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Decatur Wrongful Death Lawyer

If your loved one died because of another person’s negligence or the actions of an entity, it can have devastating repercussions on you and your family. While you mourn the unexpected death of your loved one, you may have to deal with mounting debt related to what happened. You can take legal action against the person responsible. This includes contacting a Decatur wrongful death lawyer to begin filing a wrongful death claim and hold the negligent party accountable for their actions.

If you and your family have experienced the wrongful death of a loved one, call our law firm today. If you're unsure of the circumstances of your loved one's unnatural death qualify as wrongful death, call one of our Decatur personal injury attorneys and they will help you determine the right legal action for you to take.

While we understand that no amount of money can bring your loved one back; we also know that the financial compensation for your loss can ease your burden, hold the responsible party accountable, and help you get closure. To schedule a no-cost initial consultation with one of our experienced wrongful death attorneys, contact our Decatur personal injury law firm today at (404) 939-1485 for a no-cost initial consultation.

What Qualifies as Wrongful Death in Decatur, GA?

According to Georgia state laws, wrongful death is the death of a person caused by the reckless, negligent, intentional, or criminal actions of another person or company. Negligence is failing to use reasonable care when there’s a duty to do so, resulting in harm to another person. Common causes of wrongful deaths include motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, automobile accidents, defective products, animal attacks, truck crashes, train crashes, abuse, neglect, and accidents at work.

A wrongful death lawsuit is similar to a standard personal injury lawsuit. In most types of personal injury claims, negligence must be proven, and a personal injury claim and a wrongful death lawsuit might be based upon similar events, such as a motor vehicle accident. 

However, in a wrongful death claim, the injured party isn’t available to bring their case to court. Instead, the case is brought about by the deceased person’s family members, or by an estate representative of the deceased person’s estate if there’s no living family member who can bring the claim to court.

Wrongful Death - Infographic

What Damages are Awarded in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Decatur, GA?

Georgia state laws recognize two separate and different types of wrongful death claims. The first one is a claim to determine the full value of the life of the deceased party. A wrongful death lawsuit is brought by or on behalf of the surviving family members of the decedent. It involves wrongful death damages related to both the monetary and intangible value of the deceased person’s life, including:

  • Lost income and benefits, including what the deceased individual may have reasonably earned if they had lived, and 
  • Loss of companionship, care, and other intangible benefits the deceased provided to their loved ones.

The second type of wrongful death claim is one that aims to remedy the financial losses related to the deceased person’s death. This lawsuit is brought by or on behalf of the deceased party’s estate, and it seeks to determine and recover the losses the estate suffered because of the untimely death. This claim may recover the following damages:

  • Medical expenses related to the deceased person’s last injury or illness
  • Funeral and burial costs, and
  • Conscious pain and suffering suffered by the deceased just before their death.
wrongful death claims

How Do You Prove a Wrongful Death Case?

After filing a wrongful death claim, you must prove the various elements of a wrongful death claim before any damages can be awarded. This means you must prove to the court that the defendant was negligent, and their negligent actions caused the death of your loved one before the court orders the defendant to pay any damages.

Typically, the plaintiff must prove the following in a wrongful death claim:

  • Duty of care. You must prove to the judge that the responsible party owed a duty of care to your loved one. For example, in motor vehicle accidents, you must prove the defendant had an obligation to obey traffic rules and regulations and drive carefully when operating any car.
  • Breach of duty of care. Also, you must prove that the defendant breached the duty of care to your loved one. Again, if the situation involves a motor vehicle crash, you must prove that the defendant failed to obey the applicable traffic rules and regulations, such as by running a red light, or by speeding.
  • Causation. It’s not enough to just show that the defendant broke the law in some way, or breached the duty of care in some manner. Also, you must show that the defendant’s specific actions directly caused the death of your loved one. Thus, even though the defendant ran a red light while driving, they’re not responsible for the tragic death of your loved one if the death was caused by something else, such as a mechanical failure on your loved one’s car.
  • Damages. Apart from proving the breach of duty and causation, you must also prove that your loved one actually suffered damages. In most cases, in a wrongful death claim, if the breach of duty and causation exist, damages will be presumed for obvious reasons, such as the injured person died. 

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in Decatur?

Georgia state laws specify who can sue for wrongful death, beginning with the spouse of the decedent. If the decedent and their spouse had minor children, the spouse can also represent the children’s interests in court. In no case can the spouse get less than one-third of the total compensation, no matter how many children there are.

If there are no surviving spouse or children to sue for wrongful death, the following parties may bring the wrongful death claim to court:

  • The parents of the decedent or any surviving parents, or
  • A personal representative of the decedent’s estate.

If the personal representative sues for wrongful death, the estate holds any damages they recover for the benefit of the decedent’s next of kin.

funeral costs

How Much is a Typical Wrongful Death Settlement in Georgia?

The typical wrongful death settlement ranges from $500,000 to over $1 million. Typically, a wrongful death settlement depends on the circumstances of the lawsuit. Your wrongful death settlement might be more or less than the average because each wrongful death lawsuit is unique, and the settlement depends on what happened, and the law applying to your case.

Wrongful death settlements depend on facts and the personal characteristics of the decedent. To determine a wrongful death settlement amount, you must consider the following factors:

  • Last medical costs and cost of hospitalization of the decedent
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Future monetary support the decedent would have provided
  • Future household expenses the decedent would have provided.
  • The age and health of the decedent
  • Financial needs of surviving dependents
  • Whether fault is clear in the lawsuit
  • If exemplary damages are appropriate in the lawsuit.

While settlement amounts vary, every life is important and deserves a large amount of compensation. Every wrongful death lawsuit is a serious matter. When your loved one is a victim of wrongful death, expect the settlement award to reflect the importance of their life and the loss and trauma your family is going through.

The experienced Decatur personal injury attorneys at Marks Law Group have decades of experience helping clients across Decatur and Atlanta recover a fair settlement, and we can help you as well.

If you’re grieving your loved one’s untimely death, the experienced Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Marks Law Group can help you through this devastating time. We can take care of the legal process and help you and your family get justice for the loss of your loved one.

Our experienced and dedicated Atlanta wrongful death attorneys offer legal representation that has secured millions of dollars in compensation for our clients with wrongful death and personal injury claims in Decatur and throughout Georgia.

To schedule a no-cost initial consultation, call our injury law firm today at (404) 939-1485, or chat with us online to learn how we can help.

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