Wrongful Death Lawyer in Valdosta

Losing a loved one unexpectedly can be a difficult and overwhelming experience, compounded by financial hardships that often arise in the aftermath.

Despite the fact that no amount of money can ever replace your beloved family member, you and your family have the right to seek justice and hold those who were responsible for your loss accountable.

The Joe Durham Law Firm is prepared to offer you all the legal resources and support you need during this challenging time. If you require the assistance of a wrongful death attorney in Valdosta, GA, we encourage you to take advantage of our free and confidential case evaluation.

Call the Joe Durham Law Firm today at 229-210-6226

Table of Contents

What Is A Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim is a legal action taken in civil court by individuals seeking compensation for the loss of a loved one caused by the negligence, recklessness, or carelessness of a responsible party, organization, or company.

In Valdosta, there are numerous incidents that may result in wrongful death claims, including but not limited to motorcycle accidents, drunk driving accidents, construction site accidents, violent crimes such as homicide, neglect or abuse of nursing home residents, failure to properly diagnose serious medical conditions, road accidents involving tractor-trailers, drowning, car accidents, dangerous drugs, and accidents caused by product defects.

It’s important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and there may be other circumstances under Georgia’s wrongful death laws that can result in a claim. As such, it’s essential to seek the guidance of a skilled legal professional if you’ve lost a loved one in a situation where a third party could be liable.

Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim In Georgia?

In Georgia, the right to bring a wrongful death claim belongs to the deceased person’s relatives. However, there is an order of precedence as to who can bring the claim. If the deceased person had a surviving spouse, the spouse has the first right to bring the claim.

If there is no spouse, the decedent’s children can file a claim. In the absence of a spouse and children, the decedent’s parents have the right to initiate a claim. If there are no surviving relatives as described previously, the administrator of the decedent’s estate can bring the wrongful death claim.

It’s essential to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to determine your rights and eligibility to file a wrongful death claim.

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

If you believe that you’re the appropriate party to bring a wrongful death claim based on the order of precedence described above, the first step is to consult with an experienced attorney. An attorney specializing in personal injury, like the Joe Durham Law Firm, will be well-versed in handling wrongful death cases.

Once you’ve engaged our services, we’ll handle the legal proceedings and work diligently to secure the compensation you deserve.

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

Under Georgia law, a wrongful death suit allows you to seek the full value of the deceased person’s life. This includes quantifiable damages such as medical and funeral expenses, as well as lost income and benefits that the deceased and their relatives would have received.

Additionally, less tangible factors, such as the deceased’s pain and suffering, as well as the loss of companionship suffered by their surviving relatives, may also be considered in the calculation of damages.

A skilled attorney can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you receive the compensation to which you’re entitled.

Are There Time Limits For Filing A Wrongful Death Claim?

It’s important to be aware that there is a restricted time frame for pursuing legal action. The statute of limitations (O.C.G.A. §51-4-1) in a wrongful death case typically commences on the date of the deceased individual’s passing.

After the deadline for the statute of limitations has passed, it may be significantly more difficult, if not impossible, to initiate legal proceedings. Therefore, it’s critical to seek the guidance of a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible following the death of your loved one.

An experienced wrongful death lawyer in Valdosta, GA can examine the specifics of your case and explain the precise timeframe available to you. Since various factors can affect the statute of limitations, obtaining prompt and reliable legal advice is essential.

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

Georgia law governing wrongful death specifies that survivors are entitled to seek damages covering the complete value of the deceased person’s life without any deductions for expenses that would have been incurred had they lived. In a wrongful death case, the following items can be included in the damages sought:

  • Loss of future income
  • Funeral expenses
  • Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased
  • Pain and suffering experienced by surviving family members
  • Loss of love, protection, and companionship
  • Loss of benefits
  • Loss of inheritance

If warranted, punitive damages may also be sought. An experienced wrongful death attorney can help you understand which damages are applicable in your case and work diligently to ensure that you receive the compensation to which you’re entitled.

Wrongful Death In Valdosta Georgia

What Are Punitive Damages?

Punitive damages are a type of damages that are not intended to compensate the plaintiff in a wrongful death case. Rather, they are imposed to punish the defendant for their wrongdoing. The court has the discretion to award punitive damages when appropriate.

These damages are more likely to be awarded when it’s established that the defendant caused the death intentionally or when the negligence or carelessness leading to the death was exceptionally extreme. DUI cases often involve punitive damages. Additionally, many high-profile wrongful death cases involve punitive damages.

How Is Negligence Proved In A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Generally speaking, a wrongful death claim is similar to a personal injury claim. The only difference is that it is filed on behalf of someone who did not survive the injury or illness leading to the claim. To establish negligence in a wrongful death case, the plaintiff must prove the same four factors that are used to establish negligence in a personal injury case:

  • Duty: The plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant had a duty of care to the deceased at the time of the incident or death.
  • Breach: The plaintiff must specify how the defendant breached their duty of care, either by taking action or failing to act. The defendant’s actions are compared to how a reasonable person would have acted in the same situation.
  • Damage: This step establishes a direct connection between the defendant’s breach of duty and the deceased’s death.
    Causation: The plaintiff must prove that there is no other cause for the death in question than the defendant’s actions.

Wrongful death lawsuits are some of the most complicated cases in Georgia’s civil courts. It’s essential to have the support of an experienced personal injury firm, as most people lack the legal knowledge to fulfill all the requirements of a wrongful death claim.

Surviving family members have a higher chance of winning a wrongful death case with the help of a competent personal injury lawyer. If you’re grieving the untimely death of a loved one, allow the Joe Durham Law Firm to handle your legal concerns while you focus on healing.

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

While it’s true that many wrongful death cases are resolved through settlements before trial, this isn’t always the case. Each case is unique, and there is no standard timetable that applies to all wrongful death cases.

The length of time it takes to resolve a wrongful death case can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the complexity of the case, the strength of the evidence, and the willingness of the parties to negotiate a settlement.

A skilled attorney can help you understand the legal process and guide you through each step of your case, from investigation to resolution.

Can You Sue A Medical Provider For Wrongful Death?

If a loved one dies due to the negligence or fault of another person or entity, you have the right to file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages. In cases where medical malpractice is involved, it’s common to sue hospitals, doctors, nurses, or other healthcare providers.

A skilled attorney can help you navigate the legal process and work to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Contact A Wrongful Death Lawyer In Valdosta, GA Today!

If you have lost a loved one and you believe their death was preventable, call 229-210-6226 to reach the Joe Durham Law Firm. Our practice focuses on civil litigation, including trial practice, personal injury, professional negligence, and wrongful death cases. Your initial consultation is always free.

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