Wrongful Death Lawyer in Dublin

Wrongful death is a devastating and tragic situation that occurs when someone dies as a result of someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional wrongdoing. The surviving family members, such as the spouse or children, are left to deal with the emotional pain and financial difficulties caused by the loss of their loved one.

In such cases, the surviving spouse or other family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit to hold the responsible party accountable and recover damages for their loss.

If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s actions, it’s important to seek the assistance of an experienced wrongful death lawyer to guide you through the legal process.

At Joe Durham Jr., P.C., our skilled Dublin wrongful death lawyers will provide you with compassionate and personalized representation, working tirelessly to help you obtain justice and compensation for your loss. We will investigate the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death, gather evidence, and build a strong case on your behalf.

If you are dealing with the loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, contact Joe Durham Jr., P.C. today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced wrongful death lawyers.

Table of Contents

How Is Wrongful Death Defined In Georgia?

It is important to note that wrongful death claims can only be filed by certain parties designated by Georgia law. Typically, the surviving spouse, children, or parents of the deceased can bring a wrongful death action. If none of these parties are available, a personal representative of the deceased’s estate may file the claim.

A civil claim for wrongful death can arise when the actions of an individual or entity cause the unnatural death of a victim. Legal grounds for wrongful death in Georgia can include drunk driving, medical malpractice, contaminated food, and intentional homicide.

If the deceased purchased unsafe prescription drugs from the defendant and experienced complications soon after taking them, the defendant’s actions may be considered unlawful. If the defendant had knowledge of the potential harm caused by the drugs and continued to sell them, it may be concluded that they intended to harm or kill the decedent.

Who Is Qualified To File A Wrongful Death Claim?

According to Georgia Code 51-4-2, certain individuals are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The surviving spouse of the deceased is permitted to file a wrongful death claim. If the deceased and surviving spouse had children, then the lawsuit represents the interests of both the surviving spouse and the children. However, the surviving spouse can only file the lawsuit on behalf of their children if they are under 18 years of age.

If the victim did not have any family, then the surviving parents may bring the wrongful death lawsuit against the defendant. If the victim did not have any surviving parents, children, or spouse, then a representative of the deceased estate may file the wrongful death lawsuit. If the lawsuit is successful, all proceeds will be held by the deceased’s estate and then distributed to the surviving next of kin.

In the case where the deceased had a spouse, they should receive no less than one-third of the total compensation. The spouse will also have to share the compensation with any children. However, if the deceased had written a will that specifies that nothing should be awarded to their children, then the spouse will keep the full compensation.

What Types Of Damages Are Recoverable?

According to Georgia law, all damages awarded as compensation must be directly related to the injury that resulted in the death. This means that any financial losses, such as medical bills and funeral expenses, are compensable.

However, damages for non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, are not recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia. Usually, there are three main categories of damages that one may seek in Georgia’s wrongful death lawsuit.

  • The first one is the funeral expenses and all the medical costs that resulted from the injury or death of the deceased.
  • The other category that warrants damages is the pain and suffering that the deceased incurred before their death.
  • Lastly, the surviving family is compensated an amount equal to the full value of the life of the decedent.

Determining the value of the life of a deceased individual was once a challenging task. However, Georgia appellate courts have established that the value of a person’s life consists of two components: economic and non-economic.

The economic component is computed by determining the present value of the deceased’s future earnings and services that they would have earned if they had continued to live.

When calculating the economic loss, a skilled wrongful death attorney in Dublin will consider various factors, including the age of the deceased, their income at the time of death, and their occupation.

The non-economic component includes intangible factors that are not easily quantifiable but are determined by the jury. Even though the value of these factors may be subjective, it is the responsibility of the wrongful death lawyer to provide the court with evidence that supports the actual value of the damages.

Can The Surviving Family File For Punitive Damages?

In Georgia, punitive damages are typically not awarded in wrongful death cases, but there are exceptions. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant for their negligence or recklessness, and their inclusion is determined by the jury.

In some cases, punitive damages have been awarded in wrongful death cases brought by an estate administrator if the conduct of the defendant was particularly malicious or showed a callous disregard for the deceased’s safety.

