Experiencing the untimely death of a loved one is one of the most heartbreaking experiences anybody can have in their lifetime. This tragic event may be emotionally, mentally, and financially exhausting for the surviving family members.
If another person or company is to blame for the demise of a loved one, you should think about hiring an experienced Atlanta wrongful death lawyer. Get a sympathetic and competent attorney to examine your case and evaluate if your family deserves to be compensated for your loss.
There is no way to get rid of the pain and grief caused by a wrongful death or a severe injury, but hiring an attorney can help your family avoid financial losses on top of emotional ones.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death occurs when somebody dies due to another person’s acts or lack of action. A lawsuit can be filed by the family of a victim who perished because of someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional deeds. The consequence for a wrongful death lawsuit is different from that for a criminal one. Instead of serving a prison sentence, they only award monetary compensation to the surviving family members of the deceased.
Types of Wrongful Death Claims
Wrongful death lawsuits typically fall into one of six categories:
Even when criminal charges have been dropped in a homicide case, you may be entitled to sue for wrongful death against the person responsible. This is because, in civil proceedings, you only need to establish a reasonable probability that the defendant committed the offense. On the other hand, criminal cases demand proof beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, there can be no other plausible reason for the evidence presented other than that the accused committed the alleged crime.
2. Vehicle Accidents
Any accident involving a motor vehicle — including cars, trucks, and motorcycles — is considered a vehicle accident. Most casualties in car accidents result from negligence by one or more drivers. They are actively endangering people’s lives on the road if they are intoxicated, distracted, or fatigued while behind the wheel. Anyone injured or killed because of a crash can hold them accountable.
3. Medical Malpractice
In some cases, doctors and nurses fail to follow proper procedures or overlook something. A misdiagnosis or incorrectly prescribed treatment could put the patient’s life at risk. There is also the possibility of death because of surgical errors or an overdose caused by the over-prescription of medications.
4. Defective Products
Manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that their products are safe and functional. Product liability arises when a defective product results in a fatality. For instance, an incorrectly assembled car engine could cause the vehicle to burst into flame. You may be able to file a lawsuit against the car manufacturer in this scenario.
5. Workplace Accidents
Injuries sustained in the workplace are often minor, but they can have long-term effects on the victim. Wrongful death is by far the most serious. Wrongful deaths in the workplace might be caused by hazardous working conditions, contaminated air or water, or any of these factors.
6. Premises Liability
Premises liability refers to the owner’s failure to create a safe environment for visitors. If a person slips, falls, and ends up dead because of negligence in maintaining the property, the owner is responsible for the accident.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
According to Georgia law, the following process must be followed to determine who is eligible to receive compensation in the event of a wrongful death lawsuit.
- The surviving spouse has the right to sue the people who caused the damage and try to secure compensation. If there are minors in the family, they will be included as beneficiaries in any settlement.
- In cases when there is no remaining spouse, the victim’s children may be able to bring a wrongful death claim. Minor children can be represented by a court-appointed guardian.
- In the absence of a spouse or children, the deceased’s parents have the right to bring a claim.
- In the absence of a spouse, child, or parent, the executor of the deceased’s estate may bring a case on behalf of any other next of kin.
Proving Negligence in a Wrongful Death Claim in Atlanta
When it comes to winning a settlement or a ruling in a wrongful death case, there are specific elements of proof that all victims must present. An Atlanta wrongful death lawyer can guide you in understanding these elements and ensure that you meet the court’s criteria:
- Duty of care: To establish the accused’s liability in the death of a loved one, you must first demonstrate that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased.
- Breach of duty of care: Because of the defendant’s negligence, your loved one was at risk of severe injury or death. The jury must be persuaded that the plaintiff’s claims have a greater than a 50% chance of being true.
- Causation: The accused’s negligence must have contributed to the victim’s death. The defendant’s conduct doesn’t need to be the sole reason for death, but they had to have played a role.
- Damages: Last, the victim must show that they have suffered damages. In wrongful death cases, these are clear because somebody died directly from the negligent party’s action or inaction.
What Damages May Be Sought in a Wrongful Death Claim?
The following are some of the most common damages that can be claimed in a wrongful death case in Atlanta:
- Compensation for the victim’s family for the costs they have suffered because of the death. Medical bills, funeral costs, and other burial expenses are all included in this figure.
- Recompense for the family’s grief, misery, and sorrow caused by the victim’s death.
- Remuneration for the lost earnings, benefits, and services provided by the victim to the family and what they would have contributed had they not died.
A family’s loss of a loved one cannot be adequately compensated for by any financial means. Nevertheless, money can help ensure a more financially secure future for everybody concerned.
Get the Help of an Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
If a member of your family has died due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, an Atlanta wrongful death lawyer can help. At the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines, our professionals are well-versed in respectfully handling delicate matters for the deceased and their families. We will do everything we can to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.