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How to Determine Whether You Have a Wrongful Death Claim

by on August 18, 2013

 

How do you know if you may actu–ally  have a wrongful death claim ?

Our attorneys at K & W Legal take a closer look at who can bring a claim and which claims can be brought against someone or a business within our state of Georgia–

The cause of action, according to ” wrongful death in Georgia” was brought about by the legislature. This is sometimes referred to as a “statutory cause of action” or a claim that is governed by a “statutory scheme.” 

In other words a claim must have a death caused by negligent, reckless, intentional or the criminal acts of another person or business. The accused wrongdoer in this situation may also be referred to as the “tortleasor” for the type of conduct to prove in court.

Since wrongful death in Georgia is governed by a statute, there is a strict statutory order with respect to who can bring the claim for the value of the deceased person’s life.

A surviving spouse is typically the first one in line. If the deceased was not married the surviving children would be next in line for the claim. If there is no surviving spouse and children, the parents of the person who died become next in line. If there are no parents  then at this point the next qualified person to file a claim moves down to the estate executor, and any damages recovered will go to the next of kin.

Deadlines for Georgia Wrongful Death Claims (Statute of Limitations):
This statute provides any one eligible up to TWO YEARS from the date of the deceased’s death to bring the claim.

Evidence:
In a wrongful death case pinpointing the burden of proof is the responsibility the Plaintiff, or the party bringing the claim. This is necessary in order to prove the element of his/her case by what our legal system calls, “a preponderance of evidence.” In other words this imply means your proof of evidence must have a “greater and heavier weight” than that of the opposing party.

Damages:
Georgia’s progressive wrongful death statute states that the value of a human life is to be viewed and valued from the perspective of the deceased. That means the awarding of damages by a judge to a wrongful death case will based on the value of a person’s life to himself/herself. The victim’s estate also holds the claim for any medical bills, conscious pain and suffering prior to death, PLUS the funeral expenses (all subject to state income taxes). The “full value of the life of the deceased”  refers to the economic earnings the deceased would have been making throughout his lifetime.

The Process:
The person bringing a wrongful death claim will have to realistically expect to spend time talking to lawyers, gathering information or evidence from the victim’s personal life, and possibly attending legal proceedings such as deposition hearings and trials.

Hiring the right attorney for claims like wrongful death is really the key to a smooth process for settling your claim. Experienced lawyers like those of us on the K & Legal team can provide realistic advice up front, based on merits and complexity of the case, as well as what a likely jury verdict would if litigated.

If you think you may have a wrongful death claim to file in the Atlanta metro area contact K & W Legal TODAY at 404.835.8080.

We can fulfill all your expectations from the start… and we’ll provide you with the ongoing support you need throughout the entire process to ensure you have a successful outcome.

We will fight for you!
–The K & W Legal Team


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Disclaimer: This website is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship or serve as a substitute for legal counsel. If you are in need of specific legal advice, please contact an attorney immediately. Please note that communication with an attorney or staff member at Krause, Golomb & Witcher, LLC, does not by itself create an attorney- client relationship or constitute the provision or receipt of legal advice. Any communication from an attorney or staff member should be considered informational only, and should not be relied or acted upon until a formal attorney-client relationship is established via a written agreement signed by all parties. While we have achieved great results for many of our clients, we cannot guarantee the outcome of your potential case. Our firm services all of Georgia. We are authorized to to practice in all of the State Courts of Georgia, including all State Courts, Superior Courts, Georgia Court of Appeals and Georgia Supreme Court, as well as in the Federal Courts in the Northern District Court of Georgia and Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District Krause, Golomb & Witcher, LLC of Georgia, and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.