The law grants you the right to seek compensation for the death of a loved one killed because of the reckless or careless actions of another person or party. We at Shrable Law Firm are more than glad to help you file the wrongful death claim. We have specialized in these kinds of cases since 1988, a period in which we have helped different clients seek justice for the loss of their loved one.
The team of legal experts at the Shrable law offices are all too familiar with what families go through when a loved one dies due to the actions of another person or entity. The sudden loss can be financially and emotionally devastating. Our Columbus GA wrongful death lawyers are highly trained, skilled, and experiences in dealing with such cases. We avail to them all the necessary resources needed to help you seek justice.
We are fully dedicated to helping individuals and families cope during this difficult time in their lives, knowing fully that no money can replace the lost life. However, we also appreciate the fact that those liable for the wrongful death must be health accountable. That is why we fight to ensure justice is served, and you are compensated for your loss. Call our Columbus injury law offices today and schedule a free case evaluation.
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How Can A Wrongful Death Lawyer Help?
At Shrable Law Firm, we believe and are confident that we are the best option if you are filing a wrongful death claim in the Columbus area, and you are keen on winning the case. We are sure that we can help you because of the following:
- We have years of experience handling wrongful death cases; thus, we have a deep understanding of what it takes to put together a robust case and win.
- We take on the cases on a contingency fee basis. That means we shall charge you a fee for our services after we have secured financial compensation for you.
- We are committed to representing you and your interests; therefore, we will dedicate all the necessary resources that will help grantee success. We are aware of how lengthy and expensive a wrongful death case can be; that is why we advance all costs, including court fees, hiring investigators, and filing fees.
- Our law experts are not afraid of taking the case to court. They have extensive experience and help our clients win record-setting settlement amounts.
What Is The Definition Of Wrongful Death?
According to the Georgia Code Title 51, Chapter 4, wrongful death is death caused by intentional, negligent, criminal, or reckless actions of someone or some entity. Filing such a claim can be valid when the circumstances leading up to the death of a person were suspect. That means there are substantial reasons to believe the death was the fault of a specific person or entity. A wrongful death lawsuit is often centered on the same foundations as a personal injury claim only; in this case, the victim did not survive the injuries.
What Does The Georgia Wrongful Death Act Say?
The Georgia Wrongful Death Act has five code sections. It a law enacted over 100 years ago with several addenda added over the years. The law outlines different potential legal grounds for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Columbus, Georgia. Some of the stipulated reasons include:
- Medical malpractice like misdiagnosis, surgical errors, and incorrect medical prescriptions
- Car accidents attributed to actions such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Criminal actions including premeditated murder
- Deaths caused by the use of defective products like electronics, foods, drugs, appliances, medical devices, or vehicles
- Pedestrian accident fatalities
- Food poisoning linked to poor sanitation or contamination in commercial establishments
- Abuse or neglect in hospitals, nursing homes, or a health care facility
- Improper or illegal alcohol services like in the case of a bartender continuing to serve alcohol to a visibly drunk patron
Who May File A Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
For you to be eligible to file a wrongful death claim in Georgia, you must be related to the deceased person. You can be their child, parent, spouse, or relative. You also can be the designated personal representative of the deceased’s estate. You do not qualify to file the claim if the dead person was but a close friend. And as a personal representative of the deceased, you are expected to transfer any recovered damages to the deceased’s next of kin.
If the dead person left a will that lists the beneficiaries of his or her estate, then the personal representative must adhere to the instructions as stipulated in the will and disburse the entirety of the estate to the listed beneficiaries. In many such situations, inheritance transfers are outlined, stating who gets what.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations For A Wrongful Death Claim?
The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in Georgia is 2 years from the date of the person’s demise; this is a per Ga. Code Ann. § 9-3-20 et seq. However, there are some exceptions. Therefore, you should speak with our wrongful death lawyers to know more. Your case will likely not have its day in court if you file the claim after the stipulated deadline. If a criminal case involved the deceased person is ongoing, the timeline for the civil claim pauses until the matter is concluded.
What Damages Can I Claim Compensation For?
Under the Georgia Wrongful Death Act, a claimant can recover damages amounting to “the full value of the life of the deceased person without deducting person expenses of the decedent has he or she survived.”
The compensation will cover tangible and intangible damages that the decedent and his or her family suffered. These include loss of care and companionship, the deceased’s lost wages (including what the person would have earned when alive) medical expenses, funeral or burial costs, and pain and suffering attributed to the death of the loved one.
