Losing a loved one due to wrongful death is an experience that words cannot truly capture. The pain, confusion, and anger felt by the surviving family members can be overwhelming. At Gautreaux Law, we understand the depth of this tragedy and will stand by your side during this difficult time.
When you meet with us, we will take the time to understand your circumstances and explore your legal options. We are committed to helping you find justice and honoring your loved one’s memory. Above all, we will provide you with compassionate representation and caring, efficient service. Contact us today to set up an appointment. We serve clients in Macon, Warner Robins, and all of Georgia.
What is Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death claim arises when the negligence or wrongdoing of a person or entity leads to the death of another individual. It’s a legal avenue that allows the deceased’s family to seek compensation for their losses. Some common causes of wrongful death include:
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace accidents
- Product defects
- Premises liability
- Violent crimes
To prevail in a wrongful death claim, we must prove that:
- The defendant owed your loved one a duty of care
- The defendant breached that duty
- That breach directly caused your loved one’s fatal injury
- You sustained damages, such as loss of financial support and companionship
For instance, all drivers in Georgia have a duty of care to drive safely and avoid injuring other motorists, passengers, and pedestrians. A drunk or a drugged driver who causes an accident that kills another person has breached their duty of care and may be liable for wrongful death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
Georgia law clearly defines who can initiate a wrongful death lawsuit. Initially, the surviving spouse of the deceased has the primary right to file. If there’s no surviving spouse, the right is passed on to the deceased’s children. In situations where neither a spouse nor children exist, the parents can file the claim, and if no parents are alive, a personal representative may be able to file the lawsuit.
One peculiarity of these situations is that there is almost always a separate claim filed, and it is called an “estate’s claim” or a “survival claim” and those are focused on the injuries and damages that occurred prior to the person’s death. For example, the pain and suffering that a person experienced as a result of the negligence is generally a part of the survival claim.
As this summary makes clear, these cases are complicated. It’s crucial to understand these distinctions to ensure that the claim is filed correctly and promptly.
What Damages Can Be Recovered?
In Georgia, a wrongful death claim combined with a survival claim seeks to recover the full value of the life of the deceased and all other damages. This encompasses both tangible and intangible losses, such as:
- Lost wages and benefits that the deceased would have earned
- Medical expenses related to the final illness or injury
- Funeral and burial costs
- Pain and suffering endured by the deceased before death
- Loss of the intangible components of the person’s life, including all the things that person enjoyed doing even if they didn’t result in earning money, such as cooking, gardening, running, talking to a spouse or children, singing in the church choir, doing crossword puzzles, and all the other activities that makes life meaningful.
No amount of money can replace a life, but you deserve justice, and compensation to secure your financial future.
Time Limit to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia
Time is of the essence. In Georgia, a statute of limitations governs the time period for filing a wrongful death and survival claim, and they can have different deadlines, making it even more complicated. It’s vital to consult with a legal representative to understand these nuances.
Why Choose Gautreaux Law?
At Gautreaux Law, we’ve handled many wrongful death and survival claims. We understand the profound pain of losing a loved one and the importance of seeking justice. We approach each case with a deep sense of empathy and compassion, knowing that behind every case file, a grieving family is searching for answers and justice. Our team will listen to your story, ensuring that you feel heard, respected, and understood.
We are determined to represent you diligently, ensuring every aspect of the case is thoroughly investigated. Our team collaborates with experts when needed, gathering medical records, accident reports, witness testimonies, and other pertinent information. We tailor our legal strategies based on the specifics of your case. Whether it means negotiating with insurance companies or representing you in court, we’re prepared to advocate fiercely for your interests.
From our initial consultation to the conclusion of your case, we will keep you well-informed. We break down complex legal jargon, ensuring you understand each step of the process and the potential outcomes. While we tackle the legal challenges, we want you to focus on healing and remembering your loved one.
We aim to shoulder the burdens of the legal process, allowing you the space and time to process your grief and start rebuilding your life. However, we are always available to answer any questions and address any concerns you might have. With Gautreaux Law, you’re getting very experienced legal representation and gaining an ally who is fully invested in your pursuit of justice.
Contact Our Experienced Georgia Wrongful Death Attorney
The emotional and financial toll of losing a loved one can be immeasurable. If you’re faced with such a tragedy, trust Gautreaux Law to stand by your side on the path toward healing and justice. Call us today and let’s work together to pursue justice for your loved one.