Have you lost your loved one recently? Do you the death was caused by another party? In this situation, you need to speak with a trusted wrongful death attorney in Fairburn. Georgia law allows families to file a lawsuit against the party responsible for a wrongful death and recover compensation.
If you have lost your loved one due to wrongful death, the Law Offices of Gilbert Sperling, III, P.C is here to help. Having worked on numerous wrongful death cases in Georgia with positive outcomes, we are here to make sure that you are fully compensated for the wrongful death of your loved one.
How Is Wrongful Death Defined in the State of Georgia?
Georgia law defines wrongful death as the death of a person due to a crime, negligence, or a defective product. In other words, another person or entity is at fault for your loved one’s demise.
Some of the causes of wrongful death include the following.
- Medical malpractice
- Accidents caused by negligence (car accident, truck accident, etc.)
- Criminal acts
- Defective products
- Faulty construction or engineering malpractice
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
- Drugged or drunk driving accidents
- Contaminated food or sanitation issues in restaurants
- Pedestrian accident fatalities
- Illegal or improper alcohol service (bartender serving a person who is visibly intoxicated)
Note that a wrongful death case is different from a criminal homicide case. In the latter, a conviction can cause prison time, fines, penalties, and probation. A wrongful death case is a civil case. If the court rules that the defendant is liable, they will be ordered to pay financial compensation.
If you suspect someone else is at fault for the death of your loved one, call Attorney Gil today in Fairburn, GA for the best representation. We can start working on your case immediately.
Who Is Qualified to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
Unlike other types of personal injury cases, in a wrongful death case, the deceased is not able to file their own claim for compensation. However, the person’s family is allowed to pursue compensation on behalf of the deceased.
Under Georgia law, you can only file a wrongful death compensation claim if you are one of the following.
- The surviving spouse
- The surviving children (if there is no spouse)
- The parents of the deceased (if there is no spouse or children)
- The administrator or executor of the estate (in the absence of a spouse, children, or parents)
No other family member is eligible to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased. Therefore, if you are the sibling or grandparent of the deceased, you will not be able to file a claim.
At the Law Offices of Gilbert Sperling, III, P.C we understand who is eligible to file wrongful death claims in Georgia. We are here to help you.
What Types of Damages Are Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Claim?
If the wrongful death claim in Georgia is successful, the defendant will be ordered by the court to pay damages to the surviving family. The estate administrator can file an estate claim to recover other damages on behalf of the estate.
The Surviving Family
The surviving family members can seek compensation for the full value of the life of their loved one. You can recover damages for economic losses and intangible losses.
Economic damages include lost wages, services, and benefits and what your deceased loved one may have earned if they had lived. Additionally, you can recover compensation for the loss of counsel, care, companionship, and advice from your deceased loved one.
The Deceased’s Estate
The deceased’s estate can be compensated for the financial losses related to their death. These damages are sought by the executor of the deceased’s estate and may include compensation for funeral and burial expenses, medical expenses, and any other expenses resulting from their injury and death.
Attorney Gil at the Law Offices of Gilbert Sperling, III, P.C is here to help. We will follow up on your case to make sure you are fully compensated for the loss of your loved one in Georgia. Call us now and we can start working on your case immediately.
Can the Surviving Family File for Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are typically awarded in personal injury cases where the liable party acted intentionally or with extreme recklessness. Georgia law does not allow the deceased’s surviving family to seek punitive damages in a wrongful death suit. However, punitive damages can be pursued through an estate claim.
The executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate is the only one who can file an estate claim on behalf of the deceased’s next of kin. It’s possible to seek punitive damages in an estate claim if the deceased did not die instantly, even if they only survived for a few seconds.
Contact us today and we will help determine if you can file a claim for punitive damages. At the Law Offices of Gilbert Sperling III, P.C, we have worked on various cases that involved punitive damages and can start working on your case immediately to ensure the best outcome.
How Can You Prove Negligence in a Wrongful Death Case in Georgia?
Establishing negligence is the basis for proving liability in typical wrongful death cases. Your wrongful death attorney in Fairburn must establish four elements to win your case.
