Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyer
Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyers
If you lost a loved one in Atlanta, you may have financial recovery options. State law allows some grieving families to recover compensation after losing loved ones to negligence. An Atlanta wrongful death lawyer can prove the party’s role in your loved one’s passing and seek a fair payout on your family’s behalf.
Buckhead Law Saxton Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. provides a free case evaluation for families who lost loved ones in Atlanta. We want to be a beacon of hope during this dark time in your life. While we manage your case, you can focus on your and your family’s well-being. Call our wrongful death attorney today to discuss your case and options for financial recovery.
Our Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorneys Represent Families
Since 1977, Buckhead Law Saxton Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., has helped grieving families in the greater Atlanta metro area seek compensation and justice for their loved ones through the legal system. We understand the immense heartache of losing a family member, especially when their death was due to someone else’s negligence. That’s why we offer compassionate and personalized attention to all of our clients.
Our dedication to providing superior legal representation to accident victims and their family members is seen in our track record of success. Through the years, we have recovered millions in settlements and verdicts for our clients. We are committed to protecting the rights and financial interests of our clients.
Contact an Atlanta wrongful death attorney from Buckhead Law Saxton Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., for a free consultation, and let us explain how we can help you.
Atlanta Wrongful Death Claims
Wrongful death refers to a legal concept where a person’s death is believed to have been caused by the negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions of another party. This can occur in various situations such as automobile accidents or criminal acts.
Unlike a criminal case, a wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit filed by the surviving family members or beneficiaries of the wrongful death victim against the party or parties believed to be responsible for the death. The purpose of such a claim is to seek compensation for damages such as loss of financial support, loss of companionship, funeral expenses, and other related losses.
Wrongful death laws are complex, so it’s important to consult with an experienced attorney who handles cases in this area to understand the specific legal requirements and options available in a particular case.
Types of Wrongful Death Claims We Handle
Our personal injury lawyers handle wrongful deaths in almost any type of traffic incident, including:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle collisions
- Truck crashes
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle crashes
- Uber and Lyft collisions
- Bus accidents
Not all fatal accidents become wrongful death claims. To prove liability in a wrongful death claim, we must show that because another party acted carelessly, your loved one suffered fatal injuries, and your family deserves compensation. An experienced wrongful death attorney can review the circumstances of your case to determine whether you have grounds to bring a case.
Our Lawyers Work on a Contingency-Fee Basis
Our Georgia wrongful death attorneys work based on contingency fees. We do not charge your family anything upfront for our services and representation. Instead, we get paid a portion of the money we recover in your case. We only charge attorney’s fees at your case’s successful resolution..
Building a Case to Support Your Atlanta Wrongful Death Claim
In a personal injury case, negligence refers to the failure of an individual or entity to exercise reasonable care, resulting in harm or injury to another person. Negligence is a key concept in tort law and is the basis for many personal injury claims.
To establish negligence in a wrongful death claim (which is a type of personal injury case), typically four elements must be proven:
- Duty of care: The plaintiff (the party bringing the claim) must demonstrate that the defendant (the party being sued) owed a legal duty of care to the deceased person. For example, in the case of a motor vehicle accident, all motorists have a duty to drive safely and follow traffic rules.
- Breach of duty: The plaintiff must show that the defendant breached or violated the duty of care owed to the deceased person. This means that the defendant failed to act with the level of care that a reasonable person would exercise in similar circumstances. For example, a motorist who speeds or drives recklessly is breaching his duty to follow traffic rules.
- Causation: The plaintiff must establish a causal connection between the defendant’s breach of duty and the death of the individual. In the case of a car accident, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant’s reckless driving directly led to the fatal accident.
- Damages: Finally, the plaintiff must prove that they suffered actual damages as a result of the wrongful death. These damages may include economic losses (such as medical expenses and lost income) as well as non-economic losses (such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and emotional distress).
If all four elements of negligence are successfully established, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses through a wrongful death claim. Sound complex? An experienced Atlanta wrongful death lawyer from our firm can navigate the complexities of these cases effectively to ensure you obtain justice for your loved one’s death.
