When another person or group causes a loved one’s death through intentional, reckless, negligent, or criminal acts, the law considers it a wrongful death. This type of loss can traumatize your family and cause severe financial turmoil.
The term “wrongful death” is a broad legal term, but at its essence, it boils down to, “Was someone close to you killed because of negligent or criminal acts?” When the answer to that question is yes, then the deceased person’s family can sue the responsible party for wrongful death.
If you have had a family member die in an accident and have the evidence to bring a wrongful death claim, it might be in your best interest to contact an Atlanta wrongful death lawyer. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today at (800) 235-0444. One of our legal team members will speak with you about your case and review whether you have grounds to file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party.
Types of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death cases can result from many different acts. You could file a wrongful death lawsuit after a gruesome murder. It could arise from vehicular manslaughter or a vehicle accident involving a car, truck, van, bus, motorcycle, or bicycle, including a car slamming into a pedestrian.
Another type of wrongful death claim could result from a workplace accident, such as when a fire or explosion kills one or more people. In some instances, medical malpractice could bring about a wrongful death lawsuit.
A wrongful death lawsuit does not have to follow a successful prosecution in criminal court. Sometimes, a jury does not unanimously find an accused party guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. However, the burden of proof in a wrongful death claim is lower than in a criminal trial. A civil jury in Georgia under O.C.G.A. § 24-14-3 need only decide if the preponderance of the evidence favors one side of the lawsuit over the other.
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Atlanta, call 800-593-3443
One of the most common types of wrongful death lawsuits arises from car accidents. If your spouse or other family member died suddenly in a car accident, and the fault lies squarely with the other party, then you could make a claim for wrongful death injury.
One of the most serious car accidents is a side-impact collision. These high-speed crashes often result in one of more people’s death, with one car crashing into the side of another vehicle. Many drivers who take the direct impact of getting T-boned do not make it out alive.
If your loved one suffered an early, tragic death in a car accident, and it has caused your family loss of financial and emotional security as you pile up a high amount of debt from major medical bills, you may want to seek the advice of an Atlanta wrongful death lawyer. They can explain your family’s legal options in bringing a claim for the damages owed to you. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today for a free case review with our team.
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Wrongful Death vs. Personal Injury
A wrongful death claim shares certain characteristics with a personal injury claim. Both claims must show:
- How the at-fault party owed your family member a duty of care.
- Their negligence or willful acts caused the death of your loved one.
- Your loved one’s death resulted in economic and noneconomic damages to you and your family.
The obvious difference between the two types of cases is that in a wrongful death lawsuit, the injured person has died and cannot file a claim.
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Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
Two sections of Georgia law—O.C.G.A. § 19-7-1 for children and O.C.G.A. § 51-4-2 for spouses or parents—determine who can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a deceased loved one.
A family member or legal representative of the deceased usually brings a wrongful death case. State law recognizes that a spouse must not receive less than one-third of the final settlement, regardless of the number of children involved.
Family members filing a wrongful death claim must show that their loved one’s death resulted from an act of negligence or reckless disregard by the other party. The claim must show that their death was not of their doing. Also, the claim must prove that the family members have incurred financial and emotional damages as a direct result of the wrongful death. These damages could include:
- Funeral and burial costs.
- Medical costs related to an illness or injury associated with the at-fault party’s negligence or reckless disregard.
- Lost wages and benefits your loved one would have earned.
- Loss of consortium.
- Pain and suffering.
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Working with a Wrongful Death Attorney
When you work with a personal injury attorney on a wrongful death claim, it can become a highly emotional process. Every discussion you have revolves around your deceased loved one and all the benefits you lost due to their death.
The claim is all about the losses suffered by the surviving family members and the emotional and financial toll their loved one’s death has taken on their lives. As a result, the claim should account for all costs and expenses incurred by your loved one before their death, the pain and suffering that they experienced in their final moments, and the mental trauma endured by family members because of the loss of their loved one.
If someone took your family member’s life suddenly and without warning because they committed an intentional act (such as murder or manslaughter) or through negligence or reckless disregard, you might have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit.
You could find it worthwhile to reach out to an Atlanta wrongful death lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC. Call our legal team today at (800) 235-0444 to discuss the circumstances of the death and explore your legal options with our staff for recovering damages for your loved one’s wrongful death.
Call or text 800-593-3443 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form