Losing a loved one is devastating in any context, but an accidental, unexpected death can be even more tragic in many ways. Unfortunately, these incidents are quite common according to statistics compiled by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2017, unintentional injuries claimed the lives of 169,936 individuals; this number represents a significant increase over the average from the previous five years.
As a surviving family member, your losses can be considerable, affecting you financially and emotionally. Georgia law does provide you with rights through a wrongful death claim, which is akin to a personal injury case. An Atlanta wrongful death attorney can explain your options in more detail, but you can also review the types of negligence that can lead to legal action.
Common Types of Wrongful Death Cases: Almost any accident that results from carelessness or recklessness can result in a wrongful death claim in Georgia. Some examples include:
- Car, truck, and motorcycle collisions, many of which result from speeding, drunk driving, texting while driving, and other violations of Georgia traffic laws;
- Pedestrian, bicycle, and scooter accidents;
- Slip and fall injuries and other incidents that occur due to dangerous conditions on property;
- Medical malpractice, including medical mistakes and diagnosis errors;
- Nursing home neglect and abuse;
- Dangerous, defective products; and,
- Many others.
Proving a Negligence-Based Case: Georgia’s statute on wrongful death claims allows a surviving spouse or personal representative to recover compensation, but you must be able to prove the factors of negligence. They are:
- The responsible party had a duty to exercise reasonable care when acting, so as to avoid causing a risk of harm to others;
- That person or entity breached this duty;
- The breach of duty was a direct cause of the accident in which your loved one was killed; and,
- You and designated family members suffered losses as a result of that person’s death.
Though it’s not an element of a negligence case, you should also be aware of your time restrictions. Georgia’s statute of limitations on wrongful death cases is two years, so you must file a lawsuit within this time to preserve your rights.
Seek Compensation for Your Losses: There are two types of monetary damages you can recover through a wrongful death claim, one of which pertains to your own losses. For instance, your loved one’s passing results in lost income and financial support. You’re also affected by losses of guidance, education, emotional support, and the effects upon your personal relationship. A second type of compensation is available to cover the victim’s medical expenses, burial and funeral, and related costs.
You Can Trust an Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyer with Your Claim
Though it cannot bring a loved one back, a wrongful death claim may help alleviate some of the financial struggles you experience due to his or her passing. To learn more about the types of negligence that can result in a wrongful death case, please contact the Atlanta, GA Law Offices of Julie A. Rice. We can set up a complimentary consultation to explain your rights and how these cases work.