The sudden, unexpected death of a spouse, child, or parent is devastating for all of the survivors. In addition to the emotional trauma, there are also the practical issues that need to be dealt with as the grieving process continues. The deceased may have left behind thousands of dollars in unpaid medical bills and other debts, and family members may face an uncertain future without their loved one's financial support.
Some deaths are tragic and unavoidable acts of fate. But when death is the result of another party's negligence, the survivors need more than answers. They are entitled to compensation for their losses. That is why Georgia, like most states, allows a special type of civil action known as a wrongful death lawsuit.
These types of cases are not simple. An experienced Atlanta wrongful death attorney is an invaluable partner in pursuing justice. At the offices of Calvin A. Edwards, Jr., attorney, our legal team understands the complexity of wrongful death lawsuits. We have the judgment and the experience to help you identify any negligent acts that contributed to your family member's death and take timely legal action.
When Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Appropriate?
Wrongful death is similar to, but distinct from, other personal injury claims. The main difference is the victim in a wrongful death case is not alive to bring a lawsuit on his or her own behalf. Instead, it falls to the victim's family members, and the personal representative of the estate, to take action.
In fact, Georgia recognizes two separate types of wrongful death claims–one for the immediate surviving family, and the other for the estate. The family's claim is meant to seek damages for the “full value” of the victim's life, including the following:
- lost wages and retirement benefits;
- future earnings based on the victim's expected lifespan; and
- the victim's loss of enjoyment of his or her life, including missed time with their spouse and children.
The estate's claim, in contrast, is only meant to recover damages directly related to the wrongful death, such as:
- medical expenses incurred by the victim's final illness or injury;
- the cost of the victim's funeral and burial; and
- an amount reflecting the victim's pain and suffering just prior to death.
As you can see, there are a lot of potential damages in a wrongful death case. Our legal team works with experts as necessary, both to establish the defendant's negligence and to guide the jury in determining damages. Of course, no amount of money can ever compensate you for the loss of a loved one, but by holding the responsible parties accountable, it can help your family move on with their lives.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
Georgia requires most wrongful death lawsuits be filed within two years of the victim's death. That may sound like a lot of time, but it often take several months of investigation and preparatory work before a case is ready. This is why it is important not to delay speaking with an Atlanta wrongful death attorney if you have any reason to suspect that your family member's death was due to negligence. Call the offices of Calvin A. Edwards, Jr., Attorney at 470-539-8528 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our legal team.