The sudden death of a loved one is an emotional and devastating event, especially if their death was caused by someone else’s negligence. Understandably, pursuing litigation while still dealing with your grief may seem like an unbearable hassle. However, a civil claim could be a necessary step in stabilizing your financial situation and minimizing the long-term impact of this tragedy.
At Smith Hulsey, our experienced personal injury attorneys could help ease your burdens by handling your case and pursuing a positive outcome on your behalf. A Winder wrongful death lawyer could provide guidance and support throughout this process and work to secure fair compensation for your family’s losses.
Unlike a typical personal injury lawsuit, in which a plaintiff seeks compensation from the party who directly harmed them, wrongful death lawsuits benefit the surviving family members of a deceased accident victim. Wrongful death suits can be brought when another person’s negligence causes a fatal accident. These claims are meant to recover for the harm suffered as a result of a loved one’s death.
Recoverable damages in wrongful death claims may include objective economic damages like funeral expenses and loss of financial support, as well as non-economic damages like loss of consortium or companionship. Damages sustained by the decedent prior to their death may be recoverable through a similar but separate claim known as a survival action, as a wrongful death attorney at our Winder office could explain in further detail.
Notably, Georgia’s modified comparative fault system may limit recovery for wrongful death just it would for any other type of personal injury claim. If a decedent is found primarily at fault for their own accident, their surviving family members will be unable to recover compensation through a wrongful death claim, as per Official Code of Georgia §51-11-7.
Furthermore, O.C.G.A. §51-4-2 states that only a decedent’s surviving spouse, child, or parents may file a wrongful death claim on the decedent’s behalf. If no qualifying family members are available, O.C.G.A. §51-4-5 allows an estate executor or administrator to pursue compensation on behalf of the deceased’s estate.
As per O.C.G.A. §9-3-33, there is a two-year statutory filing deadline for wrongful death claims. This two-year period generally begins from the date of the decedent’s death. However, there may be exceptions to this timeline if the decedent’s estate has not yet gone through probate or if a related criminal case is awaiting a court verdict. A local wrongful death attorney could further explain the relevant deadlines for family members who are considering bring a claim.
A death in the family can upend your entire life without warning. If you are struggling to decide what to do in the aftermath of such a tragic event, know that you are not alone. At Smith Hulsey, our compassionate legal team is here to advise you on your options and help pursue the compensation your family needs to recover for your losses.
Retaining a Winder wrongful death lawyer could be key to ensuring the civil litigation process goes as smoothly as possible for you and your family. Call today to set up a consultation and discuss your situation.
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