Wrongful Death in Georgia: A Guide

Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Georgia: What Families Should Know

There is no way to replace someone's life, but wrongful death in Georgia provides recourse to grieving families who have lost a loved one because of another person's wrongful acts.

By filing a wrongful death claim, you can seek restitution on behalf of your loved one. Read on to learn if you are eligible and how you can file a claim with the help of a wrongful death attorney in Dallas, GA.

What is Wrongful Death in Georgia?

Georgia law defines wrongful death as a fatality resulting from another person's negligence, recklessness, criminal behavior, or a defective product.

Examples of Wrongful Death

To be considered a wrongful death in Georgia, the case must be proven to have been caused by:

A Defective Product

If a person suffered an injury or illness resulting in death by a product, their family members might be able to file a wrongful death claim. Issues such as improper labeling or known design defects mean the manufacturer or distributor of the product can be held responsible for a family member's death.

A Negligence-Based Incident

Suppose a person was driving along a Georgia highway and another vehicle struck their car resulting in a collision. In that case, there may be grounds for filing a wrongful death lawsuit if they suffered a fatal injury. If the driver was speeding at the time of the collision or disregarded any traffic law or safety regulation, they may be deemed to have acted with negligence or recklessness. 

Medical Malpractice

Sadly, many wrongful death claims are filed due to someone else's irresponsibility, such as medical malpractice. When someone dies due to medical malpractice, it can be caused by surgeon errors, nurse negligence, misdiagnosis, medication errors, or other hospital negligence.

An Intentional Act

If someone passes away due to a fatal injury caused by an assault or other crime, such issues may be grounds for seeking restitution. A wrongful death lawyer in Dallas, GA, may help you file a wrongful death claim against the person responsible for the death.

Determining Who Is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Claim

When someone suffers an untimely death, it affects their whole family. Certain relatives may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit on their family member's behalf. These relatives may include:

Things You Should Know if You're Considering Filing a Claim

To determine the maximum amount of compensation for damages to which a person may be entitled, the court will review certain information. This might include any lost benefits or income the individual may have suffered because of their loved one's death. Issues regarding the intangible value of the loss of companionship or care are also taken into consideration.

As a plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit, they will be expected to provide evidence that proves negligence, recklessness, or intentional harm committed in the incident that led to the family member's passing. The court will also want proof that these issues were a direct cause of the injuries or illness that resulted in death. 

A Claim Must Be Filed in a Timely Manner

Wrongful death claims come under the category of personal injury in a court of law. It is imperative to seek clarification of the rules in your state so that you are aware of any statute of limitations that may exist regarding seeking restitution for damages in a wrongful death claim. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for such cases is two years but may be extended to as many as six years if the at-fault party has been charged criminally.

Regarding litigation, it is typically the case that the sooner you take steps to seek financial recovery for your losses, the better. However, it is understandable that individuals may not feel up to navigating the civil justice system in the early days or weeks that follow their loved one's passing. 

Speak With an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney in Dallas, GA

When you are ready to take the next steps to begin this process, it is recommended to schedule a case evaluation with a knowledgeable personal injury law attorney. Speaking with someone well-versed in such laws is often beneficial to the overall healing process during this difficult time.

A trustworthy wrongful death lawyer can help you navigate your claim and win the damages you and your family deserve. Contact Lonati Law Firm to schedule your free consultation today. 678-363-3500

Frequently Asked Questions

See some of the most common questions we hear below. Give us a call for more information!

How Much Will I Have to Pay to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Our clients never pay upfront costs to file a wrongful death case with Lonati Law Firm. Our legal fees are paid by a small percentage of the money we win for your case. In other words, if we don't win money for you, we don't get paid.

Our attorneys will handle all of the upfront court costs for you, including filing fees, investigation costs, deposition costs, expenses of record requests, travel, expert witness fees, and trial preparation costs.

When you need a lawyer on your side that can manage everything for you and ensure your case is handled correctly, you need Lonati Law Firm.

How Long Will a Wrongful Death Case Take?

The time it takes to resolve a wrongful death claim depends on several factors.

Probate Court

First, your attorney will contact the court and get the decedent's estate set up. This usually takes a couple of weeks, but sometimes a few months depending on how quickly the Probate Court can get things done.

Some families are complicated, and it can take a while to get all the necessary relatives on the same page about what to do.

Defendants

Sometimes, large corporate defendants will try to stall the litigation process as much as possible so they can stay in business longer or avoid paying you the money you deserve. With defendants like that, cases can last for several years. But not all defendants share that mindset. Some companies can be truly remorseful for what happened and may be ready to resolve the case quickly.

Available Insurance Limits

Sometimes, a defendant may not carry sufficient insurance coverage to compensate a family for the death of their loved one. In these situations, most plaintiffs choose to give the insurance company a chance to pay the policy limits by a fair deadline. If an insurance company handles a claim correctly, it shouldn't take long before the claim is resolved, maybe even just a few months.

Family's Wishes

Some families feel that their loved one was killed because of misconduct or negligence, and they want to take the case to court. Other families want the case to be handled quickly to move on with their lives and have closure. No matter which approach you take with Lonati Law Firm, we'll do everything we can to satisfy your wishes for the case.