We Gather Evidence to Supplement Your Fatal Collision Claim
Our wrongful death lawyers double as investigators. We know how to access information from Georgia law enforcement, traffic cameras, and other authorities. We take the necessary steps to develop a strong case that allows your family to pursue appropriate compensation.
Some common types of evidence in these cases include:
- The accident report filed by the responding officers
- Eyewitness statements
- Accident reconstruction data
- Photos and videos of the accident
- Physical evidence
- An accident scene survey
- Relevant medical records and autopsy results
- Expert opinions
- Documentation of the collision’s economic impacts
- Proof of expenses and losses
Whether we negotiate with the insurance company and settle or take the case to trial, collecting evidence allows us to show what happened and why our clients deserve a payout based on their cases’ facts. This evidence serves as proof of your damages and the other party’s liability.
Suing With Help From an Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyer
While most traffic accident cases settle out of court, lawsuits are sometimes necessary to recover fair compensation for our clients. This is true in wrongful death actions, too. In some cases, we need to file a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court.
There are two ways we can secure wrongful death compensation for our client in a lawsuit:
- Negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company; or
- Taking the case to trial, and the jury ruling favorably.
While some wrongful death lawsuits go to trial, many still settle outside of court. Sometimes, filing a lawsuit incentivizes the insurer to settle. However, we’re prepared to litigate your case if doing so could yield a fair outcome.
We File Your Lawsuit Within Georgia’s Statutory Deadline
Georgia’s wrongful death law typically gives us two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, some situations provide exceptions to this rule. For instance, suppose a motorist working for the government hit your vehicle. In this situation, you could have six months to sue.
Your wrongful death lawyer in Atlanta can evaluate your case’s filing deadline and fulfill them accordingly. However, this requires us to learn about your case first. If you contact us outside of the applicable filing period, you may have no legal recourse..
Our Atlanta Wrongful Death Team Can Seek Compensation for Your Family
Our attorneys understand that no amount of money can ever cover the depth of your emotional losses. However, financial recovery can reduce the financial strain of the accident and allow you some comfort while you mourn.
A serious traffic accident is expensive. So are medical and funeral expenses. If your loved one initially survived the incident and spent time in one of Atlanta’s two Level I trauma centers, such as Grady Memorial Hospital or WellStar Atlanta Medical Center, your family likely has costly medical bills to cover, too.
Georgia law allows families to recover two types of damages in a wrongful death case. These include economic and non-economic damages:
Economic Damages Related to the Decedent’s Injuries and Death
All financial expenses related to your loved one’s accident and death fall under this category, and they include:
- Medical care costs incurred before their passing
- Any other related expenses, with receipts or other documentation
- Lost projected income
- The cost of replacing or repairing their vehicle
We calculate these losses by adding up your receipts, consulting with field experts, and projecting your anticipated losses.
Non-Economic Losses Related to Your Loved One’s Passing
Our team understands how to calculate non-economic damages as they relate to wrongful death cases.
- Loss of consortium. You can seek financial recovery for the hardships associated with losing a spouse.
- Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering damages account for the hardships your loved one endured before their passing. It also reflects your family’s challenges.
- Loss of parental guidance. Children of the decedent can pursue loss of parental guidance, or the emotional support they would have received from a late parent.
Each wrongful death case comes with its own set of compensable losses. So, you may seek additional losses to those listed here.
We Can Determine Who Can File Your Atlanta Wrongful Death Action
The law clearly defines who can file a wrongful death lawsuit and recover compensation. It is generally limited to the decedent’s immediate family. In most cases, this includes either their spouse and children or parents.
Georgia law prioritizes who can seek wrongful death-related expenses through legal action. In a negligence-based incident, the following parties (in this particular order) can pursue financial compensation:
A Surviving Spouse (or a Spouse and Children)
The first person that Georgia law allows to file a wrongful death action is the victim’s spouse. The spouse can file on behalf of themselves and their children.
The parties generally split the compensation equally when there are both a spouse and children. This can become complex when there are adult children or children from a previous marriage. While the spouse and all surviving children each get a portion of the proceeds, the spouse never receives less than a third of the total payout, according to the statute.
