If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, our attorneys may be able to help you file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation from the responsible party. When a loved one dies, he or she is often survived by dependents who feel the loss not only on an emotional level, but also a financial one.
At Morgan & Morgan, our Atlanta attorneys have decades of experience advocating on behalf of families who have been affected by a wrongful death. We are dedicated to recovering the compensation our clients need to ease their financial burden during this difficult time.
The lawyers at Morgan & Morgan’s Atlanta office are committed to helping those who have lost a loved one seek both compensation and justice for their loss. For more information on how we can help, contact us by using our free, no-obligation case review form.
What Is Wrongful Death?
In legal terms, wrongful death is the loss of a life as a result of another’s negligent or deliberate behavior. Wrongful death lawsuits seek to hold another party liable for a preventable loss of life. A claim may be brought against any entity whose carelessness resulted in another’s death, from a negligent surgeon to a drunk driver. Although no amount of compensation can replace a loved one, Georgia wrongful death laws are crafted so that a victim’s family can seek compensation and regain financial stability following a sudden accident.
What Happens in an Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
When a potential client comes to us after losing a loved one, our first step is to determine whether their claim is viable. To have a viable claim, another entity, such as a driver or doctor, must have been negligent or intentional in causing the death.
To prove negligence, our Atlanta attorneys will have to show that the defendant - the person being sued - owed the deceased a duty to prevent him or her from unreasonable harm and that this duty was breached.
For instance, doctors are obligated to provide their patients with a certain level of care. If a doctor’s care falls beneath this standard (e.g., he or she failed to order a standard diagnostic test) and a patient dies as a result, the doctor could be found negligent.
Next, our lawyers must show that this breach of duty directly contributed to the death. This may require hiring medical experts to show the link between the doctor’s negligence and the death of the patient. Lastly, we must show that the family suffered damages as a result of their loved one’s death. These damages may include financial and non-financial losses, detailed below.
If you believe your loved one suffered a wrongful death, our attorneys may be able to help you sue the person or entity responsible for your loss. After we have obtained evidence and determined liability for your loss, we will work with economic experts to determine the extent of your losses.
If the defendant cannot agree to a proper settlement offer, we will hire experts, investigators, and witnesses to stand trial. At Morgan and Morgan’s Atlanta office, our attorneys pride themselves on being trial lawyers who are not hesitant to go to court to see that our clients are properly compensated.
Wrongful Death Damages
In an Atlanta wrongful death lawsuit, survivors of the victim may be able to seek compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, and possible punitive damages. Punitive damages are available if the offending party broke the law during the act of wrongful death and serve as punishment for particularly egregious behavior.
Other types of damages available in a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- Pain and suffering for the estate of the deceased
- Compensation for the deceased’s suffering, prior to his or her death
- Loss of future work wages
- Loss of relationship compensation for a child, spouse, or parent
- Loss of work and retirement benefits
Under Georgia law, only certain individuals may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. According to Georgia’s wrongful death statutes, only the following relatives may recover compensation for a victim’s death:
- The victim’s spouse
- Children of the deceased (if there is no spouse)
- Parents of the deceased (if there are no children or spouse)
- Executor of the deceased’s estate (if there is no spouse, children, or living parents)
Georgia law also states that if a spouse receives compensation and there is no will, the spouse must share the award with any living children. If the children are minors, the compensation will be placed under the parent or legal guardian’s name until the child turns 18 years of age.
To speak with us further about your potential claim, please fill out the details of our free, no-obligation case review form.