Losing a loved one is one of the most painful moments in a person’s life. But when someone else’s actions or negligence cause your loved one’s death,, that pain is only increased. While there is little that can be done to ease the emotional burden you may be carrying, the Norcross wrongful death lawyers at Andersen, Tate & Carr, P.C. can help you start to put your life back together from a financial standpoint.
Our experienced lawyers know how to get your family the compensation you deserve after the loss of your loved one. While no amount of money can ease your pain, compensation can help cover funeral and burial expenses, medical costs, and more. We can help you understand your legal options during this trying time, and we can handle them for you, so you can be with your family.
Call us at 770-237-9860 or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Types of Compensation Available in a Wrongful Death Case in Georgia
Georgia law defines wrongful death as a death caused by the “negligent, reckless, intentional, or criminal” actions of another person or party. There are two distinct categories of compensation, or damages, that are available to families of wrongful death victims. The first type of damages is related to the “full value of the life of the deceased.” Damages in this category include:
- Lost wages and benefits
- Lost lifetime earnings
- Intangible aspects of life, such as relationships and community involvement
Not included in the intangible aspects of life is the loss of companionship, advice, counsel, or consortium of the deceased, like you may see in other states. However, Georgia law does not institute a formula or cap for calculating the full value of the life of the deceased.
The first category of damages is generally awarded to the family of the decedent (the deceased). However, the second category is awarded to the decedent’s estate. As such, compensation will be distributed in accordance with the decedent’s will or other end-of-life documents and instructions. Damages in this category include:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Medical expenses related to the fatal injury or illness of the deceased
- Conscious pain and suffering of the decedent before they passed
Some of these damages, like lost wages and medical expenses, are typically easy to prove. However, many of the damages associated with wrongful death are less tangible and are therefore harder to prove. Our team of Norcross wrongful death lawyers will work with experts to calculate how much you are owed, and fight in and out of court to get the compensation you deserve.
Who Can Bring a Lawsuit?
Georgia law also makes it quite clear who can bring a wrongful death suit. The first party eligible to bring a suit is a surviving spouse of the decedent. If there is no surviving spouse, the child(ren) of the decedent may bring a suit. Any amount recovered is shared equally among the surviving spouse and children. Children born out of wedlock are still allowed to file suit for wrongful death.
The above applies to the “full value of the life of the deceased.” For other listed damages, a personal representative of the estate must bring the lawsuit. A personal representative may also bring a lawsuit for the full value of life damages. If they are successful, the full value of life damages are held for the benefit of the decedent’s next of kin.
How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Norcross?
Georgia law allows for just two years to bring forth a wrongful death lawsuit. If you fail to bring a lawsuit within that time, you will likely lose your right to recover compensation. However, there are times that this statute of limitations will be tolled or paused.
The most common reason for a wrongful death case in Norcross to be tolled is if there are criminal proceedings associated with the death. Any criminal proceedings will take precedence. As such, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death case will be paused until those criminal proceedings are completed.
The statute of limitations may also be tolled if the decedent’s estate has not been probated yet. In these instances, the clock can be paused for up to five years. No matter the situation, never assume the statute of limitations will be tolled. Contact a Norcross wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Norcross
Wrongful death can happen for any number of reasons. However, in order for you to bring a case, you must be able to show that there was a duty of care between your loved one and the person who caused their death. This may include a doctor-patient relationship, a driver who must obey traffic laws, and many others. In general, every person is given the duty of care to avoid harming other people.
If this duty of care is breached, and your loved one’s death occurs because of it, you have the legal right to seek compensation. Some of the most common causes of wrongful death in Norcross include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Medical malpractice accidents
- Acts of violence
It’s important to note that not every death in these and other situations constitutes a wrongful death. For instance, if a doctor provides the best care possible, but your loved one still dies, that doctor may not be held liable. An experienced attorney can help you figure out if you have a case.
Speak to a Norcross Wrongful Death Attorney Today
If your loved one was killed by someone else’s actions or negligence, we will help you and your family get the compensation you deserve. The Norcross wrongful death lawyers at Andersen, Tate & Carr are always here to talk. Call us at 770-237-9860 or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation.