The last thing families want to think about after losing a loved one is filing a lawsuit. They need time to grieve, comfort each other and deal with the financial aftermath of their loved one’s death. However, when a loved one dies because of the reckless actions of another person, corporation or other entity, the family may have legal recourse against this person or entity in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit. The purpose of this type of legal action is to recover financial compensation for damages families are left with after the unexpected and preventable death of their loved one. Damages could include lost income, insurance and retirement benefits, along with non-economic compensation such as lost companionship and emotional support. No amount of compensation can ever erase what happened, but our Brunswick wrongful death lawyers know recovering compensation can be an important part of moving forward after a tragedy.
There is no risk in contacting our attorneys today for a legal consultation. The consultation is completely free, and you are under no obligation to move forward with a lawsuit. During our meeting, we will review what happened and tell you if we think it would be in your best interest to take legal action. Your next move is entirely up to you. If you choose to file a lawsuit, we can manage the entire process on your behalf and you will not owe us anything for having us represent you. You will only be charged legal fees if you are compensated.
Our Brunswick personal injury lawyers have helped many victims of negligence recover the fair compensation they are entitled under the law. Founding partner Eric Roden is a member of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association and a graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law.
Defining Wrongful Death
The state of Georgia defines a wrongful death as any death that results from reckless, negligent, intentional or criminal actions of some other entity or individual.
A negligent action occurs when someone fails to use reasonable care when he or she has a duty to use reasonable care to help prevent someone else from suffering an injury. You must prove someone else failed to use reasonable care and connect this failure to your loved one’s death to recover compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit.
One way to look at a wrongful death lawsuit is that it is a personal injury lawsuit, except the person who could bring the personal injury lawsuit has died. This means it is up to the deceased person’s loved ones to take legal action. However, they essentially have to make the same case their loved one would have made if he or she survived.
Wrongful death has nothing to do with criminal law, even though wrongful death can be caused by criminal activity. However, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit even if criminal charges were never filed against the individual who caused your loved one’s death.
You can also file a wrongful death civil lawsuit while the individual you are filing the lawsuit against is involved in criminal proceedings over his or her conduct. One case does not affect the other in any way.
Causes of Wrongful Death
There are many different situations that could result in a wrongful death, such as a motor vehicle accident involving a passenger car, commercial truck or motorcycle. Wrongful deaths can also result from boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, nursing home abuse, medical malpractice and dog bites.
Wrongful deaths also occur due to defective or malfunctioning products, such as defective medical devices or prescription drugs. For instance, a device could have a design defect that makes it unreasonably dangerous when used as intended.
As mentioned above, sometimes wrongful death is the result of criminal activity, such as vehicular manslaughter or assault that results in death.
Contact our Brunswick wrongful death lawyers right now to review your situation.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
State law says wrongful death lawsuits can only be filed by certain people who are related to the deceased individual.
These lawsuits are commonly filed by surviving spouses for their benefit and the benefit of their children. When the deceased person has children, the spouse receives at least 33.3 percent of the total compensation award. If there are no children, the spouse receives everything.
When the only surviving family members are children, they also have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The children receive equal shares of the compensation award if the lawsuit is successful. State law says when compensation is less than $15,000 and is awarded to a child, it will be held by that child’s guardian. Compensation that is $15,000 or more is held by the individual who serves as the guardian of the child’s property.
Parents or the executor of the deceased individual’s will can also file wrongful death lawsuits.
When a child dies, the parents have the right to recover from a wrongful death lawsuit, provided the child does not have a spouse or child. When the parents are living together and not divorced, the parents can jointly recover compensation.
When one parent is dead, the surviving parent has the right to recover compensation. If the parents are divorced, separated, or living apart, both parents can proceed with a wrongful death lawsuit. However, when one parent decides not to move forward or cannot be located, the other parent has the right to seek representation for both parents, which binds both parents.
The estate of a deceased individual also has the legal right to file a lawsuit to pursue compensation for financial damages between the date of the injury and death, such as medical bills, pain and suffering and the cost of the funeral.
The will of the deceased individual states who is in charge of the estate and has the right to manage an estate claim. However, sometimes people die without a will. When this happens, the surviving spouse can file this claim. If there is no surviving spouse, the children can file. If there are no children, the parents fan file, and then the siblings can file if there are no surviving parents.
Set up a free legal consultation with our Brunswick wrongful death attorneys today to determine if you can take legal action over your loved one’s death.
Call Roden Law right now at 1-844-RESULTS.
The value of each wrongful death claim depends on the damages suffered. State law allows our Brunswick wrongful death lawyers to pursue compensation for the economic value of your loved one’s life, including his or her income, retirement and insurance benefits and inheritance.
We can also pursue compensation for the emotional and psychological effects of the loss of your loved one, including loss of enjoyment of life, lost companionship, affection and intimacy, and the loss of emotional support and guidance of your loved one.
Families may be concerned that anything they recover in a wrongful death lawsuit will be seized to pay for the deceased individual’s debts. However, state law prohibits this.
Another factor to remember is children born out of wedlock are not barred from making a recovery in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Contact a Brunswick wrongful death lawyer right away. Call 1-844-RESULTS.
Deadline for Filing a Lawsuit
There is a limited amount of time to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This is why contacting a lawyer right away is always a good idea. The lawyer can determine how much time is left and if you have a viable claim. This also gives the lawyer plenty of time to build a strong case that has a chance of success.
State law says wrongful death lawsuits must be filed no less than two years from the date of the negligent activity that led to death. Once the injury occurs, the two-year clock begins to run.
One complicating factor is when the loved one’s death occurs several months or more after the accident. People may not know they have a claim and by the time they do, they have much less than two years to file a lawsuit.
Determining the amount of time left to file a lawsuit is very difficult. This is why you could greatly benefit from meeting with a Brunswick wrongful death attorney as soon as possible.
Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form right now.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Brunswick Wrongful Death Lawyer
The loss of a loved one is always tragic, and sometimes families have to deal with the fact their loved one’s death could have been avoided because it was caused by another’s negligence.
Our attorneys understand what families are thinking in times like these. We are prepared to assist you in pursuing the justice and compensation you deserve for your loved one’s preventable death. We have helped many victims of negligence through the legal process and have obtained millions in compensation for our clients.
Schedule your free, no obligation legal consultation right now to learn more about your legal options and find out how we can assist you at every stage of the legal process. We can take your case on contingency, which means there is no fee unless we make a recovery of compensation for you.