When someone dies unexpectedly, it leaves a hole in the lives of everyone who cared for them that can never be completely patched up again. When their death stems from someone else’s negligence, it is likely that you will want to see that person held accountable. It is also possible that the family member’s loss places an undue financial burden on you, either due to the direct consequences of the accident or due to the sudden loss of income.
Comprehensive civil recovery could be key to preserving your own future prospects and those of your family members. A skilled personal injury attorney could guide you through the process with diligence and compassion. If you would like to understand your options for civil action against the person responsible for your loss, talking to a Cherokee County wrongful death lawyer may be in your best interests.
Possible Grounds for a Wrongful Death Claim
Wrongful death cases fall within the purview of personal injury law, which means that most claims revolve around a concept called legal negligence. In short, a person is legally negligent—and therefore financially liable—if they had a duty to act reasonably under certain circumstances but violated that duty by acting recklessly or carelessly, and a person to whom they owed that duty gets hurt as a direct result. For example, all motor vehicle drivers must obey traffic laws and drive safely around others, while property owners must maintain the safe conditions of their land.
The sole procedural difference between wrongful death claims and other forms of civil litigation is that a family member of the deceased must be the one to take legal action. A Cherokee County wrongful death attorney could explain how these legal principles may apply to a particular scenario during a private consultation.
Rules for Wrongful Death Litigation in Cherokee County
As per Official Code of Georgia § 51-4-2, the surviving spouse, children, or parents (in that order of priority) of someone who loses their life in an accident may pursue a wrongful death claim on that person’s behalf. If there are no surviving family members eligible to bring forth a claim, O.C.G.A. § 51-4-5 allows the decedent’s estate executor or administrator to recover on behalf of the estate, to ultimately benefit the decedent’s next of kin.
As a wrongful death lawyer in Cherokee County could explain further, two different categories of damages are recoverable following someone’s passing: one meant to benefit surviving family members and one meant to reimburse the decedent’s estate. A successful wrongful death claim allows recovery for lost economic support, lost care and companionship, and lost consortium on behalf of surviving family members. A related but separate claim filed on the estate’s behalf may seek compensation for medical expenses paid prior to the decedent’s death, funeral and burial costs, and any pain or suffering the decedent experienced before passing away.
Consider Working with a Cherokee County Wrongful Death Attorney
No monetary award could even meaningfully make up for a family member’s death or truly compensate their loved ones for their life’s full value. What civil compensation can do, however, is ensure that you do not have to bear the financial costs of someone else’s irresponsible behavior, or of the tremendous loss that it ultimately led to.
A qualified Cherokee County wrongful death lawyer could help you navigate any civil litigation you elect to pursue. Whenever you are ready, reach out to schedule a confidential meeting and discuss your potential case.