Why Choose BMW Law Group?
- Our Atlanta personal injury attorneys have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients.
- Our trial lawyers offer free consultations and operate on a contingency fee basis. You will not have to pay an attorney any fees out of pocket.
- We care about our clients and have a passion for helping others. Our attorneys are determined to get the results our clients deserve.
Atlanta Wrongful Death Resources & FAQs
- What is Wrongful Death?
- How a Wrongful Death Attorney in Atlanta Can Help You
- How Much is a Wrongful Death Case Worth?
- What Types of Damages Are Recoverable?
- Is There a Cap on Wrongful Death Damages in Georgia?
- Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
- How Long Do I Have To File a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
- Common Causes of Wrongful Death
- Georgia Wrongful Death Laws
- Contact Our Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorneys Today
What is Wrongful Death?
Georgia state law defines wrongful death as the loss of life connected to someone else’s negligent, reckless, intentional, or criminal acts. If your loved one had survived and been able to file a personal injury lawsuit in Atlanta, you most likely have grounds for a wrongful death claim. Although compensation cannot replace a loved one, our wrongful death attorneys in Atlanta are committed to helping a victim’s family recover financial stability after the accident. Georgia Law (Ga. Code §51-4-2) states that the family of the person who died can make a claim for “the full value of the life of the decedent.”
How a Wrongful Death Attorney in Atlanta Can Help You
You may not be aware that you need an attorney to represent you during a wrongful death claim until you are dealing with a difficult insurance company. Insurance providers are notorious for trying to diminish and deny death benefits. It is often necessary to hire an attorney before an insurance company will treat you fairly. An Atlanta wrongful death lawyer can help your family in many different ways, such as:
- Answering your family’s legal questions and providing trustworthy advice.
- Thoroughly investigating the cause of your loved one’s death.
- Preserving and collecting evidence of carelessness or fault.
- Obtaining copies of medical records, coroner reports and police accident reports.
- Hiring qualified investigators and subject-matter experts.
- Taking care of the claim process to give your family greater peace of mind.
- Helping you recover the compensation your family requires.
The Atlanta wrongful death attorneys at BMW Law understand legal processes and how to help grieving families after fatal accidents in Atlanta. We can calm your fears and take the first steps toward justice.
How Much Is a Wrongful Death Case Worth?
This question can only be answered by consulting with an Atlanta wrongful death lawyer. This is because each case is unique; no average wrongful death settlement exists in Georgia. If your case settles, an insurance company will determine the value of your wrongful death claim based on the extent of your losses and the expenses incurred related to the death, including medical and funeral expenses. If your case goes to trial, a jury will determine a fair judgment award based on factors such as the extent of the family’s related expenses, the age of the decedent, the amount of mental anguish suffered by survivors, the decedent’s income, and more.
Before you can recover financial compensation, you or your attorney will need to prove your losses using evidence such as medical bills, receipts, and pay stubs. You may also need to contend with defense strategies such as the comparative negligence defense, which claims that the decedent caused or contributed to his or her own death. Hiring an experienced wrongful death lawyer improves your chances of successfully navigating these complications.
What Types of Damages Are Recoverable?
Georgia court states that damages can be recovered in the amount of the “full value of a life.” These damages are meant to cover tangible and intangible damages both the deceased person and family member have suffered. The tangible benefits include the decedent’s family, relationships, and reasons for living. The intangible benefits include the money that the decedent would have earned and the value of any jobs that the decedent had.
At BMW Law Group, we realize that no amount of money can make up for losing someone that you loved. However, we have also seen firsthand how a successful settlement or jury verdict can help a family pay off related debts and move forward with greater financial security. We hope that our legal services can secure the financial compensation that you and your family deserve after the trauma of losing a loved one. The financial compensation that may be available in a wrongful death claim can include the following economic and non-economic damages:
- Reasonable funeral and burial costs
- The deceased person’s medical care, treatment, and hospitalization for his or her final injury or illness
- The value of the decedent’s lost income based on how long he or she was expected to live
- Lost future employment, medical, and retirement benefits
- Lost inheritance that surviving loved ones would have received
- Any property damage that the decedent suffered in the accident
- The value of the decedent’s household services and assistance
- Loss of the decedent’s care, companionship, guidance, knowledge, and love
- Surviving family members’ mental anguish, grief, and loss of consortium
- Attorney’s fees and court filing costs
- Punitive damages, depending on the defendant’s behaviors
Georgia law permits surviving family members, beneficiaries and/or the decedent’s estate to recover compensation for both the surviving family’s claimed losses and the losses that the decedent suffered between the date of injury and the date of death. Any compensation awarded will be distributed to beneficiaries and the estate according to the deceased person’s will or the rules of intestate succession.
Is There a Cap on Wrongful Death Damages in Georgia?
Many states impose damage caps or limits on the maximum amount of financial compensation that can be received by a plaintiff. Georgia used to have a damage cap on certain types of civil claims. In 2010, however, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled damage caps unconstitutional. This means that there are currently no damage caps on wrongful death compensation in Georgia. That is not to say, however, that damages are limitless. Although no cap technically exists on economic or non-economic losses in a wrongful death claim in Georgia, there is a limit on punitive damages. This is a type of financial award granted to a plaintiff to punish a defendant for especially wrongful acts, such as malicious intent to harm or gross negligence.
State law currently limits the number of punitive damages available in any civil claim to $250,000 – 75 percent of which must be paid into the state treasury. This limit is waived, however, is a product liability lawsuit, if the defendant had specific intent to harm, or if the defendant was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident. An attorney can help you calculate the value of your wrongful death claim.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
Georgia law states that the surviving spouse of the deceased person has the initial right to file a wrongful death claim. If the couple had minor children, the surviving spouse must also represent the interests of the kids. If these parties do not exist, the surviving parents or personal representative of the estate may file.
How Long Do I Have To File a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
A statute of limitations is a deadline on the ability to bring a lawsuit. Every state has a different statute of limitations on wrongful death claims. In Georgia, a plaintiff has no more than two years of the date of death to bring a wrongful death case to court. Failing to file within this time limit typically means the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit is lost.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
There are many ways in which one person’s carelessness or recklessness can give someone else a fatal injury. If your loved one lost his or her life in any of the following circumstances, you may have grounds for a wrongful death claim:
- Bicycle Accidents
- Car accidents
- Construction accidents
- Dog attacks
- Defective products
- Drunk driving
- Nursing home abuse
- Medical malpractice
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Prescription Drugs
- Premises liability accidents
- Slip and Falls
- Work injuries
- Violent crimes
Our Atlanta wrongful death lawyers have experience representing surviving family members in these types of wrongful death cases and many others. We have the resources and ability to ensure your family has what it needs during the legal process of a wrongful death suit and can help you file a claim.
Georgia Wrongful Death Laws
To have a valid wrongful death claim in Georgia, you must follow related laws and statutes. An attorney can help you navigate these laws in a way that is efficient and works toward your family’s unique goals. Under Georgia’s Wrongful Death Act, if a person has been killed due to negligence of another, then the family of the person has the right to file a wrongful death claim.
Contact Our Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorneys Today
The experienced Atlanta wrongful death lawyers at BMW Law Group care about families in Atlanta and are committed to seeking fair compensation from the responsible party. Our law firm has spent many years representing the surviving family members of those wrongfully killed throughout Georgia. We are here to help you with the complicated legal process of a wrongful death suit and get you the compensation you deserve. Call (770) 225-4510 anytime or submit a request online and we will get back to you as soon as possible with your legal options. We offer a free case evaluation for those who have lost a loved one.