Atlanta Wrongful Death Damages Attorneys
Wrongful Death Damages
The sudden and untimely death of a loved one is a life-changing event. Whether you lose a spouse, a parent, a child, or another family member, you may find yourself struggling with day-to-day problems made harder by the added burden of grief. Piles of bills, damaged property, and unfinished chores feel like they should fade into insignificance - but they don't.
While a wrongful death claim cannot undo what has happened, it can significantly lighten your load. Compensation for wrongful death in Georgia includes coverage for a wide range of damages, allowing you to meet your family's obligations so you have the time and space you need to heal. The experienced Atlanta attorneys at Grant Law Office can help. Call (404) 995-3955 for a free consultation today.
Types of Damages Claims in Georgia
Georgia law allows two separate wrongful death claims to be brought by two separate parties against the same negligent party:
- a "full value of life" claim, which may be brought by the deceased person's spouse, children, or parents, depending on the circumstances; and
- a "survival action," which may be brought by the administrator of the deceased person's estate.
Each of these two claims covers different types of damages available in a Georgia wrongful death case.
"Full Value of Life"
Some surviving family members are allowed to seek damages for "the full value of the life of the decedent," from the perspective of the deceased person. It may include damages for losses like the below:
- projected lifetime income, including what would have been paid in living expenses, taxes, and other costs to support the deceased person
- damages for the loss of enjoyment of life, relationships, etc., from the point of view of the deceased person
Who has the right to bring this claim depends on the structure of the deceased person's nearest family. If the deceased person leaves behind a spouse, the spouse may bring a "full value of life" claim, but must share the damages with any surviving children. If the deceased person has no living spouse but does have children, the children may bring the claim. If the deceased person has neither a spouse nor any living children, the person's parents may bring the claim.
A "survival action" is a second type of wrongful death claim that can be brought when a person dies due to negligence. The damages available in a survival action include:
- medical bills related to the death;
- funeral and burial expenses; and
- damages for pain and suffering related to the death.
The survival action is brought by the personal representative who handles the deceased person's estate. Depending on who the deceased person has chosen as personal representative or who the court appoints, the personal representative might also be the same person who is allowed to bring a "full value of life" action.
Compassionate, Experienced Representation
Survivors and personal representatives in Georgia may choose to file both types of wrongful death claims, to file one of the two, or to pursue compensation in some other way, if available. Choosing how to pursue these claims is often a strategic decision. At Grant Law Office, our skilled Atlanta fatal accident attorneys can help you choose the best strategy for seeking damages after a fatal accident. Contact us today to learn more.