If the deceased lived for some time after being injured by the defendant’s negligent conduct before ultimately succumbing to their injuries, then a punitive damages claim may be included in addition to the wrongful death claim.

However, if the deceased’s death was immediate, there is typically no basis for a punitive damages claim. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to pursue punitive damages will depend on the specific circumstances of the case, and your wrongful death attorney can help guide you through this process.

How Is Negligence Proved In A Wrongful Death Case?

Witness statements and expert opinions can be helpful in proving negligence. The lawyer may also investigate the defendant’s history to look for previous incidents of negligence or misconduct. It is important to work with an experienced wrongful death attorney who can thoroughly investigate the case and build a strong case on your behalf.

Keep in mind that proving negligence can be a complex process, and it’s important to have a lawyer who has experience in handling wrongful death cases. The attorney will work with you to gather all the necessary evidence, build a strong case, and fight for the compensation you deserve. There are four key elements to building a winnable wrongful death case:

Duty of Care

In a wrongful death case, the plaintiff has to demonstrate to the court that the defendant had a responsibility to show a certain level of care towards the deceased during the time they were together. For instance, a doctor is required to provide patients with a particular standard of care.

Breach of Duty of Care

To establish negligence on the part of the defendant, it is necessary to prove that they had a duty of care towards the deceased but failed to fulfill it. For instance, doctors are obligated to provide patients with a certain standard of care.

Once it has been established that a duty of care existed, the plaintiff must then demonstrate how the defendant breached that duty. If you were present at the time of the incident, you may be required to testify in court about what you observed and whether the defendant fulfilled their duty of care.


Your lawyer has to demonstrate that the defendant’s actions or lack thereof directly caused the death of your loved one. If the plaintiff is unable to prove that the defendant’s negligence resulted in the death of their loved one, it may be challenging to persuade the court to hold the defendant liable.


To successfully hold the defendant liable, your lawyer must demonstrate to the court how the breach of duty of care directly caused the death of your loved one. This means that they need to prove that the defendant’s actions or inactions resulted in the damages, which in this case is the untimely death of your family member.

wrongful death lawyer in Dublin

How Do You Start A Wrongful Death Claim In Georgia?

If a family member has passed away as a result of another party’s negligence, it’s essential to seek the assistance of a Dublin wrongful death lawyer promptly to begin the legal proceedings.

Acting quickly ensures that all evidence is current and available for collection. Although Georgia’s statute of limitations restricts the time for filing a wrongful death case to two years, it’s advisable to file the claim early. If you fail to file within the two-year time frame, you’ll lose the right to present the claim.

In Georgia, if the estate of the deceased person is not probated, the statute of limitations in wrongful death cases can be extended or “tolled” for up to five years. This means that the family members or the estate administrator may have up to seven years to file a wrongful death claim.

What Is The Difference Between Wrongful Death Claims And Estate Claims?

When filing an estate claim in a wrongful death case, the decedent’s estate may seek to recover various expenses, such as burial and funeral costs. Additionally, the estate may also seek to recover damages for the pain and suffering the decedent experienced in the time leading up to their death.

Calculating pain and suffering damages can be challenging, and it’s essential to have an experienced wrongful death attorney to help ensure that these damages are appropriately accounted for.

If the decedent did not leave a will, the law will determine who has the right to bring the estate claim. In Georgia, the estate can also bring claims for punitive damages. However, if the decedent left a will, the person named in the will should be the one to bring the estate claim.

In wrongful death claims, the surviving family members can file a claim to recover the full value of the deceased’s life. The surviving spouse usually has the first right to file the claim, followed by the deceased’s parents if they did not have a spouse or children. In such cases, the estate will not make a claim.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Dublin Wrongful Death Lawyers

The sudden loss of a loved one can have a devastating impact on the lives of those left behind, both emotionally and financially. This can be particularly challenging if the deceased had dependents to provide for. If your loved one has passed away due to someone else’s negligence, Georgia law allows the surviving spouse to file a wrongful death claim. In the absence of a spouse, the deceased’s children or parents may also file a claim.

At Joe Durham Jr., P.C., our team is dedicated to representing your interests and fighting for the compensation you deserve. Don’t hesitate to contact us at 229-210-6226 if you need legal assistance in your wrongful death case.

Related Articles