Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyer
When you lose a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness, it’s always a tragic situation. In these circumstances, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit and recover compensation. We fully understand that money won’t make up for losing your loved one, but holding someone accountable is the right thing to do. As a boutique law firm, we have the unique advantage of being able to spend as much time as necessary with all of our clients. Contact an Atlanta wrongful death attorney at Williams Oinonen LLC today for a consultation by filling out our online form or calling (404) 654-0288.
Atlanta Wrongful Death Guide:
- Why Choose Williams Oinonen LLC?
- Wrongful Death Definition
- Do You Have a Georgia Wrongful Death Claim?
- What Damages Can You Recover?
- Time Limits in Georgia Cases
Why Hire Our Attorneys For This Claim?
- Williams Oinonen is a boutique law firm with more than 10 years of experience representing Georgia residents with their personal injury and wrongful death claims.
- Our team has a track record of success, and we have recovered significant settlements and jury verdicts on behalf of families who have lost loved ones.
- We handle personal injury claims in Atlanta on a contingency fee basis. This means that our clients will not have to worry about paying us any legal fees until after we secure the compensation they are entitled to.
- We pledge to stand by your side throughout the entire case. We understand how challenging wrongful death claims can be for family members, and we want to make sure that you are cared for throughout this process.
What is Wrongful Death?
Under Georgia law, if a person loses their life due to the wrongful act of another individual or company, then their family members will have the right to file a wrongful death claim in civil court (O.C.G.A. § 51-4-2). Family members will have the right to make a claim for “the full value of the life of the decedent.”
Do I Have a Wrongful Death Claim Under Georgia Law?
If you have lost a loved one and believe their death was caused by the negligence of another individual, company, or entity, you may indeed have a wrongful death claim. We strongly encourage you to speak to a skilled Atlanta wrongful death attorney who can examine the facts of your case and help you make the best decision moving forward.
Wrongful death claims arise in a wide variety of ways in the state of Georgia. Some of the most common causes of wrongful death include:
- Car accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Drowning incidents
- Negligent security
- Medical malpractice
- Premises liability incidents
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
- Intentional acts of violence
This is certainly not an exhaustive list of the types of ways that wrongful death claims arise in and around the Atlanta area.
When recovering compensation in a wrongful death case, the courts determine the damages based on what the victim experienced rather than what the surviving family members experienced. O.C.G.A § 51-4-2(a) stipulates that the compensation paid out will be based on the full value of the decedent’s life, as shown by the evidence. There are two parts to the value of life: economic damages and non-economic damages.
The economic damages refer to how much the decedent would have earned in the course of their full life. This includes income, benefits, investments, and the value of services that the decedent would have performed in their life, such as landscaping, painting the house, preparing meals, and more.
The non-economic damages refer to the intangible value of the victim’s life. This generally entails the loss of activities that the decedent enjoyed doing, such as playing with their children, spending time with their partner, adopting a pet, and any other activity that the decedent enjoyed and put value on.
What Compensation is Granted to Surviving Family Members?
In Georgia, just because you bring a wrongful death suit doesn’t mean you are entitled to the full damages that are awarded. O.C.G.A § 51-4-2(d)(1) requires that monetary compensation be distributed in a specific way. If the decedent’s surviving family members include their spouse and no more than two children, the compensation is split equally among them. If the decedent had more than two children, their surviving spouse is still entitled to one-third of the compensation. The remaining portion is to be split equally among the children.
Georgia law can get complicated when it comes to determining who receives compensation for a wrongful death claim. In general, all money awarded through a settlement or jury verdict will be split among eligible family members. This will typically be done by looking at what a person had indicated in their will. If there was no will at the time of death, George law does specify how damages are to be divided amongst survivors.
One-Third to Spouse, Two-Thirds to Children
If there is no will, then the spouse of the deceased is entitled to one-third of the entire damage award amount. The remaining two-thirds will be split amongst any children equally. If there are multiple children, they will still only be entitled to recovery of two-thirds of the total compensation amount. A surviving spouse will always be entitled to one-third of the total.
Parents Split Damages Equally
If a wrongful death claim is filed by the parents of the deceased, which means there was no surviving spouse or surviving children, then the parents will split damage amounts equally. Parents will share the wrongful death compensation even if they are divorced or even if one parent did not want to file the claim at all. However, if one parent cannot be found, the payment to that parent can be held by the court for up to two years. This gives that “missing” parent a window of time to collect the compensation. After this timeframe has elapsed, the money will go to the other parent.
Georgia Statute of Limitations and Exceptions
Typically, surviving family members have up to two years to bring a claim for wrongful death. However, it’s important to note that there are sometimes exceptions to this rule.
If the decedent’s death was caused by a criminal act, the statute of limitations can be extended. In the case of a criminal act, the statute of limitations is paused until the crime or violation has a final disposition, or for six years from the date of the incident, whichever is shorter. At that point, the two-year statute of limitation begins.
In some cases, the statute of limitations can be less than two years. If the government caused a person’s death – for example, a car accident caused by a police officer – the deadline may be shorter. Sometimes the statute of limitations can be as little as six months. An Atlanta wrongful death lawyer can help ensure that your claim is filed in a timely manor.
An Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorney Will Help You File on Time
If you lost a loved one and believe someone should be held responsible, contact a lawyer from Williams Oinonen LLC today. The sooner you contact us, the more likely it is that we can successfully file a wrongful death claim on your behalf. We understand that you have a lot to process emotionally, but we want to ensure that you and your family receive everything you’re entitled to. Contact an Atlanta wrongful death attorney today for a consultation from a wrongful death attorney by filling out our online form or calling (404) 654-0288.
Gerogia Wrongful Death Resources