Annually, thousands of individuals in the country are killed due to medical malpractice, deadly traffic crashes, poorly maintained infrastructures, unintentional poisoning, and other cases of wrongful deaths.
If one of your family members has been fatally injured due to the wrongful action of a negligent individual in Dunwoody, GA, you may sue for wrongful death with the help of a wrongful death lawyer.
Wrongful death is a civil case that you can pursue alongside an existing criminal lawsuit. And even if the defendant has been acquitted criminally, you may still file a wrongful death lawsuit against them.
The first step needed in the successful filing of this kind of civil lawsuit is contacting a trustworthy wrongful death attorney in Georgia.
Wrongful Death Statistics and the Need for Wrongful Death Lawyers in Georgia
Wrongful death is a civil charge which may be filed by a spouse, child, or parent against an at-fault party for the death of an immediate family member due to homicide or gross negligence.
Under the 2010 Georgia Code, specifically Chapter 4 on Wrongful Death, the term encompasses the value of the life of the deceased person without making any deductions pertaining to his or her personal expenses if the deceased were still alive.
In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recorded a total of 30.6 million unintentional injuries and 146,571 unintentional deaths. Of these deaths, 33,381 were attributed to unintentional falls and 37,757 were due to motor vehicle crashes. As many as 47,478 cases were connected to unintentional poisoning.
In a 2016 study, medical malpractice is cited as the third leading cause of death in the US. The study addressed the omission of medical error as the listed cause of death in death certificates, making it near impossible for the CDC to include medical negligence as one of the causes of unintentional deaths all over the country.
Despite the gravity of wrongful death cases, most plaintiffs still face significant legal hurdles in obtaining full and just compensation value. The defendants’ insurance companies are known to offer a low compensation value or even contest the full compensation amount.
This makes the help of personal injury lawyers extremely important.
From Wrongful Death Lawyers: Wrongful Death Cases and Liable Parties
While the loss of a loved one is painful enough, the loss of a loved one due to the malicious intent or gross negligence of another person is even more agonizing.
Wrongful death lawyers will have handled various cases of wrongful deaths, making them a reliable source of help in this time of need.
Although wrongful death cases will typically have their origins in negligence, they often differ in terms of circumstances and severity.
Several examples of wrongful death cases for which a wrongful death lawyer can help are listed below:
Motor vehicle accidents.
Different factors can cause a Dunwoody car accident. These may include poorly-maintained roadways, malfunctioning brakes, or an intoxicated driver. A wrongful death attorney may look into a wrongful death case and determine which parties can be held civilly liable. The possible liable parties are a road construction company, vehicle manufacturer, or a negligent driver.
If your spouse has died in an accident in the workplace, you may sue his or her employer for wrongful death. It is important, however, to prove the negligence of the company first. Some examples of negligent acts are the lack of provision for safety gears or the absence of clear safety guidelines in risky work operations. However, it may also be possible for you to sue the manufacturer of a substandard piece of equipment, which may have directly caused the death of your spouse. For this, you will need the help of wrongful death attorneys.
Although not always listed in death certificates as a cause of death, medical negligence continues to claim the lives of individuals all over the world. Some cases of medical negligence involve the administration of unsafe drugs, the administration of drugs in wrong doses, or injecting drugs into the wrong entryways, leading to patient death. To prove this kind of negligence, it may be necessary for a wrongful death lawyer to consult with autopsy experts.
Professionals such as pilots are expected to have obtained the right licenses and to exercise their duty of care to their passengers during every flight. However, in 2001, singer and actress Aaliyah met her untimely death after the plane she was on crashed into the Bahamas. Further investigations showed that the pilot was not only unregistered with the Federal Aviation Administration; he was also inexperienced in flying. Since it was the singer’s recording company which had booked the plane and the pilot, they were mandated to pay compensation. In 2003, they settled with the singer’s family and wrongful death attorneys for an undisclosed amount.
Defective or harmful products.
Some anti-depressants have been linked to risky behavior in patients, causing them to self-harm. If the anti-depressant is found to have directly caused the death of a patient or another person through homicide, the concerned pharmaceutical company may be held liable. Pharmaceutical companies can be negligent in that they may fail to list all ingredients on the label or disclose the risky side effects associated with the drug.
If you have reason to suspect the connection between medication and the death of a loved one, you may consult with wrongful death lawyers on the best way to proceed.
The Types of Compensation for Which Your Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help
The persons who are allowed to pursue a case for wrongful death are the decedent’s surviving spouse or, in the absence of a surviving spouse, the decedent’s child or children. However, there may be certain legal details that apply according to different state laws.
If you are pursuing a wrongful death case in Dunwoody, GA, it is important that you work with a wrongful death attorney in Georgia.
The types of compensation for which you may be allowed to recover are dependent on the facts of your case. The help of wrongful death attorneys is crucial when it comes to determining the types of compensation entitled to you.
