After you lose a loved one, you are likely to suffer strong emotions of pain, grief, and loss. No amount of money will make up for the loss of your family member. However, you may also face the added burden of medical bills, mortgage payments, funeral expenses, child care, and household chores. These expenses may add up. If your loved one died due to someone else's negligence or wrongful act, you may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit with the assistance of a personal injury lawyer to address and cover your losses. The Savannah wrongful death attorneys at the Suthers & Harper are ready to help you pursue damages.Pursuing a Wrongful Death Claim After a Fatal Accident
A wrongful death under Georgia law is a death that is caused by someone else's negligent, criminal, reckless, or intentional actions. Many wrongful death claims arise out of negligence, which occurs when someone owes a duty to use reasonable care and fails to meet this obligation, thereby causing injuries or death to someone else. For example, if a truck driver was drinking and driving and ran a red light, T-boning the victim’s car, the jury will likely see the drunk driving as a breach of the duty to use reasonable care that caused the victim’s death.
Often, wrongful death civil claims are brought alongside a criminal action pursued by the state, but these are entirely different proceedings. You do not need a criminal conviction to prevail in your wrongful death case. However, the proceedings in the criminal case could influence what happens in the civil case, so it is important to obtain representation for your civil claim as soon as possible.
Our wrongful death attorneys can help Savannah residents and others bring a lawsuit if they had a specific relationship with the victim. The first in line to be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit is the spouse of the victim. The spouse needs to represent the interests of any minor children in court, and they will always receive at least one-third of the total compensation award, even if there are many children. When there is no spouse or child who may sue, the surviving parents may bring a claim. When there are no parents able to bring the lawsuit, the personal representative of the victim’s estate may be able to bring a claim. When the personal representative sues for damages, the damages that are recovered are held by the estate for the victim’s next of kin.
A wrongful death lawsuit is meant to recover damages that establish the full value of the life of the victim and economic damages to the victim. The first type of damages is for family members. This includes damages representing lost wages, lost benefits, and loss of love, care, and companionship. The second category of damages is for the estate, and it includes hospital bills, funeral and burial expenses, and the victim’s conscious pain and suffering. If the defendant's conduct was egregious, it may be possible to recover punitive damages.Consult a Savannah Attorney for Your Wrongful Death Claim
Wrongful death lawsuits have the ability to put things right financially for families suffering from the untimely loss of a loved one. The Savannah wrongful death lawyers at the Suthers & Harper may be able to represent you in your claim. Our firm also helps families in Atlanta, Watkinsville, Norcross, Lawrenceville, Roswell, Athens, Marietta, Stone Mountain, Decatur, Pooler, Brunswick and Statesboro, and other areas of Oconee, Gwinnett, Clark, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Chatham, Glynn and Bulloch Counties. Contact us by calling 1.800.320.2384 or completing our online form to set up a free consultation with a car crash lawyer or discuss another type of claim arising from a fatal accident.