The most serious loss a person can suffer due to an injury is the loss of a loved one's life. It can be especially horrifying if the death was caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another. When that occurs, certain family members of the deceased may seek compensation for their losses in a wrongful death lawsuit.
While nothing can make up for a lost spouse, parent or child, the monetary compensation you receive can provide some level of comfort. It may also be a way of seeking justice.
Emanuel Balams is an Atlanta wrongful death lawyer who assists people recover for their losses after their loved one was taken from them due to the wrongful or negligent acts of another. If your loved one has died and someone is to blame for that death, you may be able to obtain compensation. An attorney can represent you and your family. Contact Balams Law Group today at (404) 445-2005 to schedule a consultation.
Emanuel Balams represents clients in and around the Atlanta area, including in East Point, Alpharetta, Sandy Springs, Forest Park, Roswell, Lawrenceville, Smyrna, Riverdale, College Park, Norcross, Decatur, Duluth, Johns Creek, Milton and anywhere in Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett, Clayton or DeKalb Counties.
Georgia Code § 51-4-2 says that a surviving spouse may bring a wrongful death suit. If there is no surviving spouse, the children of the decedent may bring the suit.
Under § 19-7-1, if a child does not have a spouse or child of his or her own, the parents may sue for recovery.
If there is no one under either law who can bring a lawsuit for wrongful death, the administrator or executor of the decedent's estate may bring one and hold the recovery for the next of kin.
A death is a wrongful death when it occurs due to the negligence or intentional act of another. In some cases, the decedent is a victim of crime. Murder certain fits under the "wrongful death" category. A lawsuit is a civil action, meaning there is a lower standard of proof than in criminal matters. If a prosecutor was unable to convict the killer of your loved one, you may still have a case for wrongful death.
Negligence may be involved in deaths related to, among other things:
In a matter involving negligence, your lawyer will have to prove that the person being sued had a duty to act a certain way. In most cases, that involves acting as a reasonable person. A reasonable person, for example, would not drive drunk. Some people, like doctors, have a higher standard to meet. A surgeon may be responsible for a death on the operating table if he or she was careless according to the standards of his or her profession.
Under the law, a person is entitled to the "full value of the life of the decedent, as shown by the evidence." This involves the difficult subject matter of the value of a life. In a wrongful death suit, you are bringing a lawsuit on behalf of the decedent, so the damages are calculated from that person's viewpoint.
The court will weigh many factors in making this determination. It will look at the victim's earning power, as demonstrated by his or her education, work history and pay history. It will look at how long the decedent could have been expected to live.
There are also damages the survivors may seek, like loss of consortium and loss of support. Loss of consortium used to mean the loss of a sexual relationship between spouses, but has been expanded to mean the loss of an emotional companion.
It is important not to assume the defendant's insurance company has a reasonable grasp on what damages you've suffered. They are trying to pay out as little money as they can get away with. Do not trust them.
Seek justice for your loved one if he or she was the victim of homicide, or died as the result of an accident caused by the negligence of another. Emanuel Balams is an Atlanta wrongful death lawyer who assists people who have lost loved ones in recovering the full extent of monetary damages owed to them. Call (404) 445-2005 today to set up a free consultation.