Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyer

Losing a loved one is painful, and it is even harder to cope when their death was preventable. If the negligent conduct of others causes a fatality, those left behind may have legal rights to help compensate for the loss.

While a family is in mourning, the last thing they want to think about is a lawsuit. And no amount of money will be able to replace the one who passed. But often an untimely death results in extra expenses that can put unnecessary strain on a grieving family. For that reason, it may be helpful to consult an Atlanta wrongful death lawyer with experience in these types of cases.

With discretion and tact, a knowledgeable wrongful death lawyer could evaluate your situation, advise you of your legal rights, and help you move forward so you could focus on the needs of your family.

What is a Wrongful Death?

When an individual’s death is due to the action of another, whether deliberate, negligent, or careless, it is a wrongful death. For example, deaths resulting from a car accident caused by a drunk driver would be a wrongful death.

Who Can Recover According to Atlanta Statutes

Atlanta enacted legislation allowing family members to recover compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one. These statutes are set forth in Title 51, Chapter 4 of the code. Under the law, the surviving spouse or, if there is no spouse, a child or children may file a wrongful death suit. This would include children born outside of marriage.

Where there is neither spouse nor children, a parent may recover. Failing that, a personal representative may file a wrongful death suit.

Types of Situations That Can Lead to Recovery

Many different circumstances can cause an individual to suffer an untimely death that gives family members grounds to file a wrongful death action. If an individual dies due to the intentional criminal act of another such as a homicide, that clearly gives rise to not only a criminal case but possibly a civil lawsuit. For example, if there were prior similar crimes, the property owner could be found negligent if it failed to provide adequate security or take steps to deter similar criminal activity.

In many instances, however, the wrongdoing that leads to a wrongful death claim is not deliberate but rather due to negligence on the part of another. Medical malpractice, defective products, faulty construction, driving while distracted or intoxicated, nursing home neglect or abuse, dangerous medical devices, and improperly prescribed or administered medications are all circumstances that may result in suits.

What Are Recoverable Damages in a Wrongful Death Action?

Title 51, Chapter 4 Section 2 of the code specifies that the surviving family may recover “the full value of the life of the decedent, as shown by the evidence.” Courts often interpret this to include:

  • Loss of the decedent’s future wages
  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of the inheritance for children
  • Loss of retirement and other employment benefits
  • Emotional distress
  • Compensation for pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium

On occasion, courts may also award punitive damages discourage future wrongdoing.

Speak to an Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorney About a Claim

The loss of a spouse, parent or child has a tremendous impact on a family emotionally, physically, and economically. While you focus on grieving, consider allowing an experienced legal professional to take on the financial concerns.

An Atlanta wrongful death attorney who is familiar with court rulings, procedures, and settlements could help you take the necessary steps to protect your family’s financial future. A lawyer could work tirelessly to recover any compensation to which you may be entitled. Contact an attorney now to learn how they could help.

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