Losing a loved one is never easy, no matter if it happens following a traffic accident, medical malpractice, a work accident, or someone willful or negligent behavior. Many families are so immersed in grief that they do not even consider contacting a wrongful death lawyer.
They should because the ones at fault for the tragedy should pay for their negligence or wrongdoing and should compensate some of the losses they caused to the deceased. A wrongful death lawyer near Roswell can make sure that happens and help the deceased’s family move on with their lives.
At The Weinstein Firm, our wrongful death lawyers understand how difficult losing a loved one is and do everything in their power to ease our clients’ suffering and take some weight off their shoulders. We offer free case evaluations for wrongful death cases, and we even accept contingency agreements.
This means that anyone planning to file a wrongful death claim can discuss their case with an experienced injury law firm near Roswell and receive advice for free. If they decide to aware to hire the attorney they consult, they will only have to pay for their services from the compensation our wrongful death attorney obtains for them.
Why Contact a Roswell Wrongful Death Lawyer and Request an Immediate Case Evaluation
It is important for the case evaluation to occur as soon as possible after the unfortunate event, and there are three important reasons for that:
- All claims need to rely on solid evidence and witness testimonies, which could be difficult or impossible to obtain after a while. In our experience, the sooner our wrongful death lawyers begin investigating a case, the easier obtaining the evidence they need is, and the more evidence they can obtain.
- Gathering the necessary evidence, preparing, and filing the claim takes time. The sooner the wrongful death attorney starts working on the case, the sooner they will obtain the targeted compensation.
- There are statutes of limitations in place referring to the waiting period for filing a wrongful death compensation claim, and Roswell wrongful death attorneys know them by heart. These statutes of limitations are subject to Georgia Code Title 9 Chapter 3. Usually, the deadline is of two years from the event that lead to the wrongful death, but there are exceptions to this rule.
Moreover, the sooner the deceased’s family get in touch with our wrongful death attorneys, the sooner they will find out whether they have the right to file the claim themselves and, if they do, what steps they need to follow.
Who Is Eligible to Hire a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Roswell, GA?
Georgia laws set a clear hierarchy for the persons who have the right to seek compensation after someone’s wrongful death. The hierarchy is as follows:
- The deceased’s spouse – They can hire a wrongful death lawyer and file the claim in their own name if the deceased had no children, or they can file the claim on behalf of the children as well, case in which they would have to share the compensation upon obtaining it.
- The deceased’s children – When the deceased does not have a surviving spouse (they never married, they were divorced, or they were widowers) but has children, the children can hire a wrongful death lawyer to represent all of them and share the compensation.
- The deceased’s parents – In order for the parents to have the right to hire a wrongful death attorney and request compensation, they should be the deceased’s next of kin, meaning that the deceased left no surviving spouse or children.
- The deceased’s estate executor or personal representative – Besides the surviving relatives, the representative the deceased appointed by will or the probate court executor managing the estate can hire a wrongful death lawyer and seek compensation as well, on behalf of the deceased’s estate.
In order to understand how the claim process works and what rights and obligations each party has, the best starting points are the Georgia laws. The Weinstein Firm wrongful death attorneys always summarize these laws for our clients, and we will do the same below.
Overview of Georgia Wrongful Death Laws
According to Georgia laws, wrongful death can be defined as a person’s death caused by another person or entity’s willful or negligent behavior. Otherwise put, it is possible to file a wrongful death claim not only against individuals, but also against companies, institutions, organizations, and even state agencies.
The law allows a wrongful death lawyer to file two types of claims:
- One claim for compensating the life of the deceased, the income and the experienced they never got to enjoy (lost income, marital and parental joy, hobbies, and more)
- One claim for compensating the losses their death caused to the deceased’s estate (medical care and funeral expenses, lost profits, and more)
Wrongful death lawyers usually file the first type of claim when representing the deceased’s spouse, children, or parents. The second type of claim is available to the estate. It is a legal entity the personal representative of the deceased or the court-appointed executor needs to establish.
Upon request, and in the absence of a surviving spouse, child, or parent, the deceased’s next of kin can request to become the executor and file both types of claims. Most of the time, this will be very difficult to accomplish without the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
In order to obtain wrongful death compensation, the claimant will have to prove that:
- The defendant of their claim had a duty of care to the deceased or the responsibility to act in a certain manner at the time of the wrongful death or when the event that caused it took place
- The defendant willfully breached or neglected their duty
- The defendant’s actions caused the death or the injuries that caused it.
In other words, the compensation claims need to clearly show that the death they refer to would not have occurred, had it not been for the defendant’s negligent or willful behavior. This is easier said than done and requires the vast knowledge and experience of a wrongful death lawyer.
The good news is that wrongful death is easier to prove than murder. In fact, many wrongful death claims follow criminal cases dismissed in court for insufficient evidence. That is why many claimants consider the wrongful death lawyer the closest thing to the prosecutor, the only person who can make the party at fault pay for their loved one’s death and bring them some type of closure.
