Losing a loved one is hard enough, but when you’ve lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, it’s even harder. And in the midst of dealing with your grief, the last thing you want to worry about is another legal issue, but it’s important to consult with a wrongful death attorney quickly to ensure that your rights are protected.
Why You Need to Act Fast
In any court case, you’ll need evidence to prove your claim. In a wrongful death claim, evidence has a tendency to go “missing”. Once someone has passed, records may be moved to archives, property may be sold or disposed of, and there’s often a tendency to “put it behind us”. This can make finding and obtaining evidence more difficult.
There is also a statute of limitations on wrongful death cases. In Georgia, that statute of limitations is two years from the date of death. If your loved one was taken from you by negligence, malice, malpractice, carelessness, or recklessness, you only have two years from the date they pass to bring a case before the court.
What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death means that someone has died as a result of another person’s negligence, malice, carelessness, or recklessness. Here are a few examples that may be considered wrongful death:
- Joe is driving his car when suddenly he is hit by a drunk driver. Joe dies from his injuries. Joe’s family would be able to make a wrongful death claim
- A distracted driver runs a stop sign and T-bones James, an 85-year-old grandfather. If James dies from his injuries sustained in the car wreck, his family would be the victim in a wrongful death case.
- Sarah is buying snacks at a convenience store when a robber comes in and takes hostages. When police attempt to resolve the situation, they open fire on the convenience store and accidentally kill Sarah. Sarah’s family may be able to file a wrongful death claim.
- Sam is working at a construction site and there’s a large hole that’s been dug. A board was placed over the hole so workers could walk across it, but when Sam walks across it, the board breaks. He falls into the hole and dies. Sam might be a victim of wrongful death.
- Jane is undergoing surgery but the nurses report that her surgeon is intoxicated. Jane dies from a medical mistake that wouldn’t have happened if her surgeon had been sober. Jane might be a victim of wrongful death.
Is it Worth Filing a Wrongful Death Suit?
Nothing can bring back your loved one. But a wrongful death suit may still be worthwhile. You may be able to recover money for funeral costs, medical bills, and final expenses. A wrongful death suit may also help to provide some financial compensation for the loss of your loved one. With a wrongful death case, your lawyer may be able to recover some compensation for your pain, suffering, and loss of financial support.
In some cases, a wrongful death suit will include punitive damages. This is an amount of money assessed as a punishment for wrongdoing. When your loved one was killed because someone else made a fatal mistake, punitive damages are a way to hammer home that important lesson to the people responsible. A wrongful death suit can be a way to encourage companies to update their safety procedures, improve their policies, or update their training. It might even encourage that drunk driver or doctor to think twice before taking dangerous risks with other people’s lives.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit?
Normally, a wrongful death suit is filed by the next-of-kin, which is the surviving spouse. If there is no surviving spouse, a claim may be filed by the children. When there are no children, parents or a representative (like the executor of the estate) may be able to file a wrongful death suit.
Is a Wrongful Death Case Difficult to Litigate?
Wrongful death cases are civil lawsuits involving personal injuries that lead to the death of another. These cases can be complex and difficult, especially since the injured party cannot testify personally – everything is through the eyes of the witnesses, doctors and family members. Because of the complexity of these cases, it’s important to start consult with a lawyer early while records and evidence is still accessible, and it’s important to choose a wrongful death attorney with experience navigating this difficult process.
Further complicating matters is the fact that a wrongful death case is – by its very nature – a case involving a recent loss of someone that you love. It can be emotionally taxing and challenging, and it’s hard to deal with legal matters when you’re grieving. A wrongful death attorney that you can trust will be able to help you with those legal headaches and give you peace of mind in a difficult time.
The Call We Hope to Never Receive
As attorneys, we never hope to receive a call for a wrongful death claim here at Georgia Trial Attorneys. We want everyone to be safe and come home to their families, so we never have to litigate another wrongful death case, but unfortunately, we just don’t live in a perfect world.
If you’ve lost a loved one due to someone else’s wrongdoing or negligence, let us help. If we could bring them back, we would, but the best we can do is make sure that you’re not left unprotected and forgotten. Call 678-667-8965 today for a free consultation with one of our Atlanta wrongful death attorneys. Let us help make sure that you’re taken care of in this difficult time.