Wrongful death cases are initiated after the death of a person caused by the negligence of another person. Wrongful death can occur in different situations. A wrongful death claim allows surviving family members to seek monetary compensation for the decedent’s outstanding medical bills, pain and suffering, funeral costs, and burial costs. After losing a loved one in an accident, you must work with one of the best Atlanta wrongful death attorneys to help you build a case.
Your loved one’s death can lead to significant emotional stress and financial stress for your family. If this death resulted from the negligence or intentional act of another person, you can pursue a wrongful death claim to get the compensation you need to ease the burden. But before you proceed, here’s what you should know first:
Not Everyone Can Bring a Lawsuit
In Atlanta, only some family members can initiate a wrongful death lawsuit for a decedent. Often, damages can be awarded to certain family members in hierarchical order, namely, the spouse of the decedent, their non-adult children, parents, and the decedent’s estate representative. Also, the surviving spouse can sue for their minor children. Regardless of the number of children involved, the spouse should get at least 1/3 of the monetary award.
There are Two Kinds of Damage You Can Recover
If you are eligible to bring a lawsuit, you recover damages for the decedent. These damages are categorized into the following:
- The full value of the decedent’s life. Such damages include compensation for the economic and non-economic values of your deceased loved one’s life, covering lost wages and loss of companionship. Such damages compensate your family for the emotional and physical losses you experience due to the death of your loved one.
- Financial losses. These include medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, as well as pain and suffering your deceased loved one experienced before their passing.
There is a Legal Deadline to Meet
As with other personal injury cases, wrongful death cases have a statute of limitations, which sets limits to when you can file a claim. You usually have two years to file a wrongful death claim in Atlanta. The clock starts ticking on the date of your loved one’s death. Failing to file within this timeframe can result in you losing your chance to seek compensation. Some exceptions to this deadline exist, particularly if it is a criminal case. Your attorney can walk you through these exceptions and determine if they apply to your case.