Few experiences in life are as challenging as the unexpected loss of a loved one. Picking up the pieces of your life can be difficult, especially if you learn that your family member’s death could have been preventable.
Under state law, it is possible to pursue a civil action against the person responsible for your loved one’s death. This action is known as a wrongful death suit. A skilled personal injury attorney could advise you on whether you might have a wrongful death claim.
It is imperative that you seek legal counsel before pursuing a wrongful death claim. A knowledgeable Suwanee wrongful death lawyer could not only advise you if you are eligible to file a claim but also on what compensation you might expect.
The surviving family of a deceased person could potentially have a wrongful death claim depending on the nature of their loved one’s death. O.C.G.A. Section 51-4-1 outlines when a death could result in a wrongful death claim. According to the statute, a death could result in a viable claim for compensation if it resulted from:
In other words, this statute goes far beyond the accidental deaths that wrongful death claims are often associated with. Deaths related to intentional violence or defective products could lead to a claim.
While these claims may cover criminal acts, it is important to understand how they differ from a prosecution. A wrongful death case will not lead to jail time or a criminal conviction. These are civil cases, and the remedy they provide is monetary compensation. While the two differ, it is possible to bring a civil wrongful death claim while prosecutors pursue criminal charges related to the same death. A diligent Suwanee attorney could help the surviving family pursue a wrongful death claim independent of what happens in the accompanying criminal case.
When it comes to a wrongful death claim, there are two general types of compensation available. The first is for the losses suffered by the surviving family. The second is designed to compensate the estate of the deceased person for the cost of treating their final injury or illness.
State law allows a surviving child or spouse to recover compensation based on the full value of the life of the decedent in a wrongful death claim. These losses are intangible and largely subjective. They include compensation for the loss of the household chores the deceased would perform or the income they could have provided the household. These losses specifically relate to the hardship suffered by the surviving family due to wrongful death. A compassionate Suwanee attorney could advise a family of their rights to compensation through a wrongful death claim.
Additionally, the estate also has a right to pursue damages. It is the role of the estate to collect the assets of the deceased person, and this includes the potential proceeds of an injury claim had the decedent survived. These claims could provide compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, and the cost of administering the estate.
It is understandable if you are unsure where to turn following the untimely death of your family member. These losses are difficult on an emotional level, making it hard to consider something like a civil lawsuit.
Unfortunately, there is a limited amount of time to bring these claims. A Suwanee wrongful death lawyer could assist with your claim in a compassionate way, allowing you to grieve while they focus on your case. To learn about your legal options, schedule an initial consultation as soon as possible.