fee is simply a percentage of what you win. Then, your family keeps the rest.
Contact us today for a FREE, no-risk consultation. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online get started for FREE today.