Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorney
Legal Help for Those Affected by Accidental Death
If you lost a family member in a fatal accident and have questions about a wrongful death claim, Grant Law Office, would like to serve you. These Atlanta wrongful death lawyers practice extensively in Georgia wrongful death claims and know from experience that choosing the right law firm is critical to the success of your claim. Georgia law is complex, but they skillfully guide you through the legal process. Putting your legal claim in the hands of professionals allows you to focus on family healing and how to move forward after a devastating loss.
Georgia Wrongful Death Statute
The Georgia Wrongful Death Statute governs wrongful death claims within the state. This simply means that the Georgia legislature passed specific laws for civil actions relative to wrongful death. The legislature compiles Georgia laws in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) The wrongful death statutes reside at O.C.G.A. 51-4-1 through 51-4-5 and Section 19-7-1.
Eligibility to Bring a Georgia Wrongful Death Claim
The Georgia Wrongful Death Statute is very specific on who can bring a wrongful death claim. It generally follows lineal descent: spouse exclusively, shared with children, if no spouse or children, then parents, and the last beneficiary absent all others is the estate.
Causes of a Wrongful Death
In a wrongful death claim, the victim is the "decedent," and the wrongdoer is the "tortfeasor." A wrongful death claim may exist if the cause of death was either of the following:
Generally, negligent acts are preventable or avoidable accidents that would not have occurred if the tortfeasor acted with reasonable care.
Intentional wrongful acts are generally criminal in nature and violent. The state prosecutes the criminal action, which is a separate action from the Georgia wrongful death civil action.
Wrongful Death Occurs In Many Ways
- Vehicle accidents
- Boating mishaps
- Aviation collisions
- Defective products
- Unsafe prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs
- Medical malpractice
Claims and Damages Available Under the Georgia Law
Under state law, there are three possible claims available. One is the statutory wrongful death claim by family members, the second is the claim of the decedent's estate and the third is punitive damages.
A statutory wrongful death claim includes the tangible economic value of the decedent's life. This refers to the amount of money the decedent would have earned had he or she lived a full, natural life. It also includes the intangible non-economic value of the decedent's life that allows a jury to put a value on the human aspect of the decedent's life with respect to her or his relationships in life.
The second claim under Georgia wrongful death is for the estate of the decedent. This claim also has economic and non-economic value. Economic value includes medical expenses incurred prior to death and funeral expenses. The non-economic value refers to pain and suffering prior to death.
Punitive damages are an award to the estate of the decedent as additional compensation in cases of especially malicious or willful misconduct. These damages serve as a form of punishment and deterrent to future misbehavior.
The Importance of the Right Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyer
Not all personal injury attorneys in Georgia provide the same level of service. When you retain Grant Law Office, you have the support of consummate professionals. If you are suffering from the loss of a beloved family member, contact us for a consultation.
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Recent Wrongful Death Verdicts and Settlements
- $12.5 Million - Death of 2-year-old at daycare center.
- $250,000 Verdict - Medical malpractice/failure to diagnose heart attack.
- $190,000 Settlement - Automobile accident of infant born prematurely due to hemorrhage produced by collision.
- Confidential Settlement - Deadly medical negligence.
- Confidential Settlement - Fatal medical malpractice/psychiatric.
- Confidential Settlement - Medical malpractice caused client to develop diabetic ketoacidosis and die.
Click here for more verdicts and settlements.