Losing a loved one unexpectedly is a difficult experience. Apart from the emotional burden, there may be financial difficulties to deal with. However, you and your family have the right to seek justice and hold negligent parties accountable for the loss.
this challenging time, the Joe Durham Law Firm is prepared to offer all their legal resources to assist you. If you require a wrongful death lawyer in Moultrie, GA, you can begin with a free and confidential case evaluation by contacting the Joe Durham Law Firm at 229-351-5320 today.
What Is A Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed in civil court seeking compensation for the death of a loved one due to the negligence, carelessness, or recklessness of a person, company, or organization. The following incidents in Moultrie commonly lead to wrongful death claims:
- Motorcycle accidents
- Drunk driving accidents
- Accidents on construction sites
- Violent crimes including homicide
- Mistreatment, neglect or abuse of nursing home residents
- Failure to diagnose serious medical conditions properly
- Road accidents involving tractor-trailers
- Car accidents
- Dangerous drugs
- Accidents caused by product defects
It’s important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and there may be other actions that enable you to make a wrongful death claim under Georgia’s laws. Seeking legal advice from an experienced attorney is crucial 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 surviving family members of a deceased person have the right to bring a wrongful death claim in civil court. However, there is an order of precedence that determines who has the right to bring the claim.
The surviving spouse of the deceased has the first right to file a claim. If the deceased person did not have a spouse, then their children can bring the claim. If there are no surviving children, then the parents of the deceased can initiate a claim.
And, if there are no surviving relatives as described, then the administrator of the deceased person’s estate can bring the claim.
How Does A Surviving Family Member File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Once you have confirmed that you are the rightful party to file a wrongful death claim, the next step is to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney. Most personal injury lawyers, including the Joe Durham Law Firm, have extensive knowledge and experience in handling wrongful death suits.
If you choose to work with us, we will take care of initiating the claim and pursuing appropriate compensation on your behalf. We will gather evidence, investigate the circumstances surrounding the death, negotiate with the defendant’s legal team or insurance company, and represent you in court if necessary.
We understand the emotional and financial difficulties of losing a loved one, and we will do everything we can to help you seek justice and hold the responsible parties accountable.
Is There A Limit On How Much You Can Sue For In A Georgia Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Under Georgia law, in a wrongful death suit, you are entitled to seek compensation for the full value of the deceased’s life. This includes quantifiable damages such as medical and funeral expenses, estimated income and benefits that would have been earned by the deceased and would have been available to his or her family, and intangible factors such as pain and suffering endured by the deceased and the loss of companionship suffered by surviving relatives.
Are There Time Limits For Filing A Wrongful Death Claim?
There is a specific time frame within which you can pursue legal action for a wrongful death claim. This is known as the statute of limitations, which starts from the date of the death in question (as per O.C.G.A. §51-4-1). Failing to file a lawsuit before the deadline can make it difficult or even impossible to initiate legal proceedings.
It is crucial to seek legal advice as soon as possible following the death of your loved one. A seasoned wrongful death attorney in Moultrie, GA will be able to clarify the exact time frame based on the details of your case. It is worth noting that there are factors that can modify the statute of limitations, which highlights the importance of obtaining fast and reliable legal guidance.
What Types Of Damages Are Sought In A Georgia Wrongful Death Case?
To seek compensation in a wrongful death case in Georgia, survivors can pursue damages for the full value of the deceased person’s life, without any deductions for expenses that would have been incurred if they were alive.
A range of factors can be included in the damages sought, such as the loss of future income, funeral expenses, the decedent’s pain and suffering, as well as the pain and suffering of surviving family members.
Other damages can also be included, such as the loss of love, protection, and companionship, loss of benefits, loss of inheritance, and in some cases, punitive damages. It is important to seek the advice of an experienced wrongful death attorney who can help determine the full range of damages that may be available in your case.
What Are Punitive Damages?
In a wrongful death lawsuit, punitive damages are not awarded to compensate the plaintiff, but rather to punish the defendant’s misconduct. The court has the discretion to award punitive damages, typically when the defendant’s actions leading to the death were intentional or showed a high level of negligence.
Drunk driving cases are often associated with punitive damages. It is common for high-profile wrongful death cases that result in substantial awards to include punitive damages.
How Is Negligence Proved In A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In general, a wrongful death claim is similar to a personal injury claim, but it 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 key factors used in personal injury cases must be proven by the plaintiff. These are:
In a wrongful death case, it is essential for the plaintiff to prove that the defendant had a duty of care towards the decedent at the time of the accident, incident, or death. This means that the defendant had a legal obligation to act with reasonable care and caution, and avoid any actions or omissions that could have resulted in harm to the decedent.
In the second step, the plaintiff must establish how the duty of care was breached by the defendant, which can either be through an action or inaction. The defendant’s conduct is often compared to that of a reasonable person in the same situation to determine if the defendant’s actions were negligent.
This step is where the plaintiff needs to show a direct connection between the defendant’s breach of duty and the death of the decedent.
The plaintiff must also establish that the defendant’s breach of duty was the proximate cause of the decedent’s death, meaning that there was no other intervening cause that could have led to the death other than the defendant’s actions.
Navigating a wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia civil courts can be incredibly challenging. To ensure that all legal obligations are met, it’s crucial to seek the assistance of a highly experienced personal injury law firm.
The complexity of such lawsuits means that most people lack the necessary expertise to file a claim successfully. A good personal injury lawyer can make the process far easier, increasing the chances of a successful outcome.
At the Joe Durham Law Firm, we understand that recovering from the untimely death of a loved one is incredibly difficult. That’s why we’re here to help you navigate the legal side of things and protect your rights, allowing you to focus on healing and grieving.
How Long Does It Take For A Wrongful Death Case To Settle?
Although many wrongful death suits are resolved before trial, it’s not the case for all. Since each case is distinct, there is no standard timeline that applies to all wrongful death claims.
Can You Sue A Medical Provider For Wrongful Death?
Yes, if someone else is responsible for the death of a loved one, you have the right to file a wrongful death claim. In cases where medical care is involved, it is typical to sue a healthcare provider, such as a hospital, doctor, or nurse, for negligence or malpractice.
Contact A Wrongful Death Lawyer In Moultrie, GA Today!
In case you have lost someone you loved and you suspect their death could have been avoided, don’t hesitate to contact the Joe Durham Law Firm at 229-351-5320 Our firm specializes in civil litigation, which includes trial practice, personal injury, professional negligence, and wrongful death cases. We offer free initial consultations to all clients.