If your loved one passed away due to an accident and you are now considering legal action, there are some important things to know about your wrongful death case, including who can file a claim and the circumstances that qualify. Most importantly, a wrongful death claim only arises if your loved one died due to the actions of a person or the actions of some other party. In order words, if your loved one caused their own accident or injury, you will not have a claim.
The claimant will have to prove negligence in order to have legal recourse and seek compensation. Individuals wishing to file a wrongful death lawsuit should discuss their potential case with a wrongful death attorney who can advise them whether their case qualifies for a wrongful death lawsuit in Atlanta.
Reasons for Wrongful Death Claims
While no lawsuit or compensation can bring back a loved one, the family of the deceased has a right to seek justice and could potentially hold a responsible party accountable for their loved one’s untimely death. There can be many different reasons for filing a wrongful death claim.
Some common situations that can lead to wrongful death cases may include:
Medical errors are a leading cause of death in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University. Examples of medical malpractice can include misdiagnosis, surgical errors, medication errors, birth injuries, and many others.
Figures from the National Safety Council (NSC) show that around 38,000 people died in car accidents in this country in 2019. A car accident fatality can qualify as a wrongful death case if the at-fault driver acted negligently in causing the accident.
Negligence can include, among other behaviors:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Driving generally recklessly
- Falling asleep at the wheel
- Driving a defective car
Slip and Fall
While premises liability claims can potentially occur in various circumstances, one of the most commonly known premises liability claims is a so-called “slip and fall” case. These cases can arise when a property owner fails to keep a property safe from hazards such as broken flooring, ice and snow accumulations, and other hazards. You may have a claim against the property owner if your loved one suffered catastrophic injuries due to a hazardous condition and subsequently passed away.
Defective products can cause harm and potentially death to consumers. Examples of defective products can include faulty medications, unsafe toys, defective appliances, and defective vehicles, among many others. Manufacturers are generally responsible for ensuring that their products and appliances are safe to use. Design defects, manufacturing defects, and failure to warn can potentially all lead to a wrongful death lawsuit.
There can be many other circumstances in which a wrongful death claim can potentially arise, including but not limited to:
- Nursing home neglect
- Aviation or boating accidents
- Animal attacks
- Negligent security
For a free legal consultation, call (404) 888-8888
When to File a Claim
One of the most important things to know about your wrongful death case is when to file. Most states have deadlines for wrongful death lawsuits. Failing to file a lawsuit within that time frame could bar the family of the deceased from recovering any compensation. A wrongful death lawyer can comprehensively advise you on the deadlines that apply to your case and inform you of the ideal time for filing a claim.
Who Can File a Claim
If you are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you will also need to know who is entitled to file such a claim. In Georgia, not every family member may be eligible for filing a wrongful death suit. According to Georgia Code (OCGA) §51-4-2, the surviving spouse will typically file the wrongful death lawsuit.
If there is no surviving spouse, then any children of the deceased may bring the suit. If parents lost a child to wrongful death, then the parents may bring a lawsuit.
Compensation in Wrongful Death Claims
In a wrongful death claim, the family of the deceased may be able to seek compensation for a range of losses, which can include:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of income from the deceased
There may be additional forms of compensation you can pursue, depending on the specific wrongful death claim.
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A Wrongful Death Attorney Can Fight for Your Rights
If someone else’s recklessness caused your loved one’s death, a wrongful death lawsuit could help your family cope financially. Bader Scott Injury Lawyers can advise you of your legal rights and help you seek justice.
Contact a member of our team today for a complimentary consultation at (404) 888-8888.