Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorneys
Legal Help for Those Affected by Accidental Death in Atlanta
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 personal injury and 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.
Recent Wrongful Death Verdicts and Settlements
- $12.5 Million - Death of 2-year-old at daycare center.
- $1.8 Million - Death, medical malpractice, and failure to treat sepsis (infection).
- Confidential Settlement - Deadly medical negligence.
- Confidential Settlement - Fatal medical malpractice/psychiatric.
- Confidential Settlement - Medical malpractice caused client to develop diabetic ketoacidosis and die.
- $950,000 - Recovery for nursing home death
- $550,000 - Highway maintenance failure injury and death
- $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.
Click here for more verdicts and settlements.
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.
"...Mr. Grant and Ms. Grant handled a most unfortunate situation for me, the wrongful death of my 47 year old husband. The process went smoothly and I was kept informed each step of the way. The case was settled very successfully, with professionalism and kindness/respect. It is clearly evident that this firm is outstanding in its legal knowledge and human capacity. As a client, I was confident that my best interests were fully protected."
- Former Client
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: If the deceased had a spouse, then the surviving spouse has first priority and retains sole control over the claim.
- Shared with Children: If the deceased had a spouse and children, then the spouse must share any damages award with the children of the deceased (though the surviving spouse is entitled to no less than one-third of the recovery).
- Divorced with Children: If the deceased had children but was divorced at the time of death, then the surviving children hold the claim jointly.
- Surviving Parents: If there is no surviving spouse or child, then the right passes down to surviving parents.
- Deceased Estate: If there is no surviving spouse, children, or parents, then the right passes down to the executor of the deceased’s 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
- Defective products
- Medication errors and unsafe prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs
- Medical malpractice
- Boating mishaps
- Aviation collisions
Claims and Damages Available Under the Georgia Law
If the death of a loved one was caused by the negligent, reckless, intentional, or criminal acts of another person or business, then you may have a viable wrongful death lawsuit. However, you will have to prove that the defendant’s negligence, or failure to exercise reasonable care, led to the death of your loved one. Attorneys on both sides may agree upon a fair settlement, resolving your case before it even goes to trial.
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.
Georgia Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death
The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years from the date of the death of the deceased. There are certain "tolling" provisions, however, that delay the statute of limitations from taking effect until certain conditions are met. In fatal motor vehicle accident cases, for example, the statute of limitations does not become active until any criminal case arising out of the accident is resolved. Claims brought by non-probated estates may be given a five-year tolling provision.
The Importance of the Right Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyer
You should consult with an Atlanta personal injury attorney immediately to get help filing a claim before the statute of limitations expires. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that evidence tends to degrade at a very rapid rate. An attorney should get started on investigating your case right away so s/he can gather the evidence needed to prove liability on the part of the wrongdoer. There are other invaluable ways in which an attorney can help you throughout your claim case.
Not all personal injury attorneys in Atlanta provide the same level of service. When you retain Grant Law Office, you have the support of consummate professionals. We understand how difficult it can be to take care of your legal and financial issues while mourning the death of your loved one. That is why we will handle all aspects of your claim so you can focus on moving on. For a free, comprehensive case review, call us at (404) 995-3955.
- Who Is Eligible For Wrongful Death Claims In Georgia?
- Child Wrongful Death In Atlanta FAQ
- Basics of Georgia Wrongful Death Laws
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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