When your loved one suffers fatal injuries in a preventable accident negligent resulting from another’s actions, you could hold the responsible party accountable. A Roswell wrongful death lawyer could help you bring a claim for compensation against the negligent parties.
A claim may allow you to hold negligent persons or entities accountable for their misconduct. You also may be able to receive compensation to support your family during this challenging time. A compassionate attorney could handle the legal work so you can focus on the grieving process.
Who Can File a Claim?
O.C.G.A. § 51-4-2(a) authorizes specific immediate family members who survive the deceased to bring wrongful death claims against the parties who caused the death. Under this code section, the surviving spouse of the decedent has priority to file a wrongful death claim. In the absence of a surviving spouse, the children of the decedent may be entitled to file a claim.
Even if decedents have no surviving spouse or children, their parents may be able to file a wrongful death claim. If none of these immediate family members survive the decedent, then O.C.G.A. § 51-4-5 authorizes the administrator of the estate to bring a claim.
Receiving Compensation in Roswell
Under O.C.G.A. § 51-4-2(d), damages received through a wrongful death claim go equally to the surviving spouse and the children of the decedent. Despite this equal division, a surviving spouse is entitled to no less than one-third of the total damages recovered in the wrongful death action.
If surviving the children are minors, then their natural surviving parent or guardian is the custodian of any funds less than $15,000 received from the wrongful death claim. If the funds owed to minor children exceed this amount, however, the court must appoint a legal guardian to oversee the money. A dedicated lawyer could help one recover the compensation they deserve.
Types of Compensation Available in Wrongful Death Claims
Surviving family members entitled to file a wrongful death action can seek damages for the full value of life, which encompasses both tangible and intangible losses. Tangible or economic compensation includes items such as the loss of family income and support due to the death. Intangible or non-economic items include the loss of parenting and support for children, enjoyment of family activities, and overall presence in the lives of family members.
If negligence or criminal actions led to the death, the estate administrator could also seek specific damages in a wrongful death claim, including:
- Final medical bills;
- Funeral and burial expenses;
- Physical pain and suffering before death; and
- Punitive damages in some cases.
The measure of damages can vary significantly from one wrongful death claim to the next. For instance, a wrongful death claim involving a 35-year-old father who operated a successful business may result in more significant damages than a claim involving a 75-year-old retired person with no living children or spouse. A wrongful death lawyer in Roswell could help place an appropriate value on a specific claim and negotiate an acceptable settlement amount.
Talk to a Roswell Wrongful Death Attorney for Advice
Various situations can lead to wrongful death actions. Wrongful deaths may arise from drunk driving accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, and more. Whatever the source of the claim, a Roswell wrongful death lawyer could identify all potentially liable parties and pursue a claim on your behalf.
No compensation can substitute for the loss of your loved one, but it can hold negligent parties responsible for their behavior. You also may be able to recover damages to assist you and your family during your time of mourning at the loss of your family member. To discuss your situation, call today.