When a person is killed through the negligence of a company or person, the family of the decedent has a right to recover the full value of the life of the person who was killed. Georgia recognizes that a person’s life has value and considers that fair compensation for death is the value of a person’s life not only includes the decedent’s earnings and the years his earnings would continue but also the decedent’s love of life and what his life meant to him.
Surviving family members have a right to the value of life. Usually, a suit must be filed in order to collect the money due to the family. At Hilley & Frieder, P.C., in Atlanta, we have helped survivors secure compensation after the death of loved ones. Our Atlanta wrongful death lawyers understand that no amount of money can bring back someone you care about, but we hope that we can help you attain the financial security you need to focus on grieving and moving forward. Call us today for a free case evaluation.
To file a wrongful death lawsuit, you will first need to determine whether or not your loved one’s passing falls under the legal definition of wrongful death. Under Georgia law, a wrongful death occurs when another person or entity’s negligent, reckless, criminal, or intentional acts result in someone’s death.
Hilley & Frieder, P.C. handles wrongful death claims that involve a number of accidents and acts of negligence, including the following:
One method to determine whether your case may qualify is to ask yourself one question: if your loved one survived his or her injuries, would he or she have filed a personal injury claim over the incident? If the answer is yes, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.
Regardless of whether or not you believe your loved one’s death was wrongful, you should always speak to a lawyer to confirm your case eligibility. Contact the wrongful death attorneys at Hilley & Frieder, P.C. as soon as possible to schedule your appointment.
Only certain individuals can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a deceased person. The surviving spouse of the deceased is typically the first in line to file a claim, and if the deceased had surviving children, the spouse must represent their interests as well. If no surviving spouse is available, the children may file the claim.
If the deceased person did not have a surviving spouse or children, then his or her surviving parents or the personal representative of the deceased’s estate may file the claim. If the personal representative is the person who files, the estate must hold the damages for the benefit of the deceased’s next of kin.
In some cases, the deceased does not have a surviving spouse, child, or parent, and did not name a personal representative before his or her passing. The court will appoint a personal representative in these situations, who will then be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Georgia also places limits on the types of damages you may claim in a wrongful death lawsuit. Specifically, you may bring two distinct types of wrongful death claims to civil court: a claim to collect monetary damages for the benefit of the deceased’s surviving family members, and a claim to collect damages for the financial losses that the deceased’s estate sustains.
Surviving family members are eligible to collect compensation related to the financial and emotional losses they sustain due to the wrongful death. These damages may include the following:
In addition, the deceased’s passing may result in financial losses the estate requires compensation to recover from. The personal representative of the deceased’s estate may pursue the following damages in a wrongful death claim:
The Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Hilley & Frieder, P.C. will guide you through the different damages you may qualify for and provide you with an estimated settlement amount. Estimating your damages prior to entering the lawsuit process will help you avoid accepting a lower offer than what you deserve, allowing you to protect yourself and your family’s best interests.
A few years ago, we represented the children of a pedestrian who was struck by a car shortly after daybreak. The death occurred on a rural highway outside Toccoa, Ga. The driver that struck the pedestrian called the police and reported that the pedestrian ran out into the road directly in front of the car. The driver claimed that the pedestrian was running from the driver’s left to the driver’s right. There were no other witnesses just the driver who was alive and the pedestrian who was dead.
We were hired by the mother of the pedestrian’s 3 children. The couple was divorced, but the father was obligated to pay child support so his death meant that the mom would have to support the children on her own. She did not know how the pedestrian had been killed but did not believe that her ex-husband would just run out in front of a car.
Our investigation located a witness. The witness was not listed on the police report. The driver and the witness would usually carpool to work together, but on the day of the death, the driver had an appointment so she took her own car to work. The witness took her own car on the day of the death and had left for work only a very few minutes before the driver that struck the pedestrian. The witness testified that she saw the pedestrian close to the location where he was hit and that he was just walking along the side of the road. The pedestrian was on the right side of the road near where he was struck.
Although the driver who struck the pedestrian had claimed that the pedestrian had crossed the road, the witness last saw the pedestrian on the right side of the road which made it very unlikely that he was crossing the road as claimed by the driver. Since the witness last saw the pedestrian walking on the side of the road where the driver struck him and the witness was only a few minutes ahead of the driver at fault. The driver’s story only works if the pedestrian crossed the road twice. We collected the insurance money for the mom.
No one can understand what you are going through after losing someone you love, but we are here to listen and answer your questions. We offer a free consultation and accept wrongful death claims on contingency, which means you will not pay attorney fees unless we secure compensation for you.
For a free consultation with our compassionate wrongful death lawyers, please contact us online or call our Atlanta office at (404) 233-6200.