Losing a loved one is always a terrible situation. However, when their death is caused by the actions or negligence of another person or party, you may be experiencing an extraordinary amount of emotional pain. Though there is nothing that can alleviate the emotional burden of losing your loved one, a Duluth wrongful death lawyer at Andersen, Tate & Carr can help you begin to recover financially.
The legal professionals at our Gwinnett County-based law firm know that no amount of money can heal the pain you’re feeling. But also know that end of life expenses, such as medical bills, funeral costs and loss of income, add up quickly. Our team of experienced attorneys can help you figure out all of your legal options if your loved one’s death was caused by someone else.
Call us at (770) 822-0900 or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our goal is to take as much of the burden off of your shoulders so you and your family can grieve in peace.
The Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Gwinnett County
Georgia law defines wrongful death as death caused by the “negligent, reckless, intentional, or criminal” actions of another person or party. In every case, there must be some kind of “duty of care” between the victim and the person who caused the death. In general, everyone has a duty of care to take reasonable action to avoid harming another person.
When that duty of care is breached in any way, and a death occurs because of it, it’s said to be a wrongful death. Some of the most common causes of wrongful death in Duluth include:
- Car Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Accidents Involving Negligent Security or Hiring Practices
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Medical Malpractice Accidents
In these and other incidents, there is a person who is responsible for the safety and well-being of others, but they have neglected this responsibility, causing a death. Because taking legal action after one of these accidents is complicated, it’s important to speak with a Duluth wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible.
The Process of Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Duluth
Under Georgia law, only certain people can file a wrongful death lawsuit. The first people who can bring the lawsuit are the surviving spouse and children. If this is no spouse and there are no children to bring the lawsuit, the parent(s) of the deceased may bring a suit.
Finally, if none of these parties are present, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate can bring a lawsuit. In this situation, any compensation awarded is held by the estate for the deceased person’s next of kin.
Compensation Recoverable for Wrongful Death in Gwinnett County
Georgia law also provides two categories of compensation available in wrongful death cases. The first type of compensation is intended to compensate the “full value of the life of the deceased.” Unlike some other states, Georgia does not allow compensation for the loss of advice, companionship, counsel, or consortium of the deceased. However, the state also does not impose any rigid cap or formula for calculating the value of life.
Damages that fall under this type of compensation include:
- Lost wages and benefits
- Lost lifetime earnings
- Intangible aspects of life, such as relationships and community involvement
The second category of damages is intended to compensate the estate of the deceased for end of life expenses and costs. While compensation for the value of life can be paid to surviving family members, these damages can only be recovered by the estate. 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 deceased before they passed
Calculating these damages can be difficult, and convincing a judge and/or jury that these damages are owed can be even harder. A Duluth wrongful death lawyer can help you calculate the compensation you’re owed under this category, and fight for it on your behalf both in and out of court.
Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death Cases
In Georgia, the statute of limitations, or the time limit, for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is two years. However, there are many situations in which this time limit may be tolled, or paused. One of the most common reasons the statute of limitations may be tolled is for criminal prosecution. If there is a criminal case associated with the wrongful death, the statute of limitations will be paused until that case is resolved.
The statute of limitations may also be tolled for up to five years if the estate of the deceased person has not been probated. When an estate is probated, the will or other end of life documents are carried out according to the wishes of the deceased. Probate may be delayed if there is a lost will or other issues arise.
Speak to a Duluth Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
If your loved one was killed by someone else’s actions or negligence, you and your family have the right to be compensated. At Andersen, Tate & Carr, our experienced attorneys can help you work through the details of a lawsuit to help you get the full compensation you deserve. Call us at (770) 822-0900 or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a Duluth wrongful death lawyer.