Alpharetta Wrongful Death Lawyers
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Wrongful death is an accidental death caused by another person’s negligence. Learning that a loved one has passed away can be devastating, especially if you find out that the death could have been prevented. Taking legal action may be the last thing on your mind at a time like this, but it’s important to seriously consider your legal options.
Here are some popular questions our Alpharetta office has received about wrongful death:
What Are The Most Common Causes Of Wrongful Death In Alpharetta?
Many wrongful deaths are caused by negligent drivers, including those who are distracted, intoxicated, or drowsy behind the wheel. Reckless drivers that choose to ignore traffic signs or lights can also cause fatal accidents. These negligent drivers may collide with other vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists.
Motor vehicle accidents are not the only cause of wrongful deaths. Another common cause is medical malpractice, which occurs when a negligent doctor makes a fatal mistake while treating a patient.
People might also suffer fatal injuries in:
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
- MARTA accidents
- Boating accidents
- Dog attacks
- Dangerous product accidents
Whatever type of accident leads to your loved one’s tragic death, our firm can assess your legal options and handle every step of the process if you have a wrongful death claim.
Criminal acts can also lead to wrongful death claims. For example, if your loved one suffers fatal injuries while being criminally assaulted, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the assailant.
The top law firms in Alpharetta are able to handle all types of wrongful death claims, even if the wrongful death was not caused by one of the events listed above.
Who is Liable for a Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death claims are based on the same legal principles as personal injury claims. Liability can stem from another party’s negligence, defective property, or criminal act. Such parties might include:
- Drivers who are careless or reckless and cause traffic accidents
- Manufacturers that sell defective or overly dangerous products
- Companies that allow dangerous hazards to exist in stores or on other properties
- Employers of drivers or others on the job who are negligent and cause accidents
In order to prove that a party was negligent and led to wrongful death, your attorney must demonstrate that:
- The party owed your deceased loved one a duty of care
- They breached their duty of care
- The breach led to the wrongful death
- Your family incurred losses as a result of the wrongful death
Your lawyer can advise you what evidence they will gather to prove your claim, and they will handle the investigation process. You and your family can focus on your emotional grief and work to adjust to life without your close loved one while you know someone is protecting your rights and seeking justice.
Financial recovery can never bring your loved one back, but it can help you move forward with greater closure and financial stability than you had before. Many families find that a wrongful death settlement or award helps them immensely following an unexpected loss. Learn more about whether someone should be liable for your loss and how our legal team can help.
Criminal Charges vs. Wrongful Death Claims
After a fatal drunk driving accident, violent assault, or another type of criminal act that leads to wrongful death, many families expect the criminal justice system to address their losses. However, criminal courts mostly focus on punishing the wrongdoers – not necessarily on the rights of surviving families. The court might order restitution, but it likely will not cover even a fraction of your losses.
Instead, your family will need to pursue a separate legal action on the civil justice side. This can involve an insurance claim or a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court. This is a completely different matter than a criminal case that happens against the liable party.
If the party is convicted of a crime relating to your loved one’s death, this conviction can serve as evidence in your civil wrongful death case. However, a conviction is not even necessary to prevail in civil court. This is because there can be other evidence of liability, and the burden of proof is lower in civil cases than in criminal cases.
Our wrongful death attorneys know how the courts work in Alpharetta and how to prove your wrongful death claim – regardless of what takes place on the criminal side.
How To File A Wrongful Death Claim With The Best Lawyers In Alpharetta
If a close friend is killed by another person’s negligence, you may want to take legal action against the negligent party. But, the state of Georgia only allows certain individuals to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased.
The victim’s spouse is first in line when it comes to filing a wrongful death claim. However, if the victim and the spouse have minor children together, the spouse must represent the children’s best interests when pursuing legal action.
If the spouse recovers damages, it must be split with the children, but not necessarily equally. The spouse is entitled to at least one-third of the compensation, so he may receive more than each child depending on the number of kids.
If the victim does not have a surviving spouse, the victim’s children will be permitted to move forward with a wrongful death claim. In some cases, the victim may not have a surviving spouse or children at the time of his death. The victim’s parents or a representative of the victim’s estate can file the claim in this situation.
If you are one of the few individuals that are permitted to file a wrongful death claim, it’s important that you do so quickly. The state of Georgia only gives you two years from the time of your loved one’s death to file a claim.
Once these two years have passed, you may have missed your opportunity to recover compensation from the negligent party. Two years may seem like plenty of time to take action, but it can fly by when you are grieving the loss of a loved one.
Top Attorneys Explain The Difference Between Survival Actions And Wrongful Death Claims
There are two types of claims that may arise from a wrongful death. The first one is a wrongful death claim, which helps the victim’s family members recover compensation for funeral expenses, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and lost wages and benefits.
The second type of claim is the survival action, which is filed by the victim’s estate instead of the victim’s family members. The purpose of a survival action is to compensate the victim’s estate for any expenses incurred or wages lost by the victim prior to his death.
For example, let’s say a pedestrian is struck by a negligent driver and taken to a hospital for emergency medical assistance. He is treated and remains in the hospital for a number of days before eventually passing away from the injuries he sustained.
In this situation, the victim’s estate may be able to recover compensation for the medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering that the victim experienced after the accident but prior to his death.
What Questions Do You Need To Ask A Wrongful Death Lawyer In The State of Georgia?
One of the first things you should do after learning your loved one’s death was caused by negligence is contact a wrongful death attorney. But, there are dozens if not hundreds of wrongful death attorneys, so which should you work with?
Don’t make this decision without taking the time to ask important questions. Schedule consultations with a handful of wrongful death attorneys and go to the meeting prepared with a list of questions.
The most important thing that you need to know is whether the attorney has experience representing clients in wrongful death cases. If the attorney primarily focuses on other areas of law, it’s best to find another attorney.
Ask your Alpharetta’s wrongful death lawyer how manycases he has handled and what the outcomes of these cases were. Did he have any success recovering compensation for the victim’s family? Did he settle the cases out of court or did they go to trial?
You should also find out if the attorney has experience handling cases that are similar to yours. A wrongful death caused by a car accident is very different than a wrongful death caused by medical malpractice. It’s important that you work with an attorney who knows exactly how to handle your case.
Another important topic to discuss is the cost of legal services. In general, working with an attorney at law who charges hourly fees can be incredibly expensive. It’s best that you seek representation from a wrongful death lawyer who works on a contingency fee basis so you don’t have to pay anything unless you receive money through a settlement or verdict.
Finally, learn more about the law firm so you know what it will be like working together. Who will handle your case? How often will they be in contact with you? Get a better understanding of their process so you know what to expect if you choose to hire them. You can also take a look at the testimonials on their site to see what other clients have said about them in the past.
Our Alpharetta Wrongful Death Law Firm Is Ready To Help You Win
Has Over Two Decades of Experience
If you have lost a loved one and believe that another person’s negligence was to blame, speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible regarding your case. Our law office is experienced in various practice areas, including wrongful death, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, car accidents, pedestrian accidents, and more. We will help you determine liability, negotiate with the insurance company, and recover the compensation that you deserve.
Please schedule a free consultation with our team of wrongful death lawyers by calling or filling out the contact form on our website today. We help injured victims and the family members of the deceased in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Cumming, and Lawrenceville. Alpharetta Personal Injury Lawyers is located at 44 Milton Ave #132, Alpharetta, GA 30009, United States.