Lawrenceville Wrongful Death Attorney
It’s heartbreaking to lose a loved one, but it’s especially tragic to lose a loved one because of someone else’s negligence or reckless actions.
Wrongful death is when someone’s death was caused by the unreasonable action or inaction of another. Our Lawrenceville wrongful death lawyer can help prove the other party’s negligence and obtain compensation full for loved ones. We’re here to help you and your family move forward; please call (404) 800-9933 today.
Why file a wrongful death claim?
The death of someone you love is overwhelming as it is, but a wrongful death case can help you and your family obtain answers about what happened and why, as well as seek justice.
Although filing a wrongful death claim can’t reverse your emotional loss, it can ensure that you don’t experience financial loss as well. Filing a wrongful death claim can also help hold the person responsible for the death accountable.
Both of those benefits can help ease the grieving process. The loss of a loved one should not be compounded by financial struggles and feelings of injustice.
4 Things to Know About Georgia Wrongful Death Claims
Here are four things you should know about wrongful death claims in Georgia:
When a person’s death was caused by another person’s negligence, intention, or carelessness, that could allow for a wrongful death case. Examples include medical malpractice, unsafe working conditions, or negligent driving that caused the death of someone else. A wrongful death claim is meant to compensate for the value of the life that was lost, as well as the deceased person’s future wages.
It’s important to distinguish a wrongful death claim from an estate claim. An estate claim must be made separately and is designed to compensate for the conscious pain and suffering that the deceased person experienced leading up to their death. For example, if the deceased person was trapped in a burning car for five minutes before dying, that pain and suffering would make up the estate claim. Estate claims include funeral and burial expenses, as well as medical expenses that the deceased incurred before their death.
A civil wrongful death claim is not a criminal charge like murder, so it does not result in a prison sentence for the accused person. It is a civil action with the objective of compensating the family of the deceased.
Call a Lawrenceville wrongful death lawyer from Rafi Law Firm to find out if your situation applies.
O.C.G.A. 51-4-2 explains who can file a wrongful death claim in Georgia:
- The deceased person’s spouse
- (If not married): The deceased person’s children (If the children are minors, their guardians can file on their behalf)
- (If not married and no children): The deceased person’s parents
- (If not married, no children, and no parents): The deceased person’s siblings.
Remember, wrongful death claims are different from estate claims. The list above explains who can file a wrongful death claim. Estate claims will be handled by the executor of the estate.
In Georgia, you will generally have two years to file a wrongful death claim. However, there are many exceptions to this two-year rule. For example, if there is a criminal investigation, then the “clock” of the statute of limitations does not begin ticking until the investigation is over.
Currently, there is lagging due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If the person who is supposed to bring the lawsuit is incapacitated due to the COVID-19, the statute of limitations does not begin until that person is competent. Also, the time extends when the case involves a minor.
Under Georgia law, the settlement of money recovered should be shared among the surviving spouse, children, and even the descendants of the children if there is money from the settlement left over. Here’s how it’s broken down:
- For a surviving spouse with no children, they take the whole settlement
- For a surviving spouse with children, the spouse takes ⅓ of the settlement, and the children split the rest
- For a surviving parent filing in the absence of a spouse or child, the surviving parents split the settlement equally.
Things get more complicated if there are surviving grandchildren but a deceased child. In that case, the grandchildren cannot claim through their dead parent.
Potential Damages You May Recover
As mentioned above, there are actually two types of wrongful death suits in Georgia (an estate claim and a full value of life claim), and both have different kinds of damages.
Estate claims are meant to compensate the family for expenses incurred by the deceased before their death, while full value of life claims are meant to compensate the family for the deceased person’s absence in their lives.
The estate claim is usually easier to calculate because it includes tangible expenses like medical bills, funeral and burial costs, and pain and suffering experienced by the victim immediately before their death.
The “value of life” claim is a little different, and it might be more difficult to determine how much the claim is worth. Below, we’ll talk about two types of damages that can be recovered in the value of life claim: economic damages, and non-economic damages.
In the full value of life claim, economic damages include financial assistance that the deceased person would have provided had they not passed away. That includes things like salary, health insurance, and more.
Non-economic damages can be a little more confusing, but they are just as important as economic damages. These damages don’t recover money that you lost or had to spend (like with economic damages), but rather, they recover money to compensate for a non-monetary loss.
Damages in this category include loss of companionship or loss of consortium (the special relationship that someone has with their spouse).
You Don’t Have to Go It Alone. Rafi Law Firm Is Here to Help
The loss you have experienced is overwhelming, and you shouldn’t have to go through the wrongful death trial alone. We are here to help. Rafi Law Firm wants to make sure you get everything that you need from the suit.
We Recover Maximum Compensation
At Rafi Law Firm, we are dedicated to getting our clients the absolute maximum compensation available to them. We will fight hard for you in negotiations and in the courtroom to make sure that you get the compensation you deserve.
You have been through a lot, and we will make sure we see that you are financially taken care of for all that you have gone through.
We Provide Support
We will make sure that you get the support that you need if you do not already have it. When we take your case, we treat you like family. It takes time to mourn the loss of a loved one and even longer for life to start to feel normal again.
We will be there for you every step of the way in your wrongful death case.
We’ll Take Your Case to Trial
If negotiations break down or the other side is not willing to offer what you deserve, we will take your case to trial without hesitation. We have years of experience in Georgia courtrooms and are ready to take on the challenge of a trial.
Did you lose a loved one in an accident? Rafi Law Firm can help.
Mike Rafi has helped clients recover over 45 million dollars in damages, including six million dollars for the family of a man who was killed at his apartment complex. We can help you recover damages, too.
Even if you’re not sure if you have a case, reach out – we would love to talk it over with you. We offer first consultations that are always 100% free. You will always find an empathetic ear with us.
Don’t wait; call Rafi Law Firm today at (404) 800-9933 to schedule your free case consultation with a Lawrenceville wrongful death attorney.