Atlanta Car Accident Death Lawyers
Losing a loved one in a fatal auto accident is both emotionally traumatic and financially burdensome. Fortunately, the families of fatally injured victims have the right to hold the at-fault party responsible through a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit by which the family of a person killed through an act of negligence can pursue compensation for their losses from the at-fault party and their insurer.
While nothing can bring your loved one back, a claim can help you and your family get the compensation you need to recover financially. At Grant Law Office, our compassionate Atlanta car accident lawyers are committed to helping grieving families obtain closure in difficult times. For a free consultation on your legal rights during this difficult time, call us at (404) 995-3955.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle collisions are one of the leading causes of death in America. On top of that, these crashes are the number one cause of death for children, teens, and young adults, ages 5 through 34. What makes this number particularly alarming is the fact that most fatal motor vehicle collisions are preventable.
The types of collisions that often result in fatal injuries include rollovers, head-on crashes, and collisions with fixed objects, although any type of crash can result in fatalities under certain circumstances. The circumstances that cause fatal injuries usually include:
All of these involve negligence, recklessness, or wrongdoing on the part of the driver. These causes make the driver at-fault for the fatal collision, which in turn gives the victim's family the right to pursue compensation for the losses they have suffered. Until drivers choose to stay sober behind the wheel, focus on the road, and obey speed limits and traffic laws, many more families will lose their loved ones in traffic accidents.
In a typical personal injury claim where the victim survived the accident, the victim would file the claim and recover compensation. That is not how it works for accidents that result in a fatality. As the victim is deceased, he or she cannot file a claim and recover damages. In order to compensate for that fact, Georgia allows the following parties to file a wrongful death claim:
- The deceased’s spouse
- The deceased’s children
- The deceased’s parents (if there is no spouse or children)
- The personal representative of the deceased’s estate (if there are no parents, spouse, or children)
If there is a living spouse, then he or she is always entitled to at least one-third of the compensation received in the claim, no matter how many children the deceased has. If you are on the list above, then you can legally file a claim on behalf of your deceased loved one. If you are not, chances are you cannot recover compensation.
Also, keep in mind that these kinds of claims do adhere to a time limit. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is just two years in Georgia. This means that you only have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to gather evidence, contact an attorney, and start the claims process. If you wait past those two years, you will not be able to file a claim or receive compensation.
Suddenly losing a member of the family, especially if that member provided much-needed income, can be incredibly costly. If your loved one received medical treatment before death, then you will have the responsibility of paying for the medical bills. If your loved one required a funeral, then you have to find the funds for that. If they provided you with benefits, such as health insurance, then you will have to find a new source or begin paying for benefits out of pocket.
All around, the tragic loss of a loved one can leave a family in a deep financial hole that seems impossible to climb out of. Thankfully, when you file a claim, you can demand compensation for all of these costs. Generally, you can recover compensation for the following wrongful death damages:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering of the deceased before death
- Loss of future income
- Loss of future benefits, such as medical benefits and retirement
- Loss of love, affection, companionship, guidance, etc.
- Loss of household services the deceased provided, such as bookkeeping, child care, vehicle and property maintenance, etc.
- Punitive damages
While you may expect the insurance companies involved to be quick to offer help to families in need, the truth is that getting the compensation you deserve can be an incredibly difficult task.
When an insurance company agrees to insure a person, they have entered a contract where the company agrees to compensate injured people for any damages the insured person caused. Sadly, this contract does not always matter to the company. Insurance companies, no matter how much they may try to convince you otherwise, care more about their profits than anything else. Offering proper compensation to those in need would mean they get to keep less money for themselves. Some insurance companies will deny a claim or offer settlement that is less than the plaintiff deserves. This is called acting in “bad faith.”
Denying a claim without a good reason is illegal, but most insurance companies assume that the people they deny will just accept the denial without a fight. This is often the truth, as many don’t realize that they have the option to fight back. If an insurance company is denying your claim, refusing to negotiate with you, or offering you an unfair settlement, you need to contact an experienced wrongful death attorney who will fight for your rights.
If your loved one was killed in an auto accident in Georgia, we may be able to help. To learn more about your legal rights and to ask any questions you may have, please contact us, Grant Law Office. Our excellent Atlanta wrongful death attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve. To speak with a member of our incredible team, call us at (404) 995-3955. If your situation is urgent, don’t hesitate to fill out the quick contact form on our website and we will respond within the hour.
Contact us today for a free and comprehensive case evaluation.
We require no legal retainer or upfront fees,
and you pay nothing unless we prevail.
Phone: (404) 995-3955
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