Coping with the loss of a loved one can be one of the most devastating times of your life, especially when the death was caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. If you believe another party is liable for your loved one's death, you should consider contacting a dedicated Albany wrongful death lawyer at Roden Law to help with your case. An attorney can answer your questions about pursuing a legal claim for wrongful death and what forms of compensation you may be entitled to. Our attorneys represent clients throughout the Albany area and Dougherty County.
Our Albany wrongful death attorneys can review your case with a risk free, no obligation consultation. We do not charge any upfront fees or costs unless we help you obtain fair compensation. Contact us today to see how we can help you achieve the justice you deserve.
Defining a Wrongful Death
Title 51 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) defines a wrongful death as the death of a person caused by negligent, intentional, reckless or criminal acts of another party. A person is considered negligent if he or she fails to exercise reasonable care when it is their duty to do so.
Negligence can include doctors performing surgical errors, drivers speeding or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, manufacturers not recalling defective products, or nursing home staff failing to deliver basic needs to elderly residents.
Common causes of wrongful death cases include:
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Work-related accidents
- Defective products
- Truck accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Boating accidents
- Slip and falls
- Motorcycle accidents
If you recently lost a loved one in an accident caused by another party’s negligent behavior, an Albany wrongful death lawyer can review your claim and help determine if you have a valid case. We can help discuss your legal options and determine the types of compensation that may be available.
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Do I Have a Wrongful Death Case?
Your Albany wrongful death lawyer must prove another party was negligent to obtain compensation in a wrongful death case. There are three elements of negligence:
- Breach of duty of care – It must be proven that the at-fault party breached a duty of care owed to your lost loved one. A duty of care is a requirement to act the way a reasonable person would to prevent someone else from being harmed. For example, a driver is expected to drive responsibly and practice safe driving skills. However, when a driver operates a car while under the influence of alcohol or acts recklessly, he or she has breached the expected duty of care.
- Causation – You must also establish a direct link between the at-fault party’s breach of duty of care and the death of your loved one. For example, if your loved one died due to medical malpractice you would need to show that your loved one would have survived if not for the malpractice that occurred. If your loved one died from sepsis after surgery you would need to establish that sepsis was a result of the doctor's actions, such as a surgical error.
- Damages – It must be proven that the death of a loved one caused damages to you or your family, such as medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of income or pain and suffering.
Proving these elements requires a qualified wrongful death attorney who can gather all the evidence needed to help you build a strong case.
Call our lawyers today at 1-844-RESULTS to schedule your free legal consultation.
Compensation Awarded in Wrongful Death Cases
According to O.C.G.A. § 51-4-1, the purpose of a wrongful death claim is to obtain compensation for the life of the deceased. Surviving family members can receive compensation for economic and non-economic damages caused by the wrongful death, including lost:
- Wages and income
- Insurance and retirement benefits
- Emotional support and guidance
- Enjoyment of life
Georgia law also gives the victim's estate the right to file a separate type of wrongful death claim to obtain compensation for damages in the time period between injury and death. This could include hospital bills, funeral bills, and emotional pain and suffering.
The Albany wrongful death attorneys at Roden Law can help to evaluate the value of the different types of compensatory damages available to you based on your specific case.
Fill out our Free Case Review form today.
Who Is Entitled to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In a wrongful death claim, the decedent, or person who has died, is unable to pursue their own case in court. Instead, it is up to the surviving family members of the decedent or a personal representative of the decedent’s estate to file a wrongful death claim.
Surviving members who may be entitled to bring a claim for damages include:
- Spouse and children of the decedent – Under Georgia law, surviving spouses may be able to receive one-third of the wrongful death compensation awarded. The remaining amount is equally divided between the surviving children. If there is no surviving spouse, the surviving children divide the compensation between themselves.
- Parents of the decedent – If there is no surviving spouse or children, the surviving parents can file a wrongful death claim and may be awarded compensation.
- Personal estate representative of the decedent – A personal estate representative is appointed to pursue a case on behalf of the decedent if there are no surviving family members including his or her own spouse, children or parents. Any compensation awarded goes to the beneficiaries of the estate.
Determining whether you or a family member have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim can be difficult. This is why it is critical to consult with a knowledgeable Albany wrongful death attorney who understands state laws and regulations governing if you or a loved one can pursue a claim.
For a free legal consultation, call 1-844-RESULTS to start reviewing your claim.
Georgia’s Time Limits on Wrongful Death Claims
Wrongful death claims are subject to a statute of limitations, which is the time limit you or a loved one has to file a claim.
In the state of Georgia, the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases is within two years from the date of death, or from the date of discovery of the negligence. If the lawsuit is not filed before the time limit expires, you or a loved one lose the right to file this type of lawsuit.
It is important to not wait to file a wrongful death claim or you will risk the chances of not recovering any compensation for the financial or emotional losses suffered. A skilled wrongful death lawyer can help ensure your lawsuit is filed before the deadline passes.
Contact an Albany Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
At Roden Law, we understand that losing a cherished loved one is the ultimate tragedy you and your family can face. When the death occurs because of the negligent or intentional act of another party, pursuing a wrongful death claim may help you overcome the financial burdens and emotional suffering that accompany the grief of losing a loved one.
Contact an Albany wrongful death lawyer today by scheduling a free, no obligation consultation to discuss the specific circumstances regarding your case and identify possible damages that may be available. We have helped obtain the maximum compensation deserved for many of our clients and will work hard to help you recover any losses you have suffered.
Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not charge any upfront legal fees or costs for handling your claim. We only get paid if we help you obtain favorable compensation.