According to the law, a spouse filing a wrongful death claim for a dead loved one who had no will or estate plan with listed beneficiaries is expected to share the awarded compensation with the children (if they had any). The surviving spouse will get a third of the proceeds, and the remainder is divided amongst the children.
If the proceeds are to go to a surviving spouse and their kids who are under 18 years of age, the parent (guardian) will have custody of the children’s portions of the proceeds until they reach 18 years.
What Are The Punitive Damages In Wrongful Death Lawsuits?
In some situations, the jury will find a defendant’s actions or conduct so grossly indifferent, reckless, or negligent to the wellbeing of others, so much so that it might award punitive damages as a measure of further punishment for such behavior. However, the Georgia Wrongful Death Act does not recognize or mention punitive damages. As a result, appellate judges in Georgia repeatedly state that they will interpret the punitive damages in the strictest way possible. The plaintiff cannot pursue punitive damages when filing a wrongful death case in Columbus, GA, but such losses are validated in connection with survival actions.
Under common law, the survival action is a personal injury claim used to represent the deceased’s estate. However, punitive damages will be eligible if the defendant is found to have acted negligently, with malice, or with blatant disregard for the safety or other people. Judges in Georgia will not recognize this if there is some time that passes between the death in question and the defendant’s actions that lead to such an outcome.
How Can I Prove Negligence In A Georgia Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is like a personal injury claim filed on behalf of the deceased. As a result, the elements of malice, recklessness, or negligence in the matter are similar to those of a personal injury case. Therefore, for you to win the claim, you should prove the following:
You must give evidence that shows the party at fault owed the deceased a duty of care.
You should demonstrate how the liable party violated or breached the duty of care. It can be through inaction or actions that any reasonable persona in such a situation would have taken.
Prove that the breach of duty by the defendant directly results in the death of your loved one.
Demonstrate that the death is due to the direct actions of the defendant and not any other cause.
We at Shrable Law Firm appreciate the fact that wrongful death claims in Georgia can get complicated, given how they are highly involved cases. That is why these lawsuits almost always need the expertise of experienced personal injury attorneys. The systems, processes, and documentation involved are complex for families to understand and follow. However, a lawyer will cover all the necessary steps with ease. That is why you should let us unburden you of such legal issues so that you can focus on grieving and healing.
What Is The Difference Between Wrongful Death Claim & Estate Claim?
You can file two kinds of claims after a wrongful death in Georgia. The first will compensate you for the “full value of the life of the deceased.” It is what the surviving party (person related to the deceased) files on behalf of their dead loved one. It pursues monetary recompense for damages relating to the loss of consortium, lost wages and work-related benefits, and loss of intangible benefits such as love, care, companionship, parental responsibilities, and household obligations.
The other is an estate claim, which pursues the recovery of financial losses that you or your family suffered due to the death of your loved one. As the plaintiff in the lawsuit, you will be the decedent’s estate seeking reimbursement for damages or losses related to the unexpected death of your loved one. The losses can include medical expenses, funeral/burial costs, and the pain and suffering the deceased experienced before his or her death.
The Georgia Wrongful Death Law allows you to file both types of claims simultaneously.
Start Your Wrongful Death Lawsuit In Columbus On The Right Footing
You should seek the advice and guidance of an experienced personal injury lawyer when you are thinking of filing a wrongful death claim. Shrable Law Firm has the qualified legal experts and resources you need to ensure justice is served for your deceased loved one. However, we only take a limited number of clients at a time so that our lawyers can dedicate all their attention to the cases they take on without being overburdened.
The first thing that we will do when you come to us for help is to assist you set up a will or estate plan if your deceased loved one had not drafted one. Alternatively, you can opt to select someone that will fill this role. Keep in mind that you still can file a claim without having a representative.
We then investigate what caused the death of your loved one to determine if the case has merit as per the Georgia Wrongful Death Law. We might name a likely defendant in the matter. Once you opt to retain our lawyers, we will put together and file the necessary documents to start the process as soon as possible. Keep in mind the legal procedures take time, but we are here to help expedite the process so that you and your family are not subjected to unnecessary delays.
Call a wrongful death lawyer in Columbus GA today and schedule a free case evaluation. We will take on your case on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will pay us only after we win the claim case, and you are compensated for the wrongful death of your loved one.