Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyer
Have you been struggling to cope after losing a loved one? Contact a compassionate wrongful death lawyer in Atlanta at Monge & Associates to get justice for your family member.
Some deaths we see coming, as with old age, though this doesn’t make our loved one’s passing any easier. But our grief and loss can be worsened knowing that someone else is responsible for the death of a close family member. During a time when you should be able to mourn, the last thing you need is to be inundated with financial strain on top of your emotional distress.
Fortunately, a high-powered Atlanta wrongful death lawyer at Monge & Associates may be able to help you get through this challenging time in your life. We’ll work tirelessly in order to figure out who is responsible for your relative’s passing so they can be held accountable for their conduct. Read on to learn more about how the wrongful death claims process works.
What Makes a Death Wrongful in Nature?
The ability to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit depends on whether the death in question is, in fact, wrongful. Law defines death as wrongful if it was caused by the “negligent, reckless, intentional, or criminal” acts of someone else. In essence, if another party is responsible for causing your loved one’s death, you may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit.
This is similar to the personal injury claim that the deceased would have been able to pursue if they had not succumbed to their injuries. But just because they died doesn’t mean they aren’t entitled to justice. Because the decedent is unable to advocate for their rights, it’s up to the appropriate party.
Responsibility for Filing Wrongful Death Claims
Under the wrongful death statute, only certain parties have the right to move forward with a wrongful death claim. If the decedent was married at the time of their death, the surviving spouse will be able to file the claim.
When a surviving spouse files a wrongful death lawsuit, they also advocate for the interests of any surviving children the decedent had. Here, the surviving spouse will always receive at least one-third of the injury settlement, and the rest will be divided among the surviving children.
In the event that the decedent did not have a surviving spouse, the law states that an Atlanta wrongful death claim can be filed by the decedent’s surviving parents or their personal representative of their estate.
In cases where the wrongful death claim is filed by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate, any compensation recovered from the liable party will be provided to the decedent’s beneficiary.
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Lawsuits
As with most civil claims, wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within the statute of limitations. If you fail to get your claim filed before the statute of limitations expires, then you will no longer have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable party or be awarded the compensation your family needs to finally mourn in peace.
However, there are several exceptions to this rule. For example, if there was a criminal case taking place against the liable party for the death of your loved one (such as in a drunk driving accident case), the statute of limitations would be temporarily suspended until the criminal case is resolved.
Your wrongful death claim could also be put on hold for a maximum of five years if the decedent’s estate did not go through probate. Here, you could have up to seven years to file your claim within the civil court system in Atlanta.
Every death and wrongful death claim is different. If you have questions or concerns about how the state’s statute of limitations could influence your injury settlement, contact your wrongful death lawyer at Monge & Associates to further discuss the details of your case.
Maximizing Your Wrongful Death Claim in Atlanta
Because wrongful death claims in Georgia are filed on behalf of the decedent, the damages that can be awarded in the claim are similar to those that the decedent would have sought had they had the opportunity to pursue a personal injury claim. Some of these losses could include:
- Lost income and benefits
- Diminished earning capacity
- Loss of love and companionship
- Loss of advice, society, and support
- Loss of household services
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
The surviving family can also seek compensation for the ways their lives have been financially impacted by the loss of their loved one. Some of these losses could include:
- Cost of the funeral and burial
- The decedent’s medical expenses relating to their fatal injury
- Unexpected childcare costs
- Costs of household maintenance
These are just a few of the different types of losses that could be sought after in your Atlanta wrongful death claim. Your lawyer can give you a better idea of what you could be awarded in your claim if it is successful.
Wrongful Death FAQ
If you feel intimidated at the thought of pursuing civil litigation, you are not alone. The surviving family members mourning a wrongful death are often unsure of their next steps and have countless questions about the claims process. In the hopes of easing your mind as you work to navigate this tough time, we have provided a quick FAQ below.
This will provide you with the answers to some of the questions that surviving relatives pursuing wrongful death claims have had. If you have additional questions not included here, call our office to discuss the details of your unique case.
Can I file a claim on behalf of my child?
Yes, you can. Children have the same right to full compensation after an accident as adults. But they are neither able, nor have the capacity to, advocate for their rights. That part is up to you as their parent or guardian.
What about punitive damages?
It’s certainly possible that you could be awarded punitive damages.
Will I have to bring my case to court?
Many wrongful death claims can be settled without having to go to court. But if your best opportunity at obtaining full compensation for your loved one’s passing is to go to court, in which a judge and jury can hear your case, then going to court may be the better option.
Get Help from a Wrongful Death Lawyer
When you are ready to get started on your case and require exceptional legal representation, contact a high-powered Atlanta wrongful death lawyer at Monge & Associates.
Our firm provides complimentary consultations to those grieving a wrongful death across Atlanta and the state of Georgia. Call 404-481-3826 or fill out the quick contact form below to schedule your free case evaluation.
Monge & Associates is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with offices throughout South Carolina, Tennessee, and the Southeast.