Children of the Decedent
If the decedent is unmarried, divorced, or has no surviving spouse, the right to act moves to any surviving children of the decedent. This includes representatives for minor children or adult children acting on their own. They generally split the proceeds evenly regardless of age or other factors.
If the decedent is unmarried and has no children, either surviving parent can file a wrongful death lawsuit. This is common when the victim is a minor, but it also applies to many other relatives.
The Decedent’s Personal Representative
When a decedent has no spouse, children, or surviving parents, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the estate. A personal representative, the administrator of the estate plan, or the party named by the probate court can oversee this process.
When a personal representative files a wrongful death lawsuit and wins, all compensation goes to the estate, and the representative distributes it to heirs accordingly.
How Do I Know Who Can Represent Our Family?
If you are still unsure who can represent your loved one in a wrongful death case, our team is here. We provide free case assessments. During this conversation with our team, we can determine your options based on your case’s facts.
We understand that some people hesitate to act in these cases because discussing the loss of a loved one is never easy. However, we must meet the deadlines set by the state if we are going to hold the at-fault party responsible. For that reason, we encourage you to consider legal help as soon as possible.
Atlanta Wrongful Death FAQs
If you’re unfamiliar with the legal process, you may have many questions surrounding your options, such as:
How Long Does It Take to Resolve a Wrongful Death Case?
The time it takes to resolve personal injury cases depends on many factors unique to each situation, including:
- How willing the insurer is to settle
- Issues surrounding fault and liability
- Your case’s available evidence
- The amount of compensation you’re requesting
- The circumstances of your loved one’s passing
Wrongful death cases don’t come with pre-determined timelines. So, another case similar to yours could progress in a different way. Our team intends to keep your case on track so you can recover the compensation you need promptly.
How Much Can I Recover Through a Wrongful Death Action?
How much you can recover depends on your situation, including:
- The medical care your loved one required
- The cost of your financial losses
- Any allegations of fault and liability
- Your loved one’s lost income
- Your loved one’s role in the household
- Your loved one’s age
We’ve recovered generous settlements for wrongful death claimants in Atlanta. We’ve recovered millions for traffic accident victims, too. Our team stands ready to seek everything you need to account for your financial hardships.
What Challenges Can I Expect in a Wrongful Death Case?
Without legal help, you could face these challenges in a wrongful death claim or lawsuit:
- Issues regarding fault. The other party may blame your loved one for the accident, hoping to deflect liability. This could make recovering damages complicated—especially if the accident’s cause isn’t clear.
- Disputes about your damages’ cost. You may know the actual cost of your losses. Yet, the insurer may still offer less than you need. A lawyer from our team can negotiate a settlement with the liable party. If you don’t get representation, you could face this process alone.
- Bad faith insurance practices. You expect the insurer to treat you with respect. You’re grieving, after all. Still, some insurers don’t fairly offer claimants what they’re owed. You could find yourself going back and forth with the insurer for months, endlessly fighting for what you need.
Our team protects you from any challenges that keep you from pursuing damages.
Discuss Your Legal Options With Our Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyers
Buckhead Law Saxton Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can help if your loved one passed away in an Atlanta accident caused by someone else’s negligence. You have a right to pursue justice and recover compensation. Our attorneys know what it takes to navigate this process. We offer free consultations with our team so you can learn more. Let us assess your case. Dial (404) 890-5631 or (770) GET PAID to begin.
Buckhead Law Saxton Injury & Accident Lawyers, P.C. – Atlanta Office
1995 N Park Pl SE Suite 207,
Atlanta, GA 30339
Get Aggressive Legal Help Today!
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident in Atlanta, you need to take action now. To schedule your free case evaluation, please contact an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer at Buckhead Law Saxton Injury & Accident Lawyers, P.C. today by calling 770-GET-PAID.
The Buckhead Law Saxton Injury & Accident Lawyers, P.C. is a Personal Injury Law practice that is an advocate for the underserved in Atlanta.