Lawrenceville Wrongful Death Lawyer
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In the state of Georgia, wrongful death is one caused by the negligence of another person. If the event of wrongful death, the victim’s family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim, which is a civil lawsuit, against the negligent party that caused the death. A wrongful death case is somewhat similar to a personal injury case, however, the victim in a wrongful death claim is deceased.
If you have lost a family member, contact the experienced wrongful death attorneys at Spaulding Injury Law today to discuss your case and learn about your legal options. You can schedule a free consultation with our compassionate and understanding attorneys by calling 678-541-8841 or filling out the contact form on our website.
Here are some questions our Lawrenceville law firm has received from clients in the past:
- How Can Our Experienced Attorneys Help You File A Wrongful Death Claim In GA?
- How Do Lawyers Calculate The Value Of A Wrongful Death Claim?
- What Questions Should You Ask A Wrongful Death Lawyer?
- What Type Of Wrongful Death Claims Does Spaulding Injury Law Handle?
- The Losses You Can Seek
- Claims that Are Often Associated with Wrongful Death
- The Decedent’s Estate
How Can Our Experienced Attorneys Help You File A Wrongful Death Claim In GA?
Are you ready to file a wrongful death claim? First, it’s important to understand who is allowed to file a claim and when you should file. Although many people may grieve the loss of someone whom they shared a close relationship with, only certain family members are allowed to pursue legal action against the negligent party.
Each state has its own laws regarding who is and is not allowed to file a wrongful death claim after the loss of a loved one. In Georgia, the victim’s spouse is given the first opportunity to file a wrongful death claim. If there are minor children involved, the spouse must represent the children’s best interests when filing the claim. The spouse is legally obligated to split the compensation he receives from the wrongful death claim with the children. But, the spouse is entitled to a minimum of 33% of the compensation.
Some victims may not have a surviving spouse at the time of their death. In this case, the victim’s children will be able to file a wrongful death claim instead. However, if the victim did not have a spouse or children, the victim’s parents or representative of the victim’s estate can then step in and file the claim.
It’s important to note that you only have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a wrongful death claim. This may sound like a lot of time, but you would be surprised to see how fast time goes by when you are coping with the loss of a loved one. That’s why it’s very important that you contact a Lawrenceville wrongful death attorney to begin the legal process right away.
How Do Lawyers Calculate The Value Of A Wrongful Death Claim?
If you are thinking about filing a wrongful death claim, one of the first questions that you may have is “How much is my claim worth?” This is one of the most commonly asked questions, but unfortunately, it’s difficult to answer. Many factors may be taken into consideration when calculating the value of a wrongful death claim, including:
- How old the victim was at the time of his death
- How healthy the victim was prior to sustaining the fatal injuries
- How much money the victim was making
- Whether the victim would have been able to continue making money in the future, and if so, for how long
- How many people were financially dependent on the victim
- The age of the dependents
- The cost of the victim’s funeral
- Medical expenses the victim incurred prior to his death
The amount of compensation that is awarded in wrongful death claims will vary on a case-by-case basis. If your loved one had multiple dependents, was in good health, and held a steady job, the claim may be worth more than if he had no dependents, was unemployed and was in poor health. It’s best that you speak with an attorney to get a rough estimate of how much your claim may be worth.
What Questions Should You Ask A Wrongful Death Lawyer?
If you are searching for the right Lawrenceville wrongful death attorney for your case, it’s recommended that you research attorneys in your area and create a short list of the top lawyers near you. Then, schedule a consultation with a handful of attorneys so you have the opportunity to ask them questions and learn more about their practice.
What kind of questions should you ask? First, you need to learn about their experience handling wrongful death cases. Ask each lawyer how many wrongful death cases they have had in the past, and what the average settlement or verdict was in these cases. This will give you an idea of how experienced they are in this area and how successful they have been representing wrongful death clients.
Then, you should ask about their fees. In general, wrongful death lawyers are paid on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t have to pay them unless they are able to recover compensation for your family.
