The sudden loss of a child, spouse, or parent can be devastating to an entire family. What can make this event even more challenging to grasp is if the negligent act of another caused the death of your loved one.
If you have lost a close family member in a fatal accident, you should contact a Riverdale wrongful death lawyer. No amount of money can replace this person in your life, but you may be able to pursue damages on behalf of their estate as a personal representative. A dedicated personal injury attorney could sit down with you during this challenging time, review your case, and discuss what options you may have to seek compensation. With a lawyer’s help, you could advocate for the rights of your lost loved one.
The first step a Riverdale attorney may take in a wrongful death case is establishing who may represent the deceased. Several individuals may act as a representative.
According to Official Code of Georgia Annotated §51-4-2, a claim may be brought first by the spouse of the deceased, and if there is no spouse, by the child or children. If the decedent had no spouse or children, their parent may bring a wrongful death lawsuit. Finally, if a spouse, parent, or child is unavailable to file a claim, then state law permits an executor or administrator to be appointed by the court under O.C.G.A. §51-4-5. An attorney could help a family determine who may act as a representative in a claim.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, there are several types of injuries that a representative may be eligible to pursue. State law permits a plaintiff to seek economic, non-economic, and in some cases, punitive damages.
If a representative successfully wins their lawsuit against the defendant, the damages are divided equally, with the surviving spouse receiving at least one-third of the damages. Additionally, each of the decedent’s children may receive a portion of the compensatory award. An experienced Riverdale lawyer could assess a wrongful death case and evaluate what damages a claimant may be able to seek.
Economic damages are the actual out-of-pocket expenses that resulted due to the fatal accident. Depending on the situation, these losses may include:
Noneconomic damages are particularly relevant in wrongful death cases. These intangible expenditures act as compensation for the psychological trauma resulting from the death in question. Some examples of noneconomic damages a claimant may be able to recover include:
Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for any particularly egregious behavior that caused someone to die. Because these damages require more than mere negligence, the court awards them less frequently. A Riverdale wrongful death lawyer could identify if a claimant may be eligible to demand punitive damages.
A compassionate Riverdale wrongful death lawyer could help you better understand how you can assert your loved one’s legal rights if they died in a fatal accident. Therefore, if you have lost a family member, you should contact a local attorney to discuss the details of your situation. Call today to learn how we could help you and your family.