A loved one’s untimely demise can have a devastating impact on you and your family, especially when the death is attributed to another’s negligence or malicious acts. The emotional, psychological, and financial toll a loved one’s demise deals can be draining.
However, the law allows you to seek justice on their behalf by taking legal action against those responsible and seeking compensation for the loss, pain, and anguish enduring. You will need a seasoned wrongful death lawyer to represent your interests in the case.
If you want to pursue a wrongful death case, contact us at Diaz & Gaeta to find an experienced and committed attorney to fight for you. Our Sandy Springs wrongful death lawyers are highly experienced, knowledgeable, and dedicated to helping clients recover the maximum compensation possible.
Moreover, we understand that deciding to take legal action against those responsible is no small matter. It requires experienced legal counsel and representation by an experienced personal injury lawyer in Sandy Springs. Call us at 678-503-2780 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free case review and find out more about how we can help.
How Is Wrongful Death Defined in the State of Georgia?
According to Georgia laws, wrongful death is a person dies because of another individual’s or entity’s acts of negligent, reckless, or criminal acts or because of a defective product.
When determining liability, your attorney will conduct thorough investigations and gather evidence. It is a process in which we might also seek the help and expertise of other professionals in different specialty fields to validate several crucial factors according to the laws.
Some of the issues that could validate pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia include the following.
- Medical malpractice
- Criminal actions, including intentional homicide
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
- Defective or dangerous products
- Engineering malpractice and faulty construction
- Illegal or improper service of alcohol
- Pedestrian accident fatalities
- Contaminated food or other sanitation issues in commercial establishments
Who Is Qualified to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
Georgia state laws stipulate who is qualified to file a wrongful death claim, with the departed’s spouse getting the first privilege. The children are then considered to act on the deceased’s behalf if the departed did not have a spouse. The departed’s parents qualify to file the claim case if their loved one did not have a spouse or kids.
The administrator of the deceased’s estate can pursue the compensation matter if there are no children, parents, spouses, or close relatives in the picture. Our law experts will help you and your family determine who qualifies to take legal action and the legal requirements to meet when filing a wrongful death claim in Georgia.
What Types of Damages Are Recoverable?
When you decide to file a wrongful death compensation case, Georgia’s law permits you to pursue your loved one’s full value of life, inclusive of personal expenses if they were alive and well. In short, those listed in the departed’s will as beneficiaries can seek to recover damages as follows:
- Spouses qualify to pursue compensations for lost companionship, lost protection, funeral expenses, and lost wages and retirement benefits.
- The children can pursue damages like lost parental love and support, emotional and phycological trauma, and lost inheritance.
- The family can seek compensation for financial losses linked to medical treatment and funeral costs and the loss of the family’s breadwinner.
Can the Surviving Family File for Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages aren’t mentioned in Georgia’s Wrongful Death Act. As such, judges strictly interpret the law and don’t permit the award of punitive damages in wrongful death claims.
However, punitive damages are possible in an estate claim. In this type of claim, the estate seeks to recover expenses like funeral costs and the deceased’s medical bills. The estate can also pursue damages for pain and suffering by the deceased if he/she didn’t die immediately.
Even if the deceased only survived for a few seconds, it’s possible to seek punitive damages. Similar to personal injury cases, punitive damages in estate claims are awarded where the court decides the party at fault intended to harm the deceased or when they showed extreme disregard for others’ wellbeing.
How Will You Prove Negligence in a Wrongful Death Case?
Building a watertight case backed by comprehensive investigations and solid evidence is how you win compensation claims. At Diaz & Gaeta, we are committed to ensuring the facts regarding your loved one’s demise are known since that is the principal damage that validates the wrongful death lawsuit.
We shall focus on the following chief elements when proving the defendant acted negligently or maliciously.
- Duty of Care: Prove to the judge and jury that the defendant owed the departed a duty of care.
- Breach of Duty of Care: Demonstrate how they breached the duty of care by acting in a matter that another reasonable individual in a similar situation would not have done.
- Causation: Show how your loved one’s death directly results from the defendant’s reckless, negligent, or indifferent actions.
- Damages: Show how the deceased and the family have suffered losses and expenses, such as medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of companionship, etc.
How Do You Start a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
If you believe you have a wrongful death claim case worth pursuing, we are the law firm to call. At Diaz & Gaeta, we have seasoned and dedicated attorneys ready to offer legal advice and representation.
We can help you understand the challenges associated with such lawsuits and ensure you are adequately prepared for the case. The Sandy Springs wrongful death lawyer handling your case also can help you and your family draw up an estate plan if the deceased did not include it in their will.
After picking the most suitable family member to file the wrongful death lawsuit, we can focus on conducting comprehensive investigations that will help shed light on what happened. The information we gather will be crucial in ensuring we have a winning strategy that improves the chances of getting full compensation.
The process might be lengthy, and we must consider Georgia’s statute of limitations for wrongful death cases. Therefore, the sooner you conduct us to help you, the sooner we can start the process and ensure you meet the stipulated deadline.
Is There a Deadline to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Georgia, you have a 2-year limit from the death of your loved one to make a wrongful death claim. Past this period, the law does not allow you to seek any compensation.
There are exceptions, however, particularly when there’s an ongoing criminal case handling the same events as your case. This results in a time limit suspension until the criminal case concludes. Also, in cases where the deceased’s estate has not been probated, the time limit may be increased by 5 years.
What Is the Difference Between a Wrongful Death Claim and an Estate Claim?
When acting on behalf of your deceased loved one in a wrongful death suit, you can pursue the case as part of an estate claim or a wrongful death claim. The two can be considered collectively or individually, a decision that your lawyer will help you understand before deciding which to consider.
In a wrongful death claim, specific close family members can sue the liable party for acts that led to the loved one’s demise. We shall fight aggressively to ensure that you recover the full value of your decedent’s life.
In an estate claim, the departed’s estate seeks compensation for monetary expenses associated with the death. Under the estate claim, we will help you recover medical expenses, funeral costs, and lost wages. An estate claim can also include punitive damages in some cases. The representative named in the will must bring the estate claim if the deceased had a will.
Call Diaz & Gaeta to Hire a Dependable Sandy Springs Wrongful Death Lawyer!
Death is an inevitable part of our lives. However, how can you move on if a loved one dies because of another’s actions? Feelings of rage and grief are understandable. You are likely to be lost on what to do next. If you believe you have a wrongful death claim case worth pursuing, we are the law firm to call.
At Diaz & Gaeta, we have seasoned and dedicated attorneys ready to over legal advice and representation. We can help you understand the challenges associated with such lawsuits and ensure you are adequately prepared for the case. The wrongful death attorney handling your case also can help you and your family draw up an estate plan if the deceased did not include it in their will.
Our wrongful death lawyers in Sandy Springs are versed in the laws and have extensive experience. Moreover, we understand that deciding to take legal action against those responsible is no small matter. It requires experienced legal counsel and representation.