Wrongful Death Attorney in Macon-Bibb County, Georgia
The sudden loss of a loved one is one of the worst experiences anyone can face in life. When someone you love dies because of negligence or wrongdoing on the part of another, you may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. While suing the party that killed your loved one won’t bring them back, it can relieve the fear and anxiety about your financial future.
At The Law Office of George O. Haskell, IV, we understand the emotional distress you are dealing with after the loss of your loved one. Our wrongful death attorney in Macon-Bibb County, Georgia, is dedicated to providing compassionate and results-driven legal representation to the families of those killed in fatal accidents.
We serve clients in Macon-Bibb County and throughout the surrounding area, including Warner Robins, Houston County, Milledgeville, Monticello, and Forsyth. Contact us today to set up a free initial consultation and learn about your options for moving forward.
What Constitutes Wrongful Death in Georgia?
Under Georgia law, the term “wrongful death” applies to any instance where an individual dies as a result of (a) someone else’s negligent or criminal act or (b) defectively manufactured products. Depending on the type of accident in which the deceased lost his or her life, the surviving family members have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases is two years from the time of the death.
If a lawsuit is not filed within two years from the date of the death, the surviving family members automatically lose their right to pursue compensation. However, the two-year statute of limitations can be tolled if any of the following is true:
The death was the result of criminal activity. If a deceased person’s death is the result of someone else’s criminal conduct and there is an ongoing criminal case, the statute of limitations may be suspended until the criminal case is resolved. However, the two-year clock cannot be tolled for more than six years.
The estate has not been probated. If the deceased person’s probate has not been probated, the statute of limitations can be tolled for up to five years.
It’s beneficial to speak with an experienced attorney to discuss your situation. Our attorney can review the facts of your case and explain whether or not you have a wrongful death case and, if so, how long you have to recover damages under the law.
Compassionate Legal CounselReach Out Today
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
When a loved one dies, family members of the deceased may be entitled to financial compensation. However, the right to pursue a wrongful death claim is limited to just a few family members. In Georgia, the following family members can sue the party whose negligence or wrongdoing caused their loved one’s death in this particular order:
The surviving spouse of the deceased.
The child or children of the deceased.
The deceased’s parents.
Other relatives and family members, including siblings, cannot pursue a wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia. If no eligible family members are alive or are otherwise not able to file a lawsuit, the executor of the deceased person’s estate will file a lawsuit to recover damages. In that case, any damages recovered in the lawsuit are awarded for the benefit of the decedent’s next of kin.
What Needs to Be Proven to Constitute Wrongful Death?
The plaintiffs in a wrongful death lawsuit must establish that the defendant (the party accused of causing or contributing to the decedent’s death) was negligent and failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent the fatal accident. In establishing negligence in wrongful death cases, our attorney helps clients gather the following types of evidence:
Photos and videos from the accident scene.
Accident/police reports (if applicable).
Statements from witnesses.
Statements from accident reconstruction experts or other expert witnesses.
It's best to start building a wrongful death case as soon as possible after the loved one’s death. However, we understand that you need to take all the time you need to grieve and mourn your loss, which is why our attorney at The Law Office of George O. Haskell, IV can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that the individual or entity responsible for your loved one’s death is held accountable for their actions.
When a wrongful death lawsuit is successful, the court will order the defendant to pay compensation – known as “damages” – to the deceased person’s surviving family members. Georgia law recognizes three categories of damages that can be sought in wrongful death cases:
Economic damages. As the name implies, this category of damages is intended to compensate surviving family members for financial losses related to their loved one’s death. Some examples of economic damages include the loss of wages, services, and benefits that the deceased could have provided if he/she lived. Economic damages also include medical bills suffered by the deceased before their passing, the funeral and burial expenses, and any other tangible losses.
Non-economic damages. These damages are intended to compensate surviving family members for any intangible losses related to their loved one’s death. Examples of non-economic damages include loss of companionship, loss of consortium, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and others.
Punitive damages. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer for their conduct in aggravating circumstances. In Georgia, punitive damages are awarded in personal injury and wrongful death cases when the deceased was killed as a result of the defendant’s malicious, fraudulent, wanton, oppressive, or willful conduct.
Our wrongful death attorney can assist you with filing a claim as an eligible surviving family member or the executor of the deceased person’s estate. While we understand that no amount of money can bring back your loved one and undo the devastating loss of your loved one, we can help you pursue all the damages available to help you get the closure and justice you need to move forward with your life.
Wrongful Death Attorney Serving Macon-Bibb County, Georgia
Accepting the loss of a loved one is always an unbearable and traumatizing experience, especially when there is reason to believe that the death is the result of someone else’s negligence. Our wrongful death attorney at The Law Office of George O. Haskell, IV, is committed to helping surviving family members of those wrongfully killed pursue the compensation they need to obtain closure and seek justice. Contact our Georgia firm to set up your free consultation today.