When an accident stemming from negligence has fatal consequences for someone involved, the person responsible for causing the incident could be held financially accountable for their misconduct. Rather than an injured person filing suit on their own behalf, though, this scenario requires a surviving family member of the deceased to pursue litigation in their name.
Seeking civil compensation after wrongfully losing a loved one can be an emotionally intense and legally complex endeavor. Because of this, it may be tough to achieve a positive result without the guidance of a seasoned personal injury attorney. By retaining a compassionate and knowledgeable Braselton wrongful death lawyer, you could ensure that your rights are effectively enforced, and that justice is sought after on behalf of your departed loved one. Contact Smith Hulsey today to discuss your legal options.
In Braselton, a wrongful death case may seek recovery of two types of damages: losses suffered by the decedent’s surviving family members, and losses sustained by the decedent’s estate. In the former context, recovery efforts typically center around objective financial harm like lost future financial support and lost inheritance value. This could—and almost always should—include “non-economic” damages such as lost advice, companionship, care, and love.
In the latter context, the executor for the decedent’s estate—nominated as such in their will—may demand restitution for any economic harm paid out from the decedent’s financial holdings. This could include expenses for medical care received between when their accident happened and when they passed away, funeral and burial services costs, and any fees stemming from the estate administration process. An experienced Braselton premature death attorney could go into more detail about potentially compensable losses during an initial private consultation.
Generally speaking, wrongful death claims work similarly to personal injury claims. The same terms of legally actionable negligence and what the filing party or parties must specifically prove to recover compensation still apply. However, there are a few unique restrictions set by state law for cases of this nature that are worth touching on, all of which an untimely death attorney in Braselton could further explain as needed.
For example, Georgia courts only allow estate executors of deceased individuals to file suit on their behalf following their wrongful death. There is a priority order established under state law for which family members may have the standing to receive compensation through such a claim. The first priority goes to the decedent’s spouse, followed by their surviving children, and then sometimes the decedent’s parent(s). If none of those parties are available, the executor may recover and manage compensation for the decedent’s next of kin.
Additionally, a few notable exceptions to the standard two-year filing deadline applicable to most personal injury claims may affect wrongful death litigation. Specifically, the start of that two-year filing period may be “tolled” for up to five years maximum if the decedent’s estate had not yet gone through probate, or for up to six years maximum until the defendant’s related criminal case concludes.
Losing a spouse, parent, or child under any circumstances can be an incomparably devastating experience. If another party’s negligence caused their passing, matters become even more overwhelming. The thought of adding a civil lawsuit to your plate afterward may understandably seem like too much to bear. However, help is available if you want to enforce your right to recover damages from the person who caused your loss. This compensation could be crucial to preserving your family’s long-term best interests.
You do not have to pursue legal action alone. Call a Braselton wrongful death lawyer at Smith Hulsey today to get started.
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