As a premier personal injury law firm in Georgia, Joseph Williams Law helps injury victims and their families protect their financial futures. If you’ve lost a loved one to negligence, call us at (912) 259-6548 to schedule a free consultation with a compassionate attorney today.
It’s never easy to lose a loved one, regardless of the circumstances. However, it can be especially difficult when their death was caused by someone’s negligence.
Tragic accidents are an unfortunate reality of life, and in many cases, there’s no one to blame. In other cases, a person’s death is the direct result of someone’s reckless actions. And although the victim pays the ultimate price, they’re not the only ones who suffer when people fail to consider the consequences of their actions.
At Joseph Williams Law, this injustice doesn’t sit right with us. We believe that the families of wrongful death victims deserve compensation for their many losses, which is why we fight tirelessly to provide it.
If you’ve lost a loved one because of someone’s reckless actions, you know that nothing—no amount of money or punishment—will bring them back. However, a settlement from a wrongful death lawsuit may help alleviate the financial burden left in their wake.
This article will explain everything you need to know about wrongful death lawsuits in Georgia, including who can file, types of recoverable compensation and how a wrongful death attorney may be your best shot at financial restitution.
Are you drowning in debt after a family member was abruptly taken from you? Our attorneys may be able to help. Contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation and explore your eligibility to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Why Choose Us?
When you partner with a wrongful death lawyer, you’re not just hiring an attorney—you’re choosing the person with whom you’ll be reliving one of the most painful experiences of your life. That deserves a lot of consideration.
As a trusted Statesboro law firm, we want to lay it all out on the table so that you can make the best decision for you. Here’s what you can expect when working with us:
- Consistent, clear communication from your attorney
- Negotiation with the liable party and their insurance on your behalf
- Meticulous investigation of the accident to gather pertinent evidence
- A comprehensive litigation strategy, should your case go to court
- Commitment to securing maximum compensation
- A reprieve from mundane legal complexities so you can focus on healing
At Joseph Williams Law, we know you have a lot of options. If you choose us as your legal advocate, we promise to fight for you like we would fight for our own families. Keep reading to learn more about how you can find justice through a wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia.
What Constitutes a Wrongful Death?
Legally speaking, not every death is considered “wrongful.” According to Ga. Code § 51-4-1, a wrongful death occurs when “the death of a human being results from a crime, from criminal or other negligence, or from property which has been defectively manufactured, whether or not as the result of negligence.”
In other words, a wrongful death is when someone dies as the result of the legal fault of someone else. A wrongful death can be caused by many events, including negligent actions, medical malpractice, a defective product or an intentional act.
Types of Wrongful Death Cases
Deaths resulting from another person’s negligent or reckless actions are more common than most people realize. In fact, unintentional injury deaths are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The following accidents are among the most common reasons people pursue wrongful death claims:
- Motor vehicle accidents, including car, truck and motorcycle wrecks
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Premises liability accidents
- Defective or hazardous products
- Medical malpractice, including medication errors and overdoses
- Drowning, boating and swimming accidents
- On-the-job accidents and career-related illnesses
Other common accidents resulting in wrongful death claims include construction accidents and dog attacks. Ultimately, almost any type of accident can precipitate a wrongful death claim when it involves negligence on the part of the at-fault party.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Georgia
If your loved one died in an accident, you may be able to pursue damages from the liable party through a wrongful death lawsuit. However, there are several things you need to know before getting started.
Who Can File a Claim?
Under Georgia law, survivors of the deceased injury victim may be eligible to receive compensation from the person or entity whose actions contributed to their loved one’s death—regardless of whether the acts were intentional or not.
However, not every survivor is equally eligible to file a claim. Here are the individuals, beginning with the strongest claim, that can file a wrongful death claim under Georgia law:
- Spouse of the deceased. The first person who is entitled to file a claim is the deceased’s spouse (if they were still married). A spouse can also file a wrongful death suit on behalf of any minor children of the deceased.
- Parents of the deceased. If the deceased was unmarried and there is no surviving spouse and no children, surviving parents are entitled to file a claim.
- Estate representative of the deceased. A designated representative of the deceased’s estate can also file a wrongful death claim. Any damages won in a settlement will go to the deceased’s estate and from there will be distributed to any surviving next of kin.
Additionally, anyone considering a wrongful death lawsuit should understand that just because they win a claim doesn’t mean they’re entitled to all of the resulting compensation. That’s one of the many reasons it’s a good idea to discuss your options with an experienced wrongful death lawyer before beginning the process.
What Damages Can I Claim?
In Georgia, surviving family members can seek two categories of damages in a wrongful death claim. The first category is designed to compensate family members for the full value of the decedent’s life and can include both economic and intangible losses, including lost wages and benefits and loss of care and companionship.
The second type of recoverable damage exists to compensate the decedent’s estate for financial losses resulting from their death. Whereas the first type of damages can be sought by family members, the second type of claim can only be brought by the deceased person’s executor. If awarded, it can include compensation for medical, funeral and burial expenses, as well as related financial losses.
How Can a Wrongful Death Lawyer Help Me?
Personal injury cases are complex, especially those involving wrongful death. Pursuing a claim without assistance from a legal expert can leave you vulnerable to critical mistakes that jeopardize your potential settlement.
A wrongful death lawyer can use their legal expertise to design an individualized strategy to match the details of your case. After a thorough investigation, a wrongful death lawyer can present compelling evidence that supports your claim against the at-fault party. If the liable party refuses to settle, they can prepare your case for trial.
Joseph Williams Law: Your Advocate in Times of Crisis
When you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, it can seem as though the world has stopped spinning, but it hasn’t.
Your rent or mortgage payment will still come due, the car will still need maintenance and your family will still need to eat. However, affording even the necessities can be difficult when you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, especially if they were also your family’s primary breadwinner.
In these situations, pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit may be your best option to secure the compensation you deserve—and to hold the at-fault party accountable for their negligence. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone.
The wrongful death lawyers at Joseph Williams Law are here for you. Our compassionate legal experts can walk you through the process and lay out all of your options. Plus, getting started with us is easy: Simply give us a call at (912) 259-6548 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
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Are you in need of a qualified lawyer in South Georgia? Williams Law is here to help with unmatched knowledge of the law and a personal approach with your best interests at its center.
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