A trusted wrongful death lawyer can also help in calculating the amounts applicable to each type of compensation, which may be one or several of the following:
Medical expenses prior to death.
This type of compensation will take care of hospital bills, medication expenses, and surgical intervention costs which the decedent may have incurred prior to death. Wrongful death attorneys will have to collect all medical receipts to determine the full compensation amount entitled to you and your family.
Funeral and burial expenses.
A wrongful death lawyer will help you recover expenses used for the decedent’s funeral and burial. This can be especially helpful for your family if no preparations have been made for funeral expenses prior to the sudden passing of a spouse or child due to others’ malicious or negligent actions.
The decedent’s pain and suffering prior to death.
One of the noneconomic damages which you may be allowed to recover through a wrongful death compensation claim relates to the decedent’s suffering prior to death. Wrongful death attorneys will quantify the degree of pain and suffering that the victim has had to go through as a result of the accident or negligent act.
Loss of expected living wages.
If your spouse is the main provider in the family, you may also ask from your wrongful death attorney to calculate the full value of your spouse’s lost income. The negligent party may be demanded to pay the amount through a settlement.
Loss of companionship due to death.
Although this loss is more general than specific in nature, loss of companionship or loss of guidance to minor children may be approximated through a compensation claim amount by your wrongful death lawyer. The loss of the love and company of a deceased spouse or child are some of the noneconomic damages for which you may be entitled in a wrongful death claim.
What Can My Wrongful Death Lawyer Tell Me about Civil Settlements vs. Lawsuits
The heirs of an individual who dies due to the malicious intent or gross negligence of another person may file for a wrongful death civil case against a negligent party. However, this civil case is different from a criminal lawsuit which the family of the decedent may also file.
It is important for a wrongful death attorney to explain these differences to the decedent’s heirs, who may file for both criminal charges and a civil lawsuit.
Wrongful death attorneys may recommend the filing of criminal charges, alongside a civil action, against a defendant on the grounds that the latter has had full knowledge and intention to commit the murderous act.
In this legal action, the defendant has not been merely negligent in the act, but has also contemplated performing and has, in fact, carried out the criminal act either on his own or with others.
To prove this, it will be necessary for your wrongful death attorney to prove that the crime has been the responsibility of the defendant in question. In most cases, the legal counsel of the other party will also present evidence that counters the criminal accusation.
When a criminal lawsuit does not work in court, you and your wrongful death attorneys may file for civil wrongful death compensation claims. This will allow your family to recover damages brought about by the loss of a spouse, child, or any other family member.
Since a wrongful death civil case will require a lower burden of proof compared to a criminal charge, most wrongful death attorneys will agree that the former will be easier to prove than the latter.
As long as there is a preponderance of evidence pointing to the guilt of intent or negligence on the part of the defendant, s/he may be required by the courts to reimburse the deceased’s family by way of wrongful death compensation.
The Many Ways that a Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help
If you are planning to file a wrongful death case against a negligent party, you will need to consult with a committed wrongful death attorney right away.
Whether you are dealing with a liable employer, a negligent school, or an answerable medical institution, you will most likely be discussing with their respective insurance carriers during settlement discussions.
One possible complexity is that some insurance companies may attempt to evade full responsibility and propose a significantly reduced amount of compensation. When this happens, you will want your wrongful death lawyer to be representing and negotiating for you.
Additionally, it is important for you to produce sufficient evidence to establish the negligent actions of the accused party. Obtaining and preserving evidence can be difficult, especially if you are still dealing with the loss of a spouse or a child.
When you work with a wrongful death lawyer, you will have someone else responsible in obtaining evidence and preserving such evidence for later presentation and scrutiny.
Many individuals also become emotionally unhinged after the death of a loved one and may say things that are not only unnecessary but also legally risky. When dealing with any kind of legal action, it is important to stay objective and not to say anything that may be used as evidence against you by the other party.
A wrongful death lawyer can provide the necessary objectivity at this most trying time.
For you to avoid making further statements that may be used against you, you can rely on your wrongful death lawyer during negotiations, settlement discussions, and meetings with insurance companies.
Get in Touch With Us at The Weinstein Firm to Hire a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Georgia
Losing a loved one due to the malicious acts or gross negligence of another person or entity is one of the most difficult situations one will have to go through.
If the negligent actions of another individual have resulted in the death of an immediate family member in Dunwoody, GA, you will benefit from the able guidance and help of a wrongful death lawyer in Georgia.
Here at The Weinstein Firm, we have the wrongful death attorney who can commit to your civil case from day one.
Whether you are dealing with medical malpractice, wrongful workplace deaths, or a motor vehicle accident, we have the right wrongful death lawyer for you.
Contact us at The Weinstein Firm to begin consultation on your wrongful death case in Georgia today.