Duty of Care
Here, we will prove that the defendant owed your deceased loved one a duty of care. Duty of care refers to refraining from any actions that may cause harm to another person. It may also mean that the defendant had an obligation or duty to keep the deceased safe.
For instance, all drivers have a legal obligation to follow traffic laws and exercise reasonable caution. Property owners have an obligation to keep their premises free from hazards.
Breach of Duty
Once we have proven that the defendant owed your loved one a duty of care, the next step is to prove that they breached the duty of care. Here, we will present evidence to show that the defendant behaved carelessly or recklessly. For example, speeding or running a red light violates a driver’s duty of care.
To establish causation, we will present evidence to show that the breach led to the death of your loved one. For instance, if it was a vehicle accident, we will prove that the defendant caused the accident by speeding and that the crash was the cause of death.
We must prove that your family has suffered economic and intangible losses. At this point, we will provide evidence of the cost of the funeral and burial of your loved one, the unpaid medical expenses, the loss of companionship, and much more.
Is There a Time Limit to File Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
Just like any type of lawsuit, you are supposed to file a wrongful death claim within a certain period, referred to as the statute of limitations. You must file your case within 2 years from the date of your loved one’s death. If you don’t adhere to this deadline, you may end up losing your right to seek compensation.
However, the statute of limitations may be tolled or stopped in the following situations. If the estate of your loved one has not been probated, the case may be tolled for a maximum period of 5 years.
If the death of your loved one happened due to a crime, the statute of limitations will be suspended until the criminal case is completed or up to 6 years, whichever is shorter. The 2-year period will come into effect after the criminal case is resolved.
How Do You Start a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
To file a wrongful death claim in Georgia, you can start by contacting the Law Offices of Gilbert Sperling, III, P.C. Attorney Gil has worked on numerous wrongful death cases and has the experience to handle your case.
We can start working on your case to make sure the defendant fully compensates you for the wrongful death of your loved one. Our team, led by attorney Gil, will gather evidence to build a strong case. We understand that this may be a trying period for you, and we will handle the paperwork and court proceedings.
Attorney Gil has experience negotiating with insurance companies and winning favorable settlements for clients. If negotiations are not successful, Gilbert Sperling is ready to fight for you in court.
Call us today to speak with a top wrongful death attorney in Fairburn, GA.
What Is the Difference Between a Wrongful Death Claim and Estate Claim?
There are two types of claims that can be filed after someone dies because of a defective product or another party’s criminal actions or negligence. A wrongful death claim and an estate claim are filed separately. There are some key differences between them.
Wrongful Death Claim
A wrongful death claim is submitted by a surviving family member of the deceased seeking damages for the full value of the life of their loved one. This includes compensation for the income the deceased can no longer provide for their family and loss of companionship.
The representative (executor or administrator) of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death claim if the deceased left no surviving spouse, children, or parents. If the claim is made by the representative of the decedent’s estate, the compensation recovered will be given to the deceased’s heirs or next of kin.
An estate claim can only be filed by a representative of the decedent’s estate, either an administrator or an executor. Also referred to as “survival action,” an estate claim is meant to recover compensation for expenses associated with medical bills, as well as funeral and burial costs of the deceased.
An estate claim can also seek compensation for the pain and suffering endured by the deceased before their death. In some cases, punitive damages associated with wrongful death are awarded under the estate claim.
To recover punitive damages, it’s critical to prove that the deceased survived the accident, even for a short time before they passed away. Our Fairburn wrongful death lawyer will access the facts surrounding your case and inform you whether pursuing punitive damages is a viable option.
Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney in Fairburn Today!
Losing a loved one is traumatic and stressful, especially if someone else is at fault. As such, you may not be in the right mindset to seek compensation. That’s why Attorney Gil is here to help with any wrongful death compensation claim in Fairburn, GA.
We will investigate the case and gather evidence to prove the negligence of the defendant and the resulting losses to your family due. Our job involves negotiating a fair settlement and representing you in the event that your case ends up in court. We offer compassionate counsel and representation whenever you need it.
Remember, we work on a contingency basis meaning we will not be paid until we secure a settlement or a court victory. We are dedicated to our job and will make sure that you receive fair compensation for the loss of your loved one.