Can a Georgia Wrongful Death Lawyer File a Case After a Shooting or Other Crime?

Yes, the Lonati Law Firm firm has handled such cases successfully in the past.

When shootings or violent crimes happen, victims often choose to sue the owners of the property. Businesses like hotels, clubs, apartment complexes, and restaurants are responsible for keeping their business property reasonably safe.

If a business fails to keep its paying customers reasonably safe and death occurs due to this, then the company may be held financially accountable.

Can a Georgia wrongful death lawyer bring a case after a motorcycle, bicycle, scooter, or pedestrian accident?

Yes, we have helped many clients with wrongful death involving bike accidents, motorcycle accidents, scooter accidents, and pedestrian accidents.

Wrongful death cases involving alternative transportation require a complete investigation of the event. When choosing an attorney to handle your wrongful death claim, make sure your lawyer carefully examines every angle to get you the settlement you deserve.

Can a Georgia wrongful death lawyer bring a case after a car accident or trucking accident?

The short answer is yes, Lonati Law Firm can help you.

Unfortunately, thousands of Georgians die every year in truck and car accidents. For decades, the rate of fatalities was decreasing, but in recent years it began increasing again. Nobody is sure why, but the increase suggests that distracted driving, such as texting and driving, could be the cause.

A wrongful death case arising from a car or truck accident can be incredibly complex. You need an attorney who understands the complexities and is prepared to fight for your rights in court.

At Lonati Law Firm, our mission is to ensure that you get the compensation your family needs after losing a loved one in a wrongful death accident in Dallas, GA.

Get Your FREE Consultation With a Dallas Wrongful Death Lawyer Today

At Lonati law firm, we care about your family and what you're going through. We understand how painful the loss of a loved one is.

Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your options and determine what type of compensation you may be entitled to. Call 678-363-3500 or fill out the form on our website to speak with an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Dallas today.

What You Need to Know About Dallas Wrongful Death Lawyers

Losing a loved one is never easy. This pain is often made worse if your loved one’s death was the result of negligence or ill intent by another person or entity. Dallas Wrongful Death Lawyers could help you with filing a wrongful death lawsuit, so you can collect monetary damages for your pain and suffering and for the lost income of your loved one.

If you’ve lost a spouse, parent, or loved one due to another person’s negligence in Georgia, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages with the help of our Dallas Wrongful Death Lawyers.

Here’s what you should know about Georgia’s laws on wrongful death.

How Does Georgia Define "Wrongful Death"?

In the state of Georgia, wrongful death is defined as follows:

(1) “Full value of the life of the decedent (the individual who passed away), as shown by the evidence” means the full value of the life of the decedent without deducting for any of the necessary or personal expenses of the decedent had he lived.

(2) “Homicide” includes all cases in which the death of a human being results from a crime, from criminal or other negligence, or from property that has been defectively manufactured, whether or not as the result of negligence.

Negligence is generally defined as failing to show reasonable care when there is a duty to do so.

Wrongful death is a civil offense, which means it is distinct from the criminal charges typically associated with murder and manslaughter charges. While wrongful death statutes vary by jurisdiction, wrongful death generally involves the death of an individual as a result of the actions or negligence of the individual charged with the crime. Wrongful death directly addresses the financial impact of the death and attempts to rectify the financial hardship that has been caused as a result of the death.

Wrongful death statutes specifically state that the charge can be brought by members of the deceased individual’s immediate family as well as any financial dependents who relied on the deceased individual. Beyond that, cases have been made in which distant family members and others who suffer financial consequences as a result of the death are also eligible to sue for wrongful death.

In addition to individuals, wrongful death suits can be filed against government agencies or agents, industrial or commercial entities, and even drivers.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Dallas, Georgia?

The state of Georgia has specifications about who can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

If you are the surviving spouse of a victim of wrongful death, you may bring a wrongful death suit against the negligent party. If you and the deceased had minor children together, the suit will also represent the interests of those children.

Sometimes, a victim of wrongful death has no spouse. In these cases, the parents of the victim may bring a wrongful death suit against the negligent party.

If there is no spouse or parent, a representative of the deceased’s estate may bring a wrongful death lawsuit to court. In this instance, all damages received from the wrongful death claim would be held by the deceased’s estate.

When Can You File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Georgia?

The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in Georgia is two years after the victim’s date of death.

In some cases, the timer for the two-year limit is paused. For instance, if there is an ongoing criminal case surrounding the wrongful death, the two-year time limit for the wrongful death lawsuit is on hold until the case is completed.

How Dallas Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help With a Wrongful Death Case

Any time you go to court, having an experienced attorney by your side is a good idea. When dealing with a situation as serious as wrongful death, it is important to utilize the expertise of an attorney to ensure that you and your family get the maximum financial award you are entitled to.

It almost goes without saying that the aftermath of a death is an emotional time. This can make it difficult to think clearly or to take the necessary steps to move forward with a wrongful death case. An attorney can be your rational thinker while you cope with the death of a loved one.

To learn more about wrongful death cases, or to discuss the possibility of filing a wrongful death case, contact the Dallas Wrongful Death Lawyers at Lonati Law Firm by calling 678-363-3500.