When you have lost a loved one in a tragic accident, calling an attorney is likely the last thing on your mind. You are coping with your loss and making final arrangements. Our team understands that you may feel paralyzed by grief. However, if your loved one’s death was caused by the negligent, careless, or willful action of another—such as in a DUI crash or doctor’s mistake—a wrongful death claim may be a way for you to seek some restitution and possibly find some peace. We can help.
Our Legal Team Sheds Light on Wrongful Death Cases
In Georgia, wrongful death refers to the death of one person caused by the negligent, reckless, intentional, or criminal act of another person or entity. In other words, when a person or business behaves in a manner that causes the death of another person—even if it was not intentional—he or she can be held accountable for the losses incurred by the deceased’s family members. Our wrongful death legal team has experience with many types of cases, including:
- DUI crashes
- Pedestrian accident deaths
- Truck accidents
- Reckless driving car accidents
- Fatal slip and falls
- Medical malpractice
Just as a personal injury lawsuit holds the responsible party liable for causing the victim’s injuries and requires him to pay for what the victim has lost, a wrongful death lawsuit does the same for family members in situations where the victim does not survive.
Easing the Burden for Families Who Wrongly Lost a Loved One
While it may feel strange to seek money for the life of a loved one, the point of a wrongful death lawsuit is to hold the person responsible for the death accountable for his actions. Wrongful death damages go beyond payment for medical expenses, burial costs, and lost wages. In Georgia, wrongful death claims try to put a value on a priceless life. They strive to compensate surviving family members for the intangible losses, such as the loss of companionship, loss of parental guidance, and loss of care.
We understand that monetary compensation can never make up for the inherent wrongness of a life left unfinished or the tragedy of a child left without a parent. Money can’t help a child with homework, read a bedtime story, or hold a hand. However, a Georgia wrongful death settlement can ease the financial burden of the loss and help a family get a sense of justice and closure. That is why attorney Shane Smith is committed to helping families of wrongful death victims.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
Georgia law specifies who may bring a wrongful death claim to court on behalf of the deceased. The first person who can file a claim is the spouse of the deceased person. If there are also minor children involved, the surviving spouse must also represent the interests of the children in court. If there is no surviving spouse, the children may file on their own behalf. If the deceased did not leave behind a spouse or children, the claim may be brought by the following parties:
- The surviving parent of the deceased
- A personal representative of the deceased person's estate
If the personal representative brings the claim, any damages recovered are held by the estate for the benefit of the deceased person's next of kin.
After a Fatal Accident, Our Attorneys Can Help
Have you lost a loved one in a car accident, assault, or as a result of medical malpractice? A wrongful death attorney can determine if you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim. The Law Offices of Shane Smith serves the entire Metro Atlanta area and communities throughout Georgia. If you need a wrongful death attorney—or if you just want more information—please contact us at 770-HURT-999 (770-487-8999) to schedule a free consultation.