What are examples of a Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death refers to a death caused by someone else’s negligence or reckless conduct. Examples of the type of conduct that may give rise to a claim of wrongful death include, but are not limited to:
- Tractor trailer collisions
- Drunk driving car collisions
- Defective products
- Engineering malpractice
- Illegal sale of prescription drugs or alcohol
Why Should I Hire an Attorney?
The hiring of an attorney is one of the most important decisions you will make in the wrongful death process. An attorney will make sure that the procedural aspect of your case is handled properly and with care while discussing your options with you. Moreover, The Law Offices of B. Clarke Nash will provide you with the personal attention those who recently experienced the loss of a loved one deserve.
When Should I bring a Wrongful Death Claim?
The law in Georgia limits the time for which a wrongful death claim must be filed to two (2) years from the date of death. However, the two (2)-year window does freeze if the circumstances surrounding the death have a criminal element that is being investigated or tried in court. Once the criminal aspect of the case is resolved, the two (2)-year statute of limitations will unfreeze. This includes drunk or reckless driving matters. Consult an attorney, however, for a full understanding of the potential pitfalls associated with filing your wrongful death claim.
How much can I Expect to recover if my Case is Successful?
The amount you will receive in damages in the event your wrongful death claim is successful depends on a variety of factors.
For example, the type of damages awarded depends on who is actually bringing the claim for wrongful death.
The law in Georgia stipulates the following order in terms of who may bring a wrongful death claim:
- The deceased’s spouse
- If the deceased does not have a living spouse, the deceased’s children
- If the deceased does not have a living spouse or children, the deceased’s parents
- If the deceased does not have a living spouse, children or living parents, then the representative of the deceased’s estate may bring suit.
If the person bringing the claim of wrongful death is a relative of the deceased, the law in Georgia allows a recovery of the full value of the life of the deceased, without deducting for personal expenses the deceased person would have had, had they remained living.
To determine exactly what the “full value of the life” would have been the courts will look to:
- The present value of the decedent’s future income that he/she would have earned over their life expectancy using evidence of income, job history, etc.
- Additional economic factors that are unable to be proven by evidence, such as the joy of life as it relates to marriage, having children, friends, etc.
If a personal representative is bringing the claim instead of a member of the deceased’s family, they are permitted to recover damages related to any medical treatment of the deceased as well as funeral costs.
How Long Does a Case Take to be Resolved?
Each case has a multitude of variables that make it unique unto itself. Some wrongful death claims will go all the way through trial and fall at the hands of a jury. Others will never reach the courtroom due to an out-of-court settlement. Because each case is different, it is impossible to speculate as to how long your case will take to be resolved. Be sure to contact a competent, aggressive and compassionate attorney during this time of need.