Wrongful Death Lawsuits: 3 Things You Need to Know
Wrongful death is the untimely death of any person caused by the negligent or unlawful acts of another person or entity, such as a company. The legal basis for most personal injury and wrongful death cases in Georgia is negligence, which is defined as the failure to exercise reasonable care when there is a duty to do so, resulting in harm to others. For instance, if a commercial truck driver ignores strict hours-of-service rules and, as a result of driving while fatigued, collides with a passenger vehicle, killing the vehicle occupants, the truck driver may be liable for the accident and resulting deaths. The following are three things you need to know about wrongful death lawsuits.
1. You may be entitled to damages.
If you have lost a loved one in a traffic accident, you may be entitled to damages related to the injury and death of the deceased person. Under Georgia’s Wrongful Death Act, the family of any person killed by the negligence or wrongful act of another person or entity has the right to bring a wrongful death claim against the responsible person or party. There are three specific categories of damages you can pursue in a Georgia wrongful death claim:
- The full value of the life of the decedent;
- Funeral, medical and other expenses resulting from the injury or death of the decedent; and
- Medical expenses, pain, and suffering by the decedent and any other damages arising during the period between the decedent’s injury and subsequent death.
The key to recovering the appropriate damages in a wrongful death case is establishing liability, or determining who is at fault for the accident, so you can hold that person or party financially responsible for your losses.
2. There is a statute of limitations on filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
All wrongful death lawsuits in Georgia are subject to a statute of limitations, which puts a limit on the amount of time the family of the deceased person has to initiate a claim before relinquishing their right to do so. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is typically two years after the death occurs, although it can be shorter or longer in certain cases. If the statute of limitations expires and you have not initiated a claim, you could be barred from ever filing a wrongful death lawsuit in the future.
3. A wrongful death attorney can be a tremendous asset to your case.
After losing a loved one in a fatal accident, such as a commercial truck accident, you deserve the right to properly grieve with your family. That being said, it is important to understand that the driver of the commercial truck, the trucking company, and its insurers will immediately get to work gathering evidence and building a defense to avoid liability in the fatal accident. The sooner you can hire an experienced wrongful death attorney to represent your family and put together a credible case on your behalf, the better chance you have of recovering the compensation you and your loved ones deserve for your losses.
Pursuing Compensation for Wrongful Death
No amount of money can make up for the sudden loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, but recovering full compensation through a wrongful death claim can help cover the cost of the expenses related to your loved one’s injury and death. In any wrongful death case, it is important to move quickly to retain a qualified attorney and gather evidence in support of your claim. And the attorney you hire to file your wrongful death lawsuit should be committed to handling every aspect of your case, so you can concentrate on recovering from your tragic loss and rebuilding your life. The partners at Georgia Injury Attorneys fit the bill. Please call us at: (404) 892-2229.
Georgia Injury Attorneys Partners: Chrisna Jones, Esq. (Managing Partner), Jamie S. Cox Esq. (Partner), Brian D. Poe, Esq. (Chairman)
Office Locations: Atlanta, Buckhead, Dunwoody/Sandy Springs, and Union City/Fairburn (South Fulton)