Any accident that results in a loved one’s premature death is a tragic event, no matter what the cause of the accident was. When this kind of incident stems directly from someone else’s reckless or careless behavior, the grief, anger, and confusion over legal options can make pursuing civil recovery even more difficult than it already is.
Retaining a Zebulon wrongful death lawyer might be the best way to ensure that you can effectively demand the compensation you deserve from the responsible party and minimize your own stress and heartache while doing so. The civil litigation process following a wrongful death can be exhausting, and seeking help from a compassionate personal injury attorney could help reduce the burden on your family as you look to move forward with your lives.
Possible Grounds for a Wrongful Death Claim
One of the key things to understand about wrongful death claims is that they are mostly the same as typical personal injury claims, in that they are a way for harmed individuals to seek financial compensation from the negligent person who caused that harm. Because of that, virtually any accident stemming from legal negligence—from car crashes to medical mistakes, to attacks by a domesticated animal—could be grounds for a wrongful death claim if the consequences were ultimately fatal for one or more parties involved.
However, since the party with a direct cause of action did not survive the incident, the right to file suit against a liable negligent party would instead fall to the deceased individual’s surviving family members. Under Official Code of Georgia §51-4-2, only the surviving spouse, child(ren), or parent(s) of a deceased individual—in that order of priority—may bring a wrongful death claim on that individual’s behalf.
What if There is No Immediate Family?
If none of those immediate family members are available, the decedent’s estate executor or administrator may file suit and hold recovered compensation on behalf of the decedent’s next of kin, as per O.C.G.A. §51-4-5. A Zebulon accidental death lawyer could go into further detail during a private consultation about what options might be available in a particular situation.
What Damages Could Be Recoverable?
The purpose of recovery in this type of case is not to completely make up for a wrongful death but rather to allow family members to recover for “the full value of the life of the decedent.” This means that a wrongful death claim may seek compensation for specific economic and non-economic harms that surviving family members will suffer as a direct result of the loss.
While specific recoverable losses will vary from case to case, some of the most common damages that local wrongful death attorneys help seek restitution for include:
- Funeral, burial/cremation, and/or medical expenses
- Loss of future financial support from the decedent, including work wages, as well as interest and payouts from investments
- Loss of care and companionship
- Loss of consortium for a spouse
Learn if a Zebulon Wrongful Death Attorney Could Help
There is nothing a court can do that will make up for a loved one’s death due to circumstances beyond their control. However, what a successful lawsuit could do is ensure that you and your family do not needlessly suffer financial hardship from a loss that neither you nor your deceased family member did anything to cause.
A Zebulon wrongful death lawyer could work relentlessly to pursue a favorable case outcome, either in court or through private settlement negotiations. Give us a call whenever you are ready to set up an initial meeting.