If an attorney is not paid on a contingency fee basis, it means he will either charge you a flat fee or hourly rate, so you will need to pay upfront. Costs can quickly get out of control if you work with an attorney who charges you by the hour, so it’s recommended that you only work with a wrongful death attorney who works on a contingency fee basis.
It may be helpful to learn more about each law firm that you meet with as well. Who will you be working with if they represent you? How many people will be assigned to your case? How often will they update you on the status of your case?
The answers to these questions will help understand what it’s like working with a law firm. After you have covered all of these topics, you should be able to determine which wrongful death attorney is the right fit for you.
What Type Of Wrongful Death Claims Does Spaulding Injury Law Handle?
Our attorneys can handle any type of wrongful death case. Some of the most common wrongful death cases involve car accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and truck accidents. These fatal traffic accidents often involve intoxicated, reckless, or distracted drivers who can be held liable in a wrongful death claim.
Other common types of wrongful death claims involve criminal acts or people who were fatally injured because of medical malpractice.
The Losses You Can Seek
Losing a loved one to someone else’s negligence is life-altering, and it’s clear that no amount of compensation can adequately address the losses you suffer. Obtaining just compensation – as addressed by the law – however, can help your family move forward on the path toward healing. As survivors, you can seek compensation for what the law terms the full value of the life of the decedent (the person who lost his or her life), including:
- The decedent’s lost wages and benefits, including those that he or she would have reasonably earned if he or she had lived to the age of life expectancy
- The lost services the decedent provided and would have continued to provide if he or she had lived to the age of life expectancy
- The lost care and companionship the decedent provided and would have continued to provide if he or she had lived to the age of life expectancy
There is also another category of loss that is intended to compensate the decedent’s estate for those losses that were incurred by the decedent himself or herself, including the following:
- The medical expenses he or she incurred in the expanse of time from the accident that ultimately proved fatal to his or her death
- His or her funeral and burial expenses
- The pain and suffering the decedent experienced in the expanse of time from the accident that ultimately proved fatal to his or her death
- Additional necessary expenses that flowed from the decedent’s untimely death
These last losses are addressed by the decedent’s estate. In extreme cases when the at-fault party shows willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression, or that entire want of care which would raise the presumption of conscious indifference to consequences, punitive damages can be sought by the estate. Punitive damages are not intended to compensate the survivors but are, instead, meant to punish the at-fault party for the extreme degree of negligence involved.
Claims that Are Often Associated with Wrongful Death
Wrongful death is based on negligence, recklessness, or another form of wrongdoing, and while nearly any kind of accident – or purposeful act – can lead to a wrongful death claim, they tend to fall into the following basic categories:
- Car accidents, including drunk driving accidents
- Rideshare accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Public transportation accidents
- Boating accidents
- Premises liability claims, such as slip and fall accidents
- Product liability claims (based on faulty consumer goods)
The Decedent’s Estate
The executor of the decedent’s estate will only file the wrongful death claim itself if the decedent has no surviving spouse, children, or parents (in that order) to file. The executor of the estate will, however, seek compensation for the losses the decedent personally experienced and will do so on behalf of the survivors. In other words, there are generally two parts to every wrongful death claim in Georgia.
This is only one reason why wrongful death claims can be complicated to navigate, and you want the right attorney on your side.
Contact Our Lawrenceville Wrongful Death Law Firm To Discuss Your Legal Options Today
If your loved one suffered a wrongful death, it’s imperative that you get in touch with a skilled attorney at law as soon as possible. We will immediately begin to investigate the details of the accident to determine liability. Then, we will get to work negotiating with the insurance company and if necessary, preparing the case for court.
Let our knowledgeable attorneys review your case and provide you with legal advice with you in a free case evaluation. Please schedule a free consultation with Spaulding Injury Law by calling our office at678-541-8841 or filling out the online contact form on our website.
During the consultation, you will learn more about your rights and our law firm’s experience in various practice areas. We serve clients throughout Gwinnett County, including in Duluth and Lawrenceville, GA. We also have offices in Atlanta, Alpharetta, and Cumming.
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