An unexpected death, like one caused by an accident, leaves a hole in the family’s life.
State laws on wrongful death vary, but family members who have lost a loved one can sue for monetary damages.
Damages in a wrongful death action typically include past and future losses like medical bills, funeral costs, and future economic contributions to the family’s household.
In the article below, we will take a closer look at the benefits of a wrongful death case.
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A wrongful death claim is similar to a personal injury claim, except that the injured person passes away.
The injured party dies due to another party’s negligence or wrongdoing.
There are different types of wrongful death claims based on the circumstances surrounding the victim’s death.
These include medical malpractice, car accidents, bicycle accidents, premises liability accidents, workplace injuries, etc., which can all lead to a wrongful death case.
The plaintiff must prove three things to win a wrongful death lawsuit:
In addition to proving that the defendant owed the decedents a duty of care, the plaintiff must show that the defendant acted negligently.
Negligence is failing to act as a reasonable person would under similar circumstances.
Three main damages can be claimed in a wrongful death suit: economic, non-economic, and punitive.
Damages for wrongful death can vary from state to state.
Some states limit how much and what kinds of damages can be given for wrongful death.
Below are the damages you can expect in a wrongful death case.
Economic damages are the losses with a specific dollar amount a spouse or other immediate family members have suffered due to the wrongful death of a loved one.
Economic damages generally include:
Putting an accurate value on economic damages in wrongful death cases can be challenging, but it’s still easier than non-economic damages we’ll discuss in a second.
When calculating economic damages, you have to consider the person’s age, health before death, and earning capacity.
Experienced medical malpractice attorneys will accurately calculate all types of damages to help make things right for victims and their families.
Non-economic damages are even tougher to calculate.
You will need a wrongful death attorney to help you calculate the intangible losses your family has suffered.
Non-economic damages after wrongful death damage often include:
Punitive damages are a bit different.
Punitive damages differ from other types of damages because they are not meant to compensate the plaintiff.
Instead, they are meant to punish the defendant for especially bad or careless behavior and discourage them and others from doing the same thing.
You can’t get punitive damages in many states in a lawsuit for wrongful death or from certain entities, like the government.
Georgia’s wrongful death decedent viewpoint says that the victim’s family can’t get money for emotional pain or the support they would have gotten from the victim if they hadn’t died.
Georgia courts give money for pain and suffering based on what the victim went through.
A jury could decide if punitive damages are awarded.
In Georgia, families who have lost a loved one because of someone else’s wrongdoing cannot get punitive damages.
However, punitive damages have been given in Georgia wrongful death cases brought by the person in charge of the victim’s estate because of the pain and suffering the accident caused.
In determining what types of damages will be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit, your personal representative will examine the factors surrounding the deceased and their relationships with the different surviving family members.
Typically, wrongful death damages can be awarded to:
In Georgia, the wrongful death statute of limitations is two years.
That means you have two years from the date of the fatal injury of the person who died to file a claim for wrongful death.
But that time could be shorter or longer, depending on the circumstances of the accident and injuries.
A wrongful death lawyer will care for all the tricky parts of personal injury law.
Your lawyers will deal with the people at fault and their insurance companies.
A wrongful death lawyer will handle the challenging aspects of your case, so you have time to grieve your loss.
After figuring out how much you’ve lost, they can help you reach a fair settlement.
You also need relevant evidence to build a strong case.
You’ll need witness testimony, medical records, expert witnesses, and many other pieces of evidence your attorney will collect.
If you have recently lost a loved one to a case of wrongful death, you don’t have to fight for justice and fair compensation alone.
The legal process can be complicated and confusing, so work with The Mabra Firm.
They will fight for your legal rights and help you regain financial stability during this devastating time.
The Mabra Firm’s personal injury attorneys represent people who need to file wrongful death claims.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation if you believe you have a case.