Columbus Wrongful Death Lawyer
When one person injures or harms another, the injured party can file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue compensation for his or her damages. However, when one person’s negligence causes the death of another person, the deceased’s surviving loved ones will need to file a wrongful death claim to seek reasonable compensation for the loss.
You cannot put a price on human life, but when the reckless or negligent actions of another cause a death, the survivors may be left with financial losses as well as the loss of their loved one. A wrongful death claim will be necessary to compensate those losses and a compassionate Columbus wrongful death attorney at The Dixon Firm, P.C. can help. Wrongful death claims operate similarly to personal injury lawsuits with a few key differences.
Key Points of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Wrongful death cases tend to be deaths that someone’s negligence caused – they are not necessarily a criminal death, like murder or manslaughter. If a criminal murdered your loved one, another’s negligence could be a factor. For instance, if the lights in a parking lot burned out and the deceased person was in danger because of it, the owner of the parking lot may be held responsible.
A wrongful death claim is a civil action brought against the party who caused the death. Similar to personal injury lawsuits, the plaintiff in a wrongful death case must prove that the defendant was negligent. Proving negligence means that your Columbus wrongful death attorney must establish three facts to the court:
- The defendant had a duty to act with reasonable care at the time of the incident.
- The defendant breached this duty in some way. In other words, he or she did not act in a way that another reasonable person would have acted in the same situation.
- The death was the direct result of this breach.
Wrongful death claims in Georgia fall under a two-year statute of limitations. This means that you have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim for the deceased. This time limit may be increased while the perpetrator is under investigation. Additionally, only certain individuals may file a wrongful death claim. In Georgia, this includes the deceased person’s spouse, child, or parent. If no such kin exist, a representative of the deceased person’s state may file a wrongful death claim instead. In this case, damages must go to the deceased’s next of kin. To learn more about the specifics of this process and how your case will be impacted, speak with a Columbus personal injury lawyer experienced in wrongful death claims.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
The damages you can recover from a wrongful death lawsuit are similar to those in personal injury lawsuit but with a few special considerations. The damages you may be able to collect include:
- Medical expenses for the decedent’s final illness or injury. This can include life-saving surgeries or procedures, hospital bills, and emergency transportation costs.
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- Pain and suffering that the decedent experienced during the final illness or injury.
Additionally, wrongful death claims allow for another type of compensation meant to provide monetary compensation for the “full value of the life.” The surviving family members can collect compensation for the financial security and income the decedent provided and would have reasonably expected to provide had he or she survived. The surviving family members can also receive compensation for loss of affection, guidance, consortium, companionship, and the other intangible benefits the deceased provided to his or her loved ones.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a South Fulton Wrongful Death Attorney
In some cases, a wrongful death claim may accompany a criminal case. In such an event, the statute of limitations does not start counting down until after the criminal case has concluded. Regardless of the particular details, if you believe you have a wrongful death claim, it is imperative to connect with a caring, reliable Columbus wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible. Call The Dixon Firm, P.C. at 404-733-1166 to schedule a free case evaluation.