Most accidental deaths are not “accidents” at all – they are the outcome of someone’s negligence or wrongful act. Someone contributed to or directly caused the fatal event. Be it a drunk driver, defective product manufacturer, careless employer, or criminal, there may be an individual liable for the death of your loved one. If you recently experienced a tragic loss in the family, we first want to extend our deepest condolences. Then, we want to help you fight for justice. Our legal team at Butler Wooten & Peak LLP has the resources you need during this difficult time. Come to our offices in Atlanta to explore your legal options.
While almost any personal injury accident could result in wrongful death, there are some circumstances that place victims at higher risk of fatal injury. Learning about some possible wrongful death scenarios can help you develop a deeper understanding of the factors surrounding your loved one’s untimely death. In our years in practice throughout Georgia, we’ve helped surviving family members file claims for wrongful death after a number of different incidents, including:
Anytime someone sustains fatal injuries in an accident, the legal concept of “wrongful death” may apply. If someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or unlawful act contributed to the accident that took your loved one’s life, speak to an attorney. At Butler Wooten & Peak LLP, we have decades of experience handling these types of claims in Georgia. We’ve won multi-million dollar settlements for family members left behind. We want to help you pursue justice and compensation for a death the defendant could have prevented.
Not all untimely deaths are “wrongful.” A death may be devastating to those left behind, but sometimes no one is truly at fault for what happened. An act of God may be at the heart of the incident. In other cases, it is possible to identify one or more parties responsible for a loved one’s death. In these instances, surviving family members must follow the proper legal processes to pursue recovery through the state. Here are four wrongful death laws in Georgia you should know:
Wrongful death claims in Georgia are complex, highly involved lawsuits. They almost always require expertise from a personal injury firm. Families may not understand the systems, processes, and paperwork necessary to file this type of claim in Atlanta. A lawyer can make the claim considerably easier for surviving family members. Let Butler Wooten & Peak LLP take this burden off your shoulders so you can focus on grieving and healing instead of legal matters.
There are two distinct types of claims a party can file after a wrongful death in Georgia. The first type, a wrongful death claim, aims to compensate for the “full value of the life of the deceased.” Surviving family members bring this type of action on behalf of the deceased person. The purpose of these claims is to establish monetary damages relating to the decedent’s life, such as lost wages, lost work-related benefits, loss of consortium, and loss of intangible benefits the loved one provided. “Intangible benefits” may include care, love, companionship, parental guidance, and household duties.
The second type of lawsuit is an estate claim. The goal of an estate claim is to make up for financial losses the family suffered due to the loved one’s death. The decedent’s estate is the plaintiff in these claims, which seek to reimburse losses related to an untimely death. These damages may include funeral and burial costs, medical expenses relating to the person’s last injury/illness, and pain and suffering the decedent underwent prior to death. It is possible to file both types of claims simultaneously after wrongful death in Georgia.
After the traumatic death of a loved one, speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Butler Wooten & Peak LLP only takes a limited number of clients at a time, so that our team can tackle a case with unwavering focus and attention to detail. When you come to us with a potential wrongful death claim, we’ll first help you set up an estate. Your loved one may or may not have a will that names someone to be the representative of the estate. If not, you may need someone to step forward to fill this job. You can also file a claim without having a representative.
Next, we’ll investigate what happened to your loved one. We’ll determine if your case has merit under Georgia’s wrongful death guidelines. We may also be able to name a likely defendant in the case. If you choose to retain our attorneys for the job, we’ll file the correct documents to get the ball rolling as quickly as possible. Legal processes take time. We can help you expedite the process so your family can receive compensation for losses and expenses without unnecessary delay. Our team works on a contingency fee arrangement for wrongful death and estate claims, meaning we don’t charge for our services unless we win.
If you have a bad feeling about a loved one’s recent passing, contact us. We’ll meet with you during a free consultation or discuss your situation over the phone. After our conversation, we’ll give you a professional opinion about how you may want to proceed. We can help you navigate complicated insurance coverage issues, workers’ compensation claims, and a wrongful death lawsuit if applicable. Don’t settle for less after a devastating event like a loved one’s death. Call us in Atlanta at (404) 321-1700, in Columbus at (706) 322-1990 or toll-free at (800) 242-2962 to schedule your case evaluation with Butler Wooten & Peak LLP today!