Fatal car accidents in Marietta, Georgia, are on the rise. According to Georgia County Fact Sheets, Cobb County had nearly 70 car crash fatalities in 2019 alone.
If you lost a loved one, a compassionate fatal car accident lawyer in Marietta, Georgia, could help you hold the liable party accountable and access the compensation that you deserve.
Call The Champion Firm at 404-596-8044 for a free consultation.
Is The Champion Firm Right for You?
The Champion Firm has what it takes to get your family through this. Our compassion, experience, and unparalleled support can make a difference during the fatal accident claims process.
The Champion Firm Difference:
- The Champion Firm has recovered Over $90 Million in wrongful death and personal injury settlements and verdicts.
- We never pressure you to settle for less than you deserve. We’re prepared to bring your case to court if it’s the right move.
- The Champion Firm provides prompt updates and is always available to answer questions or concerns.
Fatal Car Accidents in Marietta
You may be wondering what will happen next and what you should be doing to get justice for your loved one.
First, the party responsible for your family member’s death may face criminal charges depending on the details. For example, if your loved one died in a drunk driving accident, you may expect the impaired driver to face DUI charges. But even if they are not charged, they may face other charges associated with the wreck.
You do not need to wait until the prosecutor decides whether they will press charges or for a criminal case to be resolved. The criminal case, if any, may have little to no bearing on your ability to pursue civil action against the liable party.
Identify Who’s at Fault
For your family to get justice for the death of your loved one, you need to figure out who is responsible for causing the fatal car accident that took their life. For car accidents, many different parties could share fault. Your attorney will need to examine the details to uncover the truth.
Examples of culpable parties in fatal car accidents in Marietta are:
- Negligent drivers
- Vehicle parts producers and distributors
- Restaurants or bars that served alcohol to an intoxicated driver
- Government agencies
- Safety inspectors
- Other third parties
Who Can File a Fatal Car Accident Claim?
Once identified, you need to be sure that you have the authority to file the claim. Under Georgia law, only specific family members of the decedent have the right to pursue damages. The decedent’s surviving spouse has the first opportunity to pursue a case. But if there is no surviving spouse, then the decedent’s surviving children can file the claim.
If the decedent did not have a surviving spouse or children, their parents might have the right to file. Finally, if the decedent’s parents are no longer alive, a representative of the deceased’s estate would have the right to pursue the case.
Fatal Car Accident Damages & Compensation
Family members seeking compensation after a fatal car accident in Marietta may be entitled to specific damages as part of their case. To start, you can seek compensation for the decedent’s medical expenses and their funeral and burial expenses. Your family may also be able to recover lost wages, lost future benefits, and compensation for diminished earning capacity.
But you also have the right to be repaid for damages that do not have a fixed monetary value. These are commonly referred to as non-economic damages.
Non-economic damages include:
- Loss of guidance and support
- Loss of advice and counsel
- Loss of companionship and love
- The decedent’s physical pain and suffering
There is also the possibility that you could be awarded punitive damages. Georgia courts do not award punitive damages often. They are awarded when the court system feels it necessary to punish the liable party beyond their compensatory damages.
Punitive damages are meant to send a message that actions as reprehensible as these will not be tolerated. Georgia puts a cap on punitive damages of up to $250,000. However, there can be some exceptions depending on your case. For example, there is no cap on punitive damages if the at-fault driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
How Wrongful Death Damages are Divided
When your family is awarded damages after a fatal car crash, they are divided according to the terms of Georgia’s statute. If the decedent was married but had no children, the surviving spouse would be awarded the full amount.
If the decedent had children and a surviving spouse, the amount would be divided evenly, with the spouse obtaining no less than one-third of the total award.
If the decedent does not have a surviving spouse or children, and the parents pursue a wrongful death claim, then the parents can be awarded the full amount of damages to be divided evenly among the parents. One of the parents may be able to petition the court for an equitable division of the damages based on their relationship with the child and the support they provided the child. For example, one parent may have been absent from the child’s life and never provided support. In that scenario, a court may award most, or all of the damages to the surviving parent who raised the child and provided financial support.
When a representative of the estate pursues the wrongful death claim, damages are divided according to either the intestacy statute if there is no will or based on the terms of the will if the decedent had an existing will in place.
Fatal Car Accidents: Wrongful Death & Survival Claims
One of the biggest questions families have after a fatal accident is filing a survival action or wrongful death claim. Survival action claims belong to the estate for everything before the decedent’s death. This includes the decedent’s medical expenses, physical pain and suffering before passing, and funeral expenses.
But wrongful death relates to the value of life from the decedent’s perspective and includes non-economic intangible values such as lost enjoyment of life, lost companionship, affection and society with family members. Watch this brief video to learn more about the difference between estate and wrongful death claims.
The Insurance Company After a Fatal Accident
Insurance companies make money by collecting premiums and refusing to pay out on claims. For this reason, you should expect the insurance company to do everything possible to avoid having to pay out your full settlement.
One of the most common ways insurance companies will take advantage of families in need is by making a lowball offer. These offers rarely, if ever, accurately reflect the value of what your loved one and your family are going through. Your attorney should be prepared to fight back and negotiate full and fair restitution.
Marietta Fatal Car Accident FAQs
After everything your family has been through, it is normal to wonder what is next. We have answered some of the more commonly asked questions surrounding fatal car accident cases. If you have additional questions, contact us for a free consultation today.
Where Do The Most Fatal Accidents in Marietta Happen?
Some streets and intersections in Cobb County have seen far more fatal accidents than others. Be sure to drive as safely as possible if you are traveling through any of the following:
- Cobb Parkway
- Town Center Mall
- Bells Ferry Road & Chastain Road
- Veterans Memorial Hwy & Floyd Road
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit for a Fatal Car Accident?
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including fatal car accident claims, is generally two years. However, the start and end of the statute of limitations can vary based on a variety of circumstances. For example, wrongful death claims generally run from the date of death. Do not make the mistake of risking your settlement by missing critical deadlines. Failure to get your lawsuit filed before the statute of limitations runs out will result in a dismissal.
Can Grandparents File a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
No. Grandparents, cousins, nieces, siblings, and other family members that are not the decedent’s surviving spouse, children, or parents do not have the authority to pursue compensation through a fatal car accident claim. If there is no surviving spouse, child, or parent, then the deceased’s estate can pursue the claim. This would be done through somebody appointed by a probate court as a representative of the estate.
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Champion Firm Client | Motor Vehicle Accidents
Wanda | Wrongful Death
Champion Firm Client | Motor Vehicle Accident
Walter | Motor Vehicle Accident
Michael | Slip & Fall
Speak to Our Fatal Car Accident Attorneys in Marietta
If you lost a loved one in a fatal car accident, we’re ready to help prove negligence and get justice for your family. The Champion Firm in Marietta, GA is here to answer your questions and explain what’s next.