Losing a loved one can be devastating. In some circumstances, the emotional pain can be even worse when you are left with questions about whether your loved one’s death was caused by the actions or negligence of someone else.
If your loved one’s death is caused by an accident and you suspect someone’s negligence, you have the right to take legal action. The Lawrenceville wrongful death lawyers at Andersen, Tate & Carr are here to help you seek compensation for your loss.
We have recovered millions of dollars for wrongful death claims. However, we know there is no amount of money that can heal the pain you’re experiencing. Through a wrongful death lawsuit, however, you can hold the responsible party accountable for their actions. What’s more, you can recover compensation to help pay for end-of-life expenses, such as funeral costs and medical bills, and you can recover financial sums to help the surviving family members.
Our mission is to take as much of the burden off your shoulders as we can. Call us today at 770-237-9860 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Georgia?
Georgia law provides who can file a wrongful death lawsuit. If there is a surviving spouse, that spouse must be the one to bring the lawsuit. In addition, the spouse must also represent the interests of any minor children. If the lawsuit is successful, the surviving spouse will receive at least one-third of the compensation recovered.
If there is no surviving spouse and no surviving children, the parent(s) of the deceased person may bring a lawsuit. Finally, if there are no surviving parents, a personal representative of the decedent’s estate can bring the suit. If a personal representative files the suit and successfully recovers compensation, that compensation is held by the estate for the decedent’s next of kin.
An experienced wrongful death lawyer in Lawrenceville can help you determine if you are able to file a lawsuit and what the next steps are in the process.
Types of Compensation Available in Lawrenceville Wrongful Death Cases
Every state has its own laws regarding what type of compensation can be recovered in a wrongful death case. Georgia law establishes two distinct types of claims. The first is intended to compensate your family for the “full value of the life of the deceased.” This includes the financial and intangible benefits the decedent provided, like:
- Lost wages/benefits, including the decedent’s reasonable earning capacity if they had lived
- Loss of care, companionship, guidance, counsel and other intangible benefits the decedent provided
The second type of claim specifically deals with the financial losses suffered by the decedent’s estate related to the untimely death. Damages that can be recovered via this type of claim include, but aren’t limited to:
- Medical expenses related to the decedent’s fatal injury or illness
- Pain and suffering endured by the decedent due to the fatal injury or illness
- Funeral and burial expenses
In rare cases, punitive or vindictive damages may also be assessed. These are intended to punish the defendant and discourage similar behavior in the future. In order for punitive damages to be assessed, you must prove the defendant’s actions “showed willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression, or that entire want of care which would raise the presumption of conscious indifference to consequences.”
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Lawrenceville?
As is the case for most personal injury cases in Georgia, you have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, there are a variety of reasons why this time limit may be paused, or tolled. One of the most common reasons wrongful death cases may get tolled is criminal prosecution of the defendant.
If the person who caused your loved one’s death did so through criminal means, their trial will take priority over the civil case through which you will recover compensation. The statute of limitations will resume once their criminal case is concluded.
Another common reason wrongful death cases get tolled is if the decedent’s estate has not been probated. In these cases, the statute of limitations can be tolled for a maximum of five years.
Speak to a Lawrenceville Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
If your loved one has been killed due to someone else’s actions or negligence, you have the legal right to seek compensation. At Andersen, Tate & Carr, our Lawrenceville wrongful death attorneys know how difficult this time in your life will be. We’re here to take the burden of legal action off your shoulders so you can focus on being with your family.
Call us at 770-237-9860 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation today.