Wrongful Death Lawyer in Douglas

Experiencing the untimely death of a loved one is a difficult situation that comes with both emotional and financial struggles. However, it’s important to hold negligent parties accountable for their actions.

The Joe Durham Law Firm is here to support you during this challenging time by providing all of our legal resources to seek justice for your loss.

If you are in need of a wrongful death lawyer in Douglas, GA, contact us at 229-210-6226 for a free and confidential case evaluation.

Table of Contents

What Is A Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim seeks compensation for a fatality caused by negligence, carelessness, or recklessness of a liable person, company, or organization.

Wrongful Death lawyer's folder in Douglas, Georgia.

The following incidents often lead to wrongful death claims in Douglas:

  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Drunk driving accidents
  • Accidents on construction sites
  • Violent crimes including (but not limited to) homicide
  • Mistreatment (neglect or abuse) of nursing-home residents
  • Failure to diagnose serious medical conditions properly
  • Road accidents involving tractor-trailers
  • Drowning
  • Car accidents
  • Dangerous drugs
  • Accidents caused by product defects

This list is not exhaustive, and other actions may qualify for wrongful death claims under Georgia’s laws.

It’s crucial to seek legal advice from an expert in wrongful death cases after losing a loved one in circumstances where a third party may be at fault.

Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim In Georgia?

In Georgia, the right to bring a wrongful death claim belongs to the surviving relatives of the deceased person.

However, there is a specific order of precedence for who can bring such a claim. The first priority is given to the surviving spouse of the deceased.

If there is no spouse, then the decedent’s children may bring a claim. If the individual had no spouse or children, then their parents can initiate a claim.

In the absence of these surviving relatives, the administrator of the decedent’s estate may bring a wrongful death claim.

How Does A Surviving Family Member File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

To start a wrongful death claim, the first thing you need to do is confirm that you are the appropriate party to file the claim based on the rules stated above.

After this, your wrongful death attorney will handle the next steps of the lawsuit.

Most wrongful death lawyers, including the Joe Durham Law Firm, have experience with wrongful death suits.

If you decide to hire us, we will take care of initiating the claim and working towards getting you the compensation you deserve.

Is There A Limit On How Much You Can Sue For In A Georgia Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

In a wrongful death suit under Georgia law, you are entitled to seek compensation for the full value of the deceased’s life.

This compensation covers both quantifiable damages such as:

  • Medical and funeral expenses
  • Estimated lost income
  • Benefits

Also, intangible factors like:

  • The pain and suffering of the deceased.
  • The loss of companionship for surviving relatives.

As your legal representatives, the Joe Durham Law Firm will work to ensure that you receive the full compensation that you are entitled to.

Are There Time Limits For Filing A Wrongful Death Claim?

If you are considering taking legal action for a wrongful death, it is crucial to act promptly as your right to pursue legal action is subject to a specific time frame.

Under the Georgia statute of limitations (O.C.G.A. §51-4-1), the clock typically starts ticking on the date of the death in question.

Once the deadline for the statute of limitations expires, starting a lawsuit becomes much more difficult, if not impossible.

This underscores the importance of seeking legal guidance as soon as possible after the passing of your loved one.

A seasoned wrongful death attorney in Douglas, GA can explain the specific time frame you have to file a claim after reviewing the details of your case.

There are certain factors that may affect the statute of limitations, and obtaining swift and reliable legal advice is crucial in this regard.

What Types Of Damages Are Sought In A Georgia Wrongful Death Case?

According to Georgia law on wrongful death, surviving family members have the right to claim compensation for the full value of the deceased’s life, without any deductions for potential expenses.

The damages sought can include various factors, such as loss of income, funeral expenses, pain and suffering of both the decedent and surviving family members, loss of companionship, benefits, inheritance, and potentially punitive damages.

  • Damages for loss of future income
  • Reimbursement of funeral expenses
  • Compensation for the pain and suffering of the deceased
  • Compensation for the pain and suffering of surviving family members
  • Loss of love, protection, and companionship
  • Compensation for the loss of benefits
  • Compensation for the loss of inheritance

Punitive damages can also be pursued in appropriate cases.

What Are Punitive Damages?

Punitive damages serve a different purpose than other types of damages sought in a wrongful death lawsuit.

They are not meant to compensate the plaintiff but are instead intended to punish the defendant for their wrongdoing.

The court has the discretion to award punitive damages in cases where it deems appropriate.

Such damages are more likely to be awarded when the defendant acted intentionally or the negligence that caused the death was particularly extreme.

DUI cases often involve punitive damages, and high-profile wrongful death cases typically involve large punitive damage awards.

How Is Negligence Proved In A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

A wrongful death claim is similar to a personal injury claim but is filed on behalf of someone who did not survive the injury or illness that led to the claim.

To establish negligence in a wrongful death case, the same four factors used to establish negligence in a personal injury case must be proven by the plaintiff. These factors are:

Duty

The plaintiff in a wrongful death case is required to demonstrate that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased at the time of the accidental death.

Breach

The plaintiff needs to clearly identify how the defendant breached their duty of care established in the previous step, which can be done either by taking an action or failing to take necessary action.

The defendant’s behavior or inaction is then evaluated against how a reasonable person would have acted in a similar situation.

Damage

This step is crucial in establishing a direct causal link between the defendant’s breach of duty and the death of the decedent. Your wrongful death lawyer will work on establishing this link for you.

Causation

In the final step, the plaintiff needs to demonstrate that the defendant’s actions were the sole cause of the decedent’s death and that there were no other contributing factors.

Wrongful death cases in Georgia can be very complicated in civil courts. Seeking the help of a highly-experienced personal injury law firm is crucial. Reason being, most individuals lack the necessary knowledge to fulfill all legal obligations in filing this type of claim.

Having the assistance of a skilled wrongful death attorney can greatly increase the chances of successfully launching and winning a wrongful death case.

If you are struggling to cope with the unexpected loss of a loved one, trust the Joe Durham Law Firm to handle your legal concerns. Allow us to protect your legal rights while you focus on grieving and healing. Our Wrongful death lawyers will work diligently on your case.

How Long Does It Take For A Wrongful Death Case To Settle?

While many wrongful death suits are resolved through settlements prior to trial, this is not always the case. Each case is different and there is no set timeline that applies to all wrongful death cases.

Wrongful death lawyer taking the initiative to settle the case.

Can You Sue A Medical Provider For Wrongful Death?

It is possible to file a wrongful death claim when someone else is responsible for the death of your loved one.

In cases where medical care is involved, it is common to sue a hospital, doctor, nurse or other healthcare provider.

Contact A Wrongful Death Lawyer In Douglas, GA Today!

If you think your loved one’s death could have been prevented and are seeking legal help, contact the Joe Durham Law Firm at 229-210-6226.

Our firm specializes in civil litigation and handles cases related to personal injury, professional negligence, trial practice, and wrongful death. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case.

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