If you have lost a loved one due to a car accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, a Woodstock car accident lawyer from John Foy & Associates can explain to you the process of seeking compensation for the expenses and impacts of your loss through a wrongful death claim.
Seeking Compensation After a Woodstock Fatal Car Accident
In Georgia, individuals who have lost a loved one in a fatal accident that resulted from someone else’s negligence are permitted to seek compensation for the financial and psychological costs of their loss through the state’s wrongful death claims process. This process generally starts with a claim filed against the liability insurance policy of the at-fault party.
If the at-fault party’s insurance provider refuses to pay the claim or offers a settlement that fairly compensates the claimant for their loss, the claim can be filed in court as a wrongful death lawsuit.
Family members generally have two years from the date of their loved one’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, if the at-fault party was charged with a crime as a result of the accident, the filing of a wrongful death claim can be suspended for up to six years after the date of death so that the criminal case can be completed.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
According to GA Code §51-4-2, family members of the deceased are afforded the right to file a wrongful death claim in this order.
- The deceased’s spouse
- The deceased’s surviving children, if there is no spouse
- The deceased’s parents, if there is not a surviving spouse or children
- The executor of the deceased’s estate
It should be noted that one claim is filed on behalf of all family members who are eligible to obtain compensation, with the proceeds of the claim equally distributed between them.
The Type of Compensation Available After a Fatal Car Accident
After a Woodstock fatal car accident, wrongful death claimants are able to seek the recovery of out-of-pocket expenses they or the deceased’s estate incurred due to the death, such as:
- Lost wages, benefits, and other income that the deceased would have likely earned if they had survived long enough to finish their career.
- Medical expenses incurred during the treatment of the deceased’s final injury.
- The cost of a funeral service and burial or cremation.
Additionally, the family members can also seek compensation for the psychological impacts of the deceased’s death, such as the loss of support, care, guidance, or companionship.
How Liability Is Proven in a Woodstock Wrongful Death Claim
One of the main factors involved in a successful Woodstock wrongful death claim is the ability to prove who was liable for causing the accident that resulted in the death of a family member. This is because the liable (at-fault) party is the one responsible for compensating the expenses and impacts of injuries and losses incurred by others due to their negligent actions.
Generally, the at-fault party is another roadway user, such as the driver of another vehicle. However, in some cases, the liable party is a manufacturer of parts used on the vehicle, or — in some situations involving DUI fatal accidents — the social host or owner of a drinking establishment that served the at-fault driver alcohol.
Liability is proven by showing three elements: duty, breach, and cause. In other words, the at-fault party had a duty to take reasonable actions in order to avoid harming others; that duty was breached by the at-fault party’s careless or reckless actions, and the breach resulted in a fatal car accident.
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How a Fatal Car Accident Lawyer in Woodstock Can Help You File a Wrongful Death Claim
A Woodstock fatal car accident lawyer can bring experience to a wrongful death claim, offering their clients the guidance and information they need to make important decisions about the case, such as determining if a settlement offer is fair or if it’s time to file a lawsuit. Additionally, a Woodstock fatal car accident attorney can provide services to assist with the claim such as:
- Investigating the facts of the case to determine liability and insurance resources that are available to provide compensation.
- Establishing a value to the claim.
- Managing communication with the insurance provider as well as deadlines for the court to ensure their clients’ rights to seek compensation.
- Gathering the evidence and witness testimony necessary to prove the claim in court.
- Litigation services and continued representation if the defendant appeals the court’s decision.
- Assistance collecting your wrongful death settlement or the award that was rendered by the court.
Wrongful Death Attorneys Are Affordable
It is not uncommon for people to avoid taking legal action to seek compensation because they fear they cannot afford to pay for an attorney to assist them with the process. Like most personal injury attorneys, a Woodstock wrongful death attorney is generally paid through a contingent fee billing method.
What this means is that the claimant can wait to pay for their legal services until their claim is resolved. At that point, their attorney will help them obtain their compensation and receive a percentage of it as payment. This arrangement ensures that anyone who needs the assistance of an experienced attorney as they seek compensation for their losses can afford to hire one.
Finding the Best Fatal Car Accident Attorney in Woodstock to Help Your Family
Losing a loved one unexpectedly in a fatal car accident is one of the most devastating situations for a family to find themselves in. While money will not bring back the love, guidance, and support of the deceased, it can help the family move forward from the loss. Let our compassionate legal team help you determine your legal options for obtaining compensation.
For your free case evaluation with an experienced Woodstock fatal car accident attorney from John Foy & Associates, contact us today.