If you lost a loved one and think someone else is at fault, you may have legal options. However, there is a limited amount of time to pursue a case so you should meet with an attorney as soon as possible.
Roden Law's experienced Macon wrongful death lawyers are well-versed in Georgia laws on wrongful death and know how to investigate these situations to collect evidence and build a strong case. Our goal is to recover the maximum compensation you deserve for the effects of your loved one's death. Our compassionate lawyers know how devastating it is to lose a loved one. We also know that compensation can help families as they try to move forward from these awful situations. Our firm has a successful record of obtaining fair compensation for our clients.
At Roden Law, we handle wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis. This is a system where you are not charged for a legal consultation or our services unless we obtain compensation at the end of the legal process.
Georgia's Definition of Wrongful Death
Losing a loved one is always tragic, but some tragedies may not fit Georgia's definition of wrongful death. Under Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A.) 51-4-5, a wrongful death is one that occurs because of a crime or some form of criminal or other negligence or from property that was defectively manufactured.
Negligence refers to a failure of a person or entity to exercise the same degree of care that an ordinarily prudent person would exercise in the same or similar circumstances. One common example of negligence is when a driver disobeys traffic laws by speeding or engaging in some other form of reckless driving. An ordinarily prudent person would not violate traffic laws.
It is difficult to determine on your own if negligence played a role in your loved one's death. That is why you should strongly consider working with an experienced Macon wrongful death attorney on your case. Our attorneys have a detailed understanding of this definition and how it applies to a variety of situations.
Situations Where Wrongful Death Occurs
There are a wide variety of situations when a wrongful death could occur, including Macon car accidents, truck crashes or motorcycle accidents.
Wrongful deaths can also have other causes, like:
- Boating accidents
- Construction accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
- Dog bites/attacks
If you lost a loved one and think negligence was involved, contact one of our Macon wrongful death lawyers for a free consultation. We can determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit and the types of compensation that may be available.
Contact Roden Law right now by calling 1-844-RESULTS.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
There are two types of wrongful death claims in Georgia, each with different requirements for who can file the case.
An estate claim is filed by the estate of the deceased to cover any expenses the estate has incurred from the individual’s injury and death.
A traditional wrongful death lawsuit is intended to obtain compensation for the full value of the life of the deceased. Under state law, only certain people have the right to file this type of lawsuit:
- Surviving spouse – This individual will also represent the best interests of any of the deceased's minor children. However, surviving spouses will receive at least one-third of the recovered compensation, no matter how many minor children there are.
- Surviving children – If there is no surviving spouse, the deceased’s surviving children can pursue a case. If a Macon wrongful death attorney recovers any compensation, it will be equally divided among the surviving children. However, if your attorney recovers less than $15,000, it will be held by the child's guardian for his or her benefit. If the recovery is more than $15,000, it will be held by the guardian of the property of the child.
- Surviving parents – If the deceased had no spouse or children, his or her parents have the right to pursue a case.
- Administrator of the estate – If there is no surviving spouse, child or parent, the administrator or representative of the deceased person's estate has the right to pursue a wrongful death case. If the administrator recovers compensation, it will be given to the deceased's next of kin. This individual also has the right to file an estate claim to obtain compensation for expenses caused by the death.
Schedule a free legal consultation with our Macon wrongful death attorneys to find out if you could be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit. We can also help you determine what forms of compensation you may be entitled.
Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form right now.
Compensation for a Wrongful Death
There are different types of compensation available depending on the type of claim that is filed.
A traditional wrongful death lawsuit will provide compensation for the full value of your loved one's life. This does not mean the full value to you, but the full value from your loved one's perspective. This could include:
- Lost wages – This provides compensation for wages your loved one would have earned if he or she had survived. The jury will try to determine how much money your loved one would have earned if he or she had not died. One way to do this calculation is to multiply your loved one's salary at the time of death by the number of years he or she would have likely worked.
- Lost insurance and retirement benefits – When a loved one dies, he or she will no longer be able to contribute to a retirement account or provide insurance benefits. Our Macon wrongful death attorneys will work to determine how much your loved one would have been able to save for retirement over the course of his or her life, including matching 401(k) contributions from his or her employer. We will also try to calculate the value of health and life insurance benefits he or she would have been able to provide.
- Lost enjoyment of life – This is meant to provide compensation for the fact that your loved one can no longer enjoy the things he or she enjoyed during his or her life. This could include hobbies, leisure activities and other aspects of his or her life.
- Loss of care – Your loved one can no longer provide the emotional support and guidance he or she did when alive. Because of this, compensation may be awarded for the fact that your loved one will not be able to raise his or her children or provide you with the support and care he or she would have.
- Loss of companionship – This compensates the spouse because the deceased can no longer provide the affection, intimacy and companionship he or she used to. Our attorneys may use testimony from you or other friends or family members to show the companionship your spouse provided before his or her death.
An estate claim will provide compensation to the victim's estate for all expenses associated with the person’s injury and death. This could include:
- Medical expenses – The estate can pursue compensation for all medical bills the deceased incurred before he or she died. This could include compensation for surgical procedures and the cost of transportation to the hospital after your loved one suffered the injury that led to his or her death.
- Funeral expenses – The estate may also be able to pursue compensation for reasonable funeral expenses.
- Pain and suffering – This covers physical and emotional pain and suffering experienced by your loved one before he or she died. For instance, your loved one may have experienced depression, anger, anxiety and physical pain before he or she died.
We know how to collect strong evidence of the value of the various types of damages available in a wrongful death lawsuit. Contact us today so we can get started evaluating and building your case.
Limitations on Your Recovery
Unlike some other states, Georgia has no cap on damages in wrongful death cases. This means there is no limit to the amount of compensation your Macon wrongful death lawyer can recover for you.
O.C.G.A. 51-4-2(e) says that your recovery is not subject to any of the deceased's debts or liabilities. This means that your compensation award cannot be applied to loans, credit card debt or any of the deceased's other debts or financial obligations.
Contact Roden Law today because there is a limited time to file a wrongful death lawsuit to try to obtain compensation for your loved one's death.
Call our attorneys today to schedule your free legal consultation. 1-844-RESULTS
What is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims?
All wrongful death claims are governed by a statute of limitations, which sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit. If you miss the deadline you will lose the right to file a lawsuit.
The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years from the date the cause of action accrues. This means you have two years from the negligent act to file a claim.
In many cases, the negligent act occurs on the same day the person dies. However, there are other cases where a person survives for days, weeks or months after the negligent action. For example, someone could be seriously injured in a car accident and die months later from complications caused by their injuries.
There are two things that can stop the statute of limitations from running on the date negligence occurs:
- If there is a criminal case going through the legal system that involves the same issues as your wrongful death civil claim. The two-year clock begins to run once the criminal case is over.
- If the deceased's estate does not go into probate. In these situations, the statute of limitations could be on hold for up to five years.
Some people believe that this law gives them plenty of time to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, two years really is not that long when you consider how long it takes to investigate and build a strong case.
That is why our Macon wrongful death lawyers recommend contacting us as soon as possible. The sooner you contact us, the more time we will have to build a strong case, which could help improve our chances of recovering fair compensation for the damages you have suffered.
Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form today.
Contact a Macon Wrongful Death Lawyer Right Now
Our attorneys understand the devastation experienced by a family when a loved one dies because of someone else's negligence. That is why we are prepared to fight for all of the compensation you deserve for the losses you have suffered.
Our Macon wrongful death attorneys offer a free, no obligation legal consultation to review your situation and determine if you have legal options. We do not charge for our services unless we obtain fair compensation at the end of the legal process.