At The Weinstein Firm, our wrongful death attorneys treat every case with compassion and commitment and do not rest until obtaining the maximum compensation possible for the case they handle. Wrongful death cases are usually quite complex, their specific depending on the cause of the wrongful death.
Main Death Causes in of Wrongful Death Claims
Roswell wrongful death attorneys handle cases that have the following causes of death:
- Traffic accidents – The deceased were victims of a traffic accident and lost their lives either in the accident or due to the injuries they incurred on the respective occasion
- Medical malpractice – The inadequate treatment the patient received or the mistakes the doctors made during the medical procedures lead to severe health complications and death.
- Criminal behavior – Someone attacked or threatened the deceased, and things escalated, leading to the latter’s demise
- Work-related activities – The deceased lost their life as a result of a work accident, improper work conditions, exposure to hazardous substances in the work environment, or other circumstances the employer or other employees could have prevented
- Supervised or assisted activities – Someone had the responsibility to assist or supervise the deceased, and they breached their duty
These are just the most common scenarios that can lead to a person’s wrongful death. Many other cases could benefit from the experience and knowledge of an experienced wrongful death lawyer. Anyone suspecting their loved one died due to someone’s negligence or wrongdoing should consult an attorney and find out whether or not they have a case and the right to seek compensation.
The Weinstein Firm wrongful death attorneys are always ready to listen and provide the best advice in every situation. If they conclude that someone’s demise qualifies as wrongful death, and the client agrees, they can start the claim process immediately.
How Can A Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Roswell Help A Claim?
In Georgia, anyone planning to file a wrongful death compensation claim will have to follow several important steps, detailed below:
Identify the Party at Fault (Their Insurer)
Since wrongful death compensations can reach huge amounts, at The Weinstein Firm, our wrongful death lawyers have reached the conclusion that, when possible, it is better to seek compensation from the insurer of the party at fault or, if applicable, from the deceased’s own insurer.
Even starting from this premise, identifying the party at fault can be challenging. Depending on the cause of death and the circumstances in which it occurred, the party at fault could be a driver, the driver’s employer, a doctor, a nurse, the medical institution where the deceased received treatment, a work colleague, or even an unidentified attacker.
The best way to decide against whom to file the compensation claim is to consult a Roswell wrongful death lawyer. The latter will carefully review the case details and all the evidence available, maybe even conduct additional investigations, and identify the best solution for their client.
Determine the Type of Claim to File and Its Value
As mentioned above, two types of compensation claims can be filed, and the process differs from one type to another. In some cases, the same person has the right to file both claims. In other cases, there are two different claimants, even though the final beneficiary of the two claims may be the same.
The best way to find out one type of claim is more suitable in a particular situation and what it entails is by consulting a wrongful death attorney. They will analyze the situation, review the evidence available, and suggest the best course of action. They will also be able to put a price on the claim, depending on the deceased’s financial situation, death circumstances, and other elements specific to the case.
Generally, the claims for the life value of the deceased focus on the joy and experiences taken away from them, on the support they never got to provide, and the emotions they never got to enjoy. To prove those, an experienced wrongful death attorney will turn to witnesses, from the deceased’s family to friends, neighbors, and work colleagues, to photos and recording proving their interests and their joy of life, to medals, trophies, and awards they may have won pursuing their hobby or doing their job.
The estate claim is more business-oriented and will need more concrete evidence: proof of expenses incurred for the deceased’s medical care and funeral, proofs of revenue to show how the deceased’s absence impacted the estate’s financial situation, and other financial and managerial reports meant to help the wrongful death attorneys put a price on the losses the estate incurred.
Prepare and File the Wrongful Death Compensation Claim
For both types of claims, the preparation process involves gathering and organizing all the information and evidence available and summarizing it in the notice of claim, in such a way as to show as clearly as possible that the defendant is liable for all losses and the losses reached or will reach the amounts requested as compensation.
In order to file the estate claim, there is one more formality to fulfill, namely establishing the estate. Although the process is not very complicated, it does take a lot of time and paperwork, so the assistance of a wrongful death lawyer at this stage could be invaluable.
Once the claim is ready, no matter its type and value, it can be filed with the insurance company of the party at fault or in civil court, where it will be subject to a court trial.
Negotiations and Appeals
Upon receiving a compensation claim, an insurance company will either accept it and make a settlement offer or deny it. If the claimant is not satisfied with the answer, they have the right to file an appeal with the insurance company’s claims supervisor. If the response received at this level is not satisfactory either, the next stage of appeal is the civil court.
Schedule a Free Consultation With A Wrongful Death Attorney
It is bad enough that you lost someone you loved. You should be able to receive rightful compensation and move on with your life without further hassles. At The Weinstein Firm, we can take over the hassles and offer you all the advice, legal support, and peace of mind you need.
Call our Roswell office now and schedule a consultation with a The Weinstein Firm accident lawyer. They will provide all the answers and guidance you need, and they will do it for free, as a sign of compassion and appreciation for you, hopefully, our future client.