The Atlanta wrongful death case process varies based on the facts of the case. Some aspects of the investigation are standard across different types of wrongful death cases. For example, an experienced wrongful death lawyer will immediately send a Letter of Representation to the potential defendant advising them to preserve all evidence and to disclose all insurance policies.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Actions?
The statute of limitations for a wrongful death action in the State of Georgia is two years from the date of death. There are provisions that could extend this limit in certain circumstances.
For example, the time limit may be extended in a premises case if someone committed a crime that resulted in a death or it could be extended in a motor vehicle case if there are criminal charges pending related to the incident. The safest course of action is to file a claim within two years of the date of death.
Common Duration of a Wrongful Death Case
An Atlanta wrongful death case process typically begins with a Letter of Representation from the lawyer to the potential at-fault person or entity. It is best to involve a wrongful death attorney at the earliest possible opportunity so they can begin preserving evidence, investigating, and speaking with potential witnesses. The investigation process begins well before lawyers file a lawsuit and the earlier a person speaks with a lawyer, the earlier they can begin the process.
The length of time it takes to complete a wrongful death case varies tremendously. There are wrongful death cases with clear liability but with limited insurance coverage and inadequate economic resources. These cases would typically be resolved within a matter of months. There are other wrongful death cases the lawyers will have to litigate which can take years.
Investigation Process for Unjust Loss
Other actions are more specific to the case. For example, a case involving a death in a tractor-trailer wreck may require the retention of an expert to inspect the scene and analyze the information to be able to prove the negligence of the defendant.
Difference from a Premises Liability Case
In a premises liability case, an initial step may be to retain an expert to inspect the premises and analyze the situation. However, a premises case involving negligent security would be investigated a bit differently, the lawyer will inspect the crime grid to analyze the level of crime on those premises. The process is going to vary from case-to-case as to what steps are specifically necessary, but the general process is to capture all the available information as it relates to what happened at the earliest possible opportunity.
What is the Value of Compassion?
Compassion is invaluable in dealing with the Atlanta wrongful death case process. The best wrongful death attorneys take immense pride in being counselors, not just lawyers, and are empathetic towards those experiencing the incredible grief following the loss of a loved one.
Compassionate attorneys understand anyone pursuing a wrongful death suit is dealing with more than just the legal repercussions of their loss, they are also coping with the associated emotional and psychological trauma.
Compassion is also invaluable when speaking to the jurors in these types of case. Most jurors want to help the family and are looking for the lawyers to explain how they can help. What defense lawyers and insurance companies fail to appreciate is the importance of compassion. An attorney must be able to demonstrate true compassion for the family of the decedent so that a jury can likewise feel that and act upon it.
Importance of Discussing a Claim with an Attorney
There is nothing necessarily unique about how the Atlanta wrongful death case process is handled as opposed to other jurisdictions. Georgia has a very strong wrongful death statute that provides for the cause of action to be ultimately decided by the jury, who must consider and determine the value of all the losses. In Georgia, where a case will be heard will depend on the county where the negligent company or individual resides.
Families are generally coping with various complex issues during this time. Family members may still be dealing with disbelief of what happened and searching for answers in an attempt to process what has occurred. They often also want to take action and hold the at-fault parties responsible so that the loss of their loved one will serve a greater purpose.
Representing people who have endured the loss of a loved one requires honesty. They need to understand that nothing the court system can do will provide them the ultimate comfort they need and want. However, an attorney will try to get answers to help effect change and bring about healing.