Survival actions in Atlanta are available for the family of an individual who has passed away due to the negligence of another to recover damages incurred as a consequence of their death. While no amount of compensation can bring a loved one back, it can help to ease the financial burden that one bears as a consequence. Read on to learn more about what goes into filing survival actions in Atlanta, as well as the ways a dedicated injury attorney can offer you their assistance today.
Differences in Survival vs. Wrongful Death Actions
Survival actions in Atlanta are commonly referred to as estate claims. The estate possesses specific claims independent of the wrongful death claim. The wrongful death claim is ultimately the more valuable claim that accounts for the full value of the life of the decedent. The estate claim will typically cover losses such as costs incurred in association with the incident such as medical bills and funeral expenses. Other parts of the estate claim would include conscious pain and suffering prior to death and punitive damages.
The representative of a individual’s estate if they do not leave behind a will can vary. Typically, the individual who may file the wrongful death claim would be the surviving spouse, surviving parent, or surviving children. Alternatively, someone independent of the family can be the court-appointed Personal Representative of the estate. This varies from case-to-case depending on what the best options are for the estate.
Filing a Claim
Typically, the survival action or the estate claim will be pursued in conjunction with a wrongful death claim. Often, the lawyer would file these two claims together. Sometimes a lawyer will only file the wrongful death claim, but if they are pursuing survival actions in Atlanta, it will almost certainly be in conjunction with a wrongful death claim. There are several types of evidence gathered to help calculate damages in a survival action.
Medical bills, funeral bills, and the testimony of a medical examiner or a doctor may be helpful in establishing how long the individual survived. Some common medical bills that accompany survival actions in Atlanta are emergency room and EMS bills, and any other bills the individual incurred for medical care while still alive. This will vary based upon the treatment the patient received prior to their death. An attorney must prove that the at-fault party or entity was negligent to recover punitive damages. The evidence necessary to support these damages will establish the indifference or recklessness of the defendant and their actions.
The Role of an Experienced Attorney
A dedicated attorney with experience filing survival actions in Atlanta can help the family understand the civil options available to them, whether they have a potential wrongful death claim, whether they have an independent estate claim, and what evidence is important to each claim. This can help them be certain that they are preserving, pursing and maximizing all potentially available claims. If a case does not incur many economic damages, a lawyer could help the family understand the noneconomic losses that may be much greater.
This could allow for a much larger recovery than would be available for a claim based on economic damages and help the jury better understand the full impact of the loss. Consider retaining the representation of a lawyer with experience in survival actions in Atlanta today for your initial consultation.