Wrongful Death Attorney Stone Mountain, GA
Losing a loved one in a tragic accident is something that many people never fully recover from. Surviving family members are left with the void of the loss of a close loved one and a need for justice. If you’ve lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party, a wrongful death lawyer can help you seek compensation.
At The Pendergrass Law Firm of Stone Mountain, GA, our wrongful death attorneys know that no monetary settlement or court award will allow you to feel whole after a family member has died. However, they can help you receive compensation for the medical expenses, funeral costs, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call to talk to a lawyer in Stone Mountain, Georgia, free of charge.
Wrongful Death in Georgia Explained
A wrongful death occurs when an at-fault party takes the life of another by accident or intentional act. While most wrongful death claims result from an unintentional error — such as in a car accident, a medical malpractice incident, etc. — they are occasionally the result of a crime. In these types of wrongful death cases, a personal injury lawyer can pursue a wrongful death claim while the criminal charges are pending.
Legal Standing in Wrongful Death Suits
Not all family members have the legal standing to pursue a personal injury claim on behalf of the deceased. In Georgia, the following members of surviving families can initiate wrongful death actions:
- The surviving spouse of the deceased
- If there is no surviving spouse, the children of the deceased
- If there are no children, the parents
- If none of the above relationships exist, the personal representative of the estate can initiate a wrongful death suit.
If you are unsure whether you have standing or a surviving spouse or other surviving family members are reluctant to file a wrongful death claim, contact the Stone Mountain wrongful death attorneys at our personal injury firm.
Wrongful Death Damages
The damages for a wrongful death claim are divided into three categories. Economic damages and non-economic damages are considered compensatory damages because they compensate the surviving family members for their damages. Punitive damages are non-compensatory because they are intended to punish the defendant for reckless or intentional behavior.
These are financial damages that arise from the accident and subsequent death of the injured party. They include medical bills for the hospital and other medical care, past and future lost income that the deceased was not able to earn as a result of the accident, funeral costs, property damage, etc. There are no damage caps on economic damages in Georgia.
This is also referred to as pain and suffering by Georgia wrongful death attorneys. In a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff has the right to pursue damages not only for the physical pain and emotional distress of the victim but also for their own pain and suffering. There are no caps on these types of damages except in medical malpractice cases.
Punitive damages are sometimes awarded in wrongful death cases when the court believes that the defendant’s negligence was egregious or that their actions were intentional. These damages have a $250,000 cap in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Steps to Take When a Wrongful Death Occurs
Our Stone Mountain wrongful death attorneys recognize the pain that our clients experience. The following suggestions can help you improve the chances of a successful wrongful death suit:
Maintain a Journal
This is particularly important in medical malpractice cases, and other types of wrongful death claims where the decedent did not die at the time of the accident. It’s important for a wrongful death lawyer to be able to reconstruct a timeline of events.
Try to do your best to keep any evidence you have of the decedent’s accident or their subsequent decline. If you have a wrongful death attorney, ask them whether the evidence needs to go to the police or should be kept in safekeeping.
Store Documents in a Secure Location
Most records are stored electronically. If this is the case, keep them in multiple safe locations: a secure email, a hard drive, a separate thumb drive, etc. Again, turn over copies of all documents to your wrongful death lawyer.
Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney
If you do not have representation, contact a Stone Mountain wrongful death attorney. The Pendergrass Law Firm will work diligently to help you get full and fair compensation from the responsible party or their insurance company.
Types of Wrongful Death Cases our Law Firm Handles
If you choose Pendergrass Law to handle your case, you’ll have a designated Stone Mountain wrongful death lawyer assigned to your case. Here are some of the types of cases our personal injury lawyers handle for surviving families and the estates of their loved ones:
- Car Accidents
- Motorcycle Accident
- Truck Accidents
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Medical Malpractice Claims
- Physical Attacks
- Abuse and Negligence in Nursing Homes
- Workplace Accidents
- Product Liability Accidents
- Criminal Violations
If you’ve been involved in any of the above types of accidents, a personal injury attorney in Stone Mountain, GA can help.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions by our clients. For answers to your questions about wrongful death compensation, speak to a Stone Mountain wrongful death lawyer at our office today.
What is the statute of limitations for wrongful death in GA?
You have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death legal action.
What if the deceased person was partially at fault?
Under Georgia’s modified comparative negligence law, plaintiffs are within their legal rights to pursue compensation if they are less than 50% responsible for the accident.