A very challenging and stressful situation that someone may have to deal with will come when they lose a loved one. While losing a close family member is always difficult, it can be made even more challenging if the loss was due to the neglect or intent of another party. In these situations, filing a civil lawsuit for wrongful death can be a good legal option to recover various forms of loss that you can incur. Unfortunately, wrongful death claims continue to be somewhat common due to the frequency of wrongful deaths. There is much you should know about wrongful deaths in Georgia lawsuits before you start the process of filing one.
What Constitutes Wrongful Deaths in Georgia?
A wrongful deaths in Georgia case generally is considered one in which someone dies as the result of negligence or intent of another party. This can be due to vehicle accidents, product defects, medical malpractice, or assault and battery. In many cases, a wrongful death claim will only result in civil charges. However, in some cases, there could be criminal charges filed as well against the assailant in a wrongful death case.
What are the Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death Claims?
Unfortunately, wrongful deaths continue to happen from time to time in Georgia. There are several situations that are considered to be the most common causes of wrongful death in these states.
Operating a car, motorcycle, or another vehicle is very common for those that are in Georgia. Unfortunately, even when everyone is safe behind the wheel, bad accidents can happen. If there is a vehicular accident that results in death, pursuing a wrongful death claim can be valid. If there is excessive speed, drug or alcohol abuse, or overall negligence, the other driver could face criminal charges as well.
When going to see a doctor or receive other medical care, there is always a chance that a mistake or misdiagnosis could take place. In these situations, it could result in health setbacks or even death. If someone passed away due to misdiagnosis, poor decisions regarding medication, or mistakes made during a procedure, it could be an example of medical malpractice.
Assault and Intent to Injure
While many wrongful death claims are due to accidents and neglect, there are other situations in which the other party involved may have willingly caused harm to the other party. If the deceased is a victim of assault, battery, or intent of another party, a wrongful death lawsuit may be claimed. In these situations, it is also common for criminal charges to be pursued.
Who is Permitted to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
If someone passes away unexpectedly, it can have a major impact on many people’s lives. However, not everyone is entitled to file a wrongful death claim. In general, there is a specific order in which someone can file a wrongful death claim, which is as follows:
- Surviving Spouse – The surviving spouse of the deceased is the first individual that will have a claim to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Children of Deceased – If the deceased does not have a surviving spouse, their children are able to file a claim.
- Parents of Deceased – For individuals that did not have a spouse or children, the parents of the deceased are permitted to file a claim.
- The Executor of Estate – In situations in which a deceased individual did not have any surviving direct relatives, the executor of their estate is able to file a lawsuit on behalf of the deceased.
What Damages Can Be Pursued?
If you have a loved one that has died as the result of negligence or intent of another party, filing a wrongful death claim is a good idea. Through a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff can receive a variety of damages that can help to reimburse them for losses incurred as a result of the death. Some of the most common forms of damage requested in one of these cases include the following:
- Medical Expenses – Depending on the situation, someone can incur a significant amount of medical expenses following an accident, even if the incident ultimately results in death. In many cases, the expenses will need to be covered by the surviving family of the deceased. Due to this, including them in a wrongful death claim is a good idea.
- Funeral and Burial Costs – The cost of a funeral and laying someone to rest can be significant. If the party has passed away due, and you are filing a wrongful death claim, including these costs is a good idea.
- Lost Wages and Support – If the individual who passed away earned an income and provided support for their family and dependents, finding a way to ensure this is recouped is important. A reasonable assumption for future lost wages should be included in your wrongful death filing.
- Pain and Suffering – Losing someone that is close to you is always a challenging situation. While it can be difficult to quantify this expense, pain and suffering is commonly included in a wrongful death claim.
Reasons to Hire Legal Support
If someone you know has died due to the negligence or intent of another party, it is natural that you will want to pursue restitution through a wrongful death claim. If you are looking to pursue this form of a lawsuit, a great way to start is by hiring an attorney. Your legal support will start by providing you with a full consultation on your case, which will include giving insight into whether your case is likely to result in a favorable outcome. They can then help you with all aspects of the case including sending in initial filings and handling any negotiations and deliberations during settlement discussions or further legal proceedings.
When you are assessing your legal options for a wrongful death lawsuit, having an experienced attorney by your side is very important. When you are looking for an experienced Atlanta wrongful death lawyer, you should start your search with the Stoddard Law Firm. The legal team here is experienced with wrongful death cases and can provide any of the support that you need to build an ideal case and ensure you receive the fair support and compensation for your losses that you are entitled to.