Wrongful Death Lawsuits: Know Your Legal Options

Wrongful deaths commonly happen because of car accidents. If a car accident results in a person’s death, surviving family members face tragic repercussions. Although there’s no remedy to what occurred, a wrongful death claim can help families seek the justice and compensation they deserve. If you lost a family member in a car accident, you should know what your legal options are by hiring an experienced wrongful death attorney. Your legal representative will help you file a lawsuit against the party responsible for your loved one’s death. 

Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed when a person’s death resulted from the wrongful act, criminal act, intentional act, or neglect of another party. When you file a lawsuit, you must prove the negligent party owed your deceased loved one a duty of care, breached this duty, and this breach resulted in your loved one’s death. Also, you must prove that your family sustained damages because of the death of your loved one.

As the plaintiff, you must prove the defendant’s wrongful act. If your loved one’s wrongful death resulted from a car accident, there should be a thorough investigation of the case to determine the specific cause of the accident. Examples of driver negligence that can lead to wrongful deaths include speeding, cutting off another driver, unlawful changing of lanes, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving aggressively, distracted driving, and tailgating.

What Damages Can You Recover?

In Georgia, you must file a claim to establish your deceased loved one’s full life value and a claim to recover monetary damage sustained because of death. Each claim seeks to recover economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include the value of your loved one’s lost earnings, funeral and burial expenses, loss of inheritance, and medical expenses before death. Meanwhile, non-economic damages include loss of companionship and care as well as the pain and suffering of your loved one before death. 

Who Pays for Damages

If you file a wrongful death claim against a negligent motorist who acted negligently and caused your loved one’s death, their liability insurance policy will pay out a claim. Thus, you will need to negotiate a settlement with an insurer who may argue that the death of your loved one did not directly result from the actions of their policyholder. Also, the insurance company may assert that your deceased loved one contributed to or caused the accident and that no wrongful act or negligence happened. A skilled lawyer is familiar with these arguments and will fight back to win even the toughest settlement negotiations. 

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