Many people who are injured in accidents ultimately recover and go on to lead relatively normal lives. Others are not as fortunate, though, and tragically succumb to the harm that they suffer. Usually, however, fatal accidents are preventable and only occur due to the negligence of one or more parties. People or entities ultimately responsible for an individual's loss of life should be held accountable. If you lost a loved one in an accident caused by someone else's careless behavior, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim, and it is wise to talk to a lawyer. Stockbridge wrongful death lawyer Tracy Udunka is mindful of the emotional and economic devastation that people often suffer due to the unexpected loss of a family member. If she represents you, she will work diligently to help you seek any compensation available under the law to allow you to focus on healing.Georgia's Definition of Wrongful Death
Under Georgia law, a wrongful death is defined as the death of a human being due to negligence, a crime, or a defective product, regardless of whether the product's defects were caused by negligence. Typically, though, Georgia wrongful death claims arise out of negligence; therefore, as in personal injury matters, the plaintiff is required to prove the defendant's liability to recover damages. In other words, a plaintiff must show a duty owed to the deceased person by the defendant, a breach of the duty, and proof that the breach proximately caused the death out of which the claims arose. In other words, the plaintiff must show that the defendant failed to act with reasonable care and that the defendant's behavior directly led to the victim's death. A wrongful death attorney in Stockbridge can help you gather evidence to prove these elements.Pursuing Wrongful Death Claims
Only certain people are permitted to pursue wrongful death claims in Georgia. Specifically, a deceased person's surviving spouse, or a minor or adult child or children if there is no spouse, can recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Additionally, parents can pursue claims for the death of a child. If no person falls within these parameters, the executor or administrator of the deceased individual can bring a wrongful death lawsuit and recover damages for the next of kin.
Generally, a plaintiff who presents a successful wrongful death claim will be awarded the full value of the deceased person's life, without any portion deducted for any of the personal or necessary expenses that the person would have incurred had he or she lived. The value of a person's life usually includes economic elements, such as benefits and wages, and intangible components, such as the companionship and care that the person provided to family members. Additionally, a Stockbridge wrongful death attorney can assist the deceased person's personal representative in pursuing the cost of any medical treatment that the victim incurred prior to death and funeral expenses on behalf of the estate.
The law explicitly dictates how damages granted for the value of the life of a person should be divided, stating that the compensation will be split among a surviving spouse and children.
Regardless of how many children the deceased person had, any surviving spouse must receive at least one-third of the sum awarded.
The relevant statute of limitations dictates that wrongful death claims must usually be filed within two years of the date when the person died. In some cases, the statute of limitations will be tolled, however, such as when there is a pending criminal trial or the estate is in probate.Meet With a Trusted Attorney to Assess Your Wrongful Death Claim
Losing a loved one is never easy, but when a death is caused by an avoidable accident, it can be even more difficult to bear. If you lost a family member due to another person's negligent acts, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim, and you should meet with a lawyer. Tracy Udunka is a trusted wrongful death lawyer in the Stockbridge area with ample experience helping aggrieved parties protect their interests, and she will pursue the best outcome available in your case. The Law Office of Tracy Udunka assists people with wrongful death claims in Stockbridge, Lithonia, College Park, Union City, Decatur, and throughout the Atlanta region. You can reach Ms. Udunka through the online form or at (770) 629-1383 to set up a conference.