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Regardless of the circumstances, the death of a loved one is always difficult. However, this type of loss is even more devastating when you lose your loved one because of someone else’s actions. Although winning a lawsuit won’t take away the pain you have experienced, it can help you get the justice you deserve. Below are some basic facts about these cases to help you understand your options and make an informed decision.
Wrongful death occurs when a person, company or government agency is legally responsible for an individual’s death. When this occurs, state law allows the deceased individual’s loved ones to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. These cases arise most frequently following fatal accidents, such as car crashes, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bus accidents, bike or pedestrian accidents, rideshare accidents, on someone’s property, assaults, medical errors, slips and falls, shootings, or incidents involving defective products.
Wrongful death cases sometimes settle outside of court. When cases do not settle outside of court, a trial will be held. If the plaintiff is successful, the court will award damages based on the estimated value of the deceased person’s life. To arrive at this figure, the court calculates damages for both economic losses, such as lost earnings, and non-economic losses, such as the victim’s inability to enjoy the rest of his or her natural life.
In order to be sued for wrongful death, an individual or entity must have either exhibited negligence or performed an intentional action that led to the victim’s death. For example, in the case of a fatal car accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the driver who caused the crash, a government agency that failed to properly maintain the roadway, or the manufacturer of a vehicle that malfunctioned during the crash. In the case of a fatal medical error, you may file a lawsuit against the nurse, doctor, or facility that was responsible for the error.
Not every individual who had a relationship with a wrongful death victim is legally able to file a lawsuit. In order to file a claim, you must have suffered damage because of the individual’s death. In the state of Georgia, individuals who can file a wrongful death suit include:
If your loved one died because of another party’s negligence or wrongful action, you may be able to file a claim. To learn more, please contact The Champion Firm, P.C.