The sudden death of a loved one is a devastating experience for any family. When the breadwinner of the family passes away unexpectedly due to the wrongdoing or negligence of another, it can be emotionally, psychologically, and financially draining. When you have lost a loved one due to the wrongdoing or negligence of another party, a claim for wrongful death can be brought against the responsible party in Conyers, Georgia.
Proving negligence of the responsible party is quite a complex task. You need to work with an experienced Conyers wrongful death lawyer at Bethune Law Firm to claim compensation for your emotional and financial losses. Bethune Law has been representing victims in injury cases and their family members since 1997.
The skilled wrongful death lawyers at Bethune Law will thoroughly investigate the events that led to your family member’s death and seek to prosecute the responsible party and obtain the maximum compensation for your damages. Georgia law allows the victim to recover the full amount that represents the full value of the decedent’s life. Call a personal injury lawyer with Bethune Law Firm for all your wrongful death cases in Georgia.
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How is Wrongful Death Defined in the State of Georgia?
Georgia law defines wrongful death as the death of an individual caused due to the negligent, reckless, criminal, or intentional acts of another person or entity. Negligence is defined as the failure to use reasonable care when performing a duty – which may result in harm to another. In a wrongful death case, the victim is no longer alive to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Instead, the family members of the deceased person or a personal representative of the deceased person’s estate should file the case.
Who is Qualified to File A Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
Georgia’s wrongful death statute has strict rules regarding who can file a wrongful death case in the state. If the deceased has a surviving spouse, he or she is qualified to bring forward the case. But if the deceased has surviving children, the spouse should act as a representative of the children and share the claim awarded to the family.
Although the spouse is supposed to share the claim with their children, they will never receive less than a third of the compensation according to Georgia law. On the other hand, if the deceased was divorced at the time of death, the surviving children will share the claim between them.
If the deceased doesn’t have a surviving spouse or children, the executor of the deceased person’s estate can file a wrongful death case. The damages that are recovered in such a case will be held for the benefit of the deceased’s next of kin.
What Types of Damages are Recoverable?
Georgia law states that all damages in a wrongful death case should be directly related to the deceased’s injury and subsequent death. Damages suffered by family members due to the untimely death of their spouse, parent, or child are not relevant to the compensation. Georgia law specifies three general categories of damages such as:
- Medical costs, funeral expenses, and other expenses that resulted from the injuries and death of the individual.
- Medical expenses, pain & suffering, and other damages that arise during the period between the injuries of the person and his/her untimely death.
- The full value of the life of the deceased.
Can The Surviving Family File For Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are not recoverable in wrongful death cases in Conyers, GA, because the wrongful death itself is designed to punish the negligence of the at-fault party. But there is an exception to this rule where punitive damages are awarded to the deceased surviving family if the defendant’s conduct was intentional, malicious, and displayed a callous disregard to the safety and well-being of the deceased.
The jury will decide whether punitive damages are relevant in your case. Punitive damages are financial awards that are designed to punish the negligent party for its behavior. You should always hire an experienced wrongful death lawyer at Bethune Law to file a lawsuit on behalf of your deceased family member. Our team has the right skills and experience to argue your case and claim the maximum compensation for your loss.
How Do You Prove Negligence in a Wrongful Death Case?
A wrongful death lawsuit should prove that your family member died due to the wrongful or negligent actions of another party. The lawyer should present four basic elements to prove that the defendant was responsible for injury and the untimely death of your loved one. The four elements of a wrongful death claim are:
The deceased owed duty of care from the defendant. Duty of care is defined as the duty of refraining from causing harm to another person. The defendant had an obligation to keep the deceased safe and secure.
Breach of duty
The plaintiff should prove that the defendant breached his/her duty of care towards the deceased. The plaintiff should be able to demonstrate how the defendant violated the duty of care. It could be through a specific action/inaction when another person in the same situation would act responsibly.
The plaintiff needs to prove that the breach of duty was the actual cause of the injuries and untimely death of his/her loved one. The plaintiff should show that death resulted from the defendant’s actions and not due to any other reason.
The plaintiff should prove that the deceased suffered the damages that he/she is claiming from the defendant. A qualified attorney could produce evidence of unpaid medical bills, funeral costs, and unexpected financial losses suffered by the deceased family.
How Do You Start a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
You should hire a qualified and experienced wrongful death lawyer at Bethune Law to file your case and obtain maximum compensation for your damages. The lawyer has the necessary experience to build a strong case by interviewing witnesses and experts in the industry.
Contact a Conyers Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another party, you can file a wrongful death claim in Conyers GA. Bethune Law is your trusted partner in filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Conyers. Call Bethune Law Firm for all your wrongful death cases in Conyers GA.