Gainesville Wrongful Death Lawyer

The pain of losing a loved one can be all-consuming. If you lost someone due to another’s negligent or unlawful actions, that grief may be intensified with a desire for justice. In this difficult time, reach out to the dedicated legal team at Smith Hulsey for the counsel, respect, and compassion that you and your family deserve. A Gainesville wrongful death lawyer could vigorously represent your interests as you seek legal redress for your losses.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

When someone dies due to the negligent, reckless, or criminal behavior of another person, it is considered a wrongful death under The Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 51-4-1(2). Fatal injuries of this kind often occur in the following types of incidents:

Who May Bring a Wrongful Death Suit?

O.C.G.A. § 51-4-2 identifies who may bring a lawsuit for the death of another in the following order:

  • Spouses
  • Children
  • Surviving parents
  • Personal representatives (when no other family qualifies)

This Section also explains the distribution of any wrongful death award among the spouse and children, allocating at least one-third of the recovery to the spouse. While no amount of money will replace a family member, our experienced attorneys often help Gainesville families achieve some degree of closure by holding negligent parties accountable and recovering compensation to alleviate financial stressors.

Damages Available to the Surviving Family

Compensation awards for wrongful death encompass special and general damages that the deceased person would have received for their negligence claims, under O.C.G.A. §§ 51-12-1 & 51-12-2. Restitution also includes the full value of the deceased’s life as designated by O.C.G.A. § 51-4-1. These code sections allow injured families to recover for both measurable and subjective harm suffered, such as:

  • Medical treatments
  • Unearned wages (including earnings that the victim would have made had they lived)
  • Loss of benefits (health, retirement, etc.)
  • Funeral expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship

In certain instances where criminal, malicious, or wanton behavior exists, punitive damages may also be available. Surviving families should discuss their options for wrongful death compensation with a compassionate legal advisor in the Gainesville area.

Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations in Gainesville

Understandably, filing a lawsuit may not be a priority for grieving relatives after a family member passes away. However, waiting too long to bring a wrongful death suit could result in a dismissal of the claims.

Under O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33, most parties seeking redress have two years from a family member’s death to file a complaint. This two-year statute of limitations also stands for wrongful deaths caused by medical mishaps. In malpractice cases where negligence is not discovered until after two years has transpired, the case may proceed under Section 9-3-71(b) so long as it was brought within five years of the offending action.

It can be difficult for mourning family members to keep track of legal deadlines and complexities. A skilled local attorney could assist a family in filing timely wrongful death claims and taking the correct procedural steps to help ensure justice for their loved one.

Work with a Caring Gainesville Wrongful Death Lawyer

After the premature death of a loved one, you should not have to face complex legal processes alone. The legal team at Smith Hulsey is experienced in advising grieving families and fighting for rightful compensation to ease their suffering. Call one of our Gainesville wrongful death lawyers to review your case today. We are ready to discuss the best path forward for healing your family’s losses.

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