What You Should Know About Wrongful Death
Posted on Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 at 4:23 pm
In the legal specialty of personal injury, there is something known as “wrongful death,” and this can leave you and your family emotionally and financially devastated. When a family member dies through tragedy or because of someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit for the surviving loved ones and dependents. Death is an unfortunate part of life, but deaths that are untimely and preventable should be assessed by a qualified wrongful death attorney in Atlanta.
Under the law, wrongful death happens when a person dies due to negligence on behalf of another party, including carelessness, incompetence, or failure to act. Wrongful death cases can include errors like medical malpractice, construction accidents, automobile collisions, food poisoning, and many more. A wrongful death lawsuit is filed on behalf of the deceased, and is a civil, rather than a criminal, case that is designed to help the surviving family get back on their feet and support themselves after their loss.
Those who are typically eligible to file a wrongful death claim include the deceased’s next of kin, such as their children, parents, and spouses. Establishment of a legal relationship, especially when it comes to child custody, is essential to eligibility. In some states, relatives like grandparents, dependents, and stepparents may also file.
Before you can consider filing a wrongful death claim, it’s important to speak with an experienced Atlanta wrongful death attorney to get a thorough evaluation of your case. It must be evident that your loved one’s death was indeed caused by negligence, whether that is on behalf of another individual, or a business/company. From there, your lawyer should be able to discuss the potential claims for damages that apply to your case. In brief, the most common ways that you may be awarded damages in your case are:
- Loss of income, including future income
- Loss of inheritance
- Hospital, medical, and burial costs
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of companionship/consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of support system
- Mental suffering
- Collective damages
- Loss of parenting assistance
An attorney will be able to guide you as to which of these claims can legally be made in your area, and within the circumstances of your case. Also, the general statute of limitations for wrongful death cases spans between 1-3 years after the death of your loved one, and it’s better to act sooner rather than later.
If you need help determining your eligibility to file a wrongful death case, reach out to the law office of Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. today and request your free consultation!