Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorney
Wrongful Death Lawyers Providing Legal Counsel To Atlanta Victims
First, if you are reading this page because you lost a spouse or close family member in an accident, our heart goes out to you. We are sorry for your loss. We hope you find the information on this page helpful as you explore what to do.
Wrongful death occurs when a life is taken without legal justification. Most wrongful deaths result from accidents. Laws regarding wrongful death accidents vary state by state, but what all states share in common is the goal of bringing closure and justice.
Justice is found in two places: through the criminal justice system where the state will pursue the person or business responsible for causing a death, and through the civil justice system where the surviving family of a wrongful death victim can file a case against the responsible person or business. This page and our lawyers address the civil justice system while the district attorneys in each county address the criminal justice system.
Traffic accidents are the highest leading cause of wrongful death in Atlanta. More than 100 people die every year in Fulton County collisions. Nearly half of the victims are pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists. According to the CDC, more than 50% of elderly people are pedestrians involved in accidents. And sadly, about 20% of fatal Atlanta crashes involve a drunk driver. Our Atlanta wrongful death lawyers have seen many different kinds of cases. We provide compassionate counseling to our grieving clients; we also provide zealous advocacy to make sure that those responsible are held accountable for their negligent actions.
Which Family Members Bring a Wrongful Death Case in Georgia?
Georgia law specifies the family members who are authorized to bring a wrongful death claim. O.C.G.A § 51-4-2 designates the deceased victim’s spouse as the family member who is entitled to bring the claim. If the victim had no surviving spouse, the victim’s children can bring the claim. If the victim had no surviving children, the victim’s parents are next in line to bring the wrongful death claim.
When no spouse, children, or parents are living at the time of the victim’s death, the victim’s Estate can bring a wrongful death claim. The victim’s Estate also has a separate claim for the victim’s pain and suffering, as well as medical bills, prior to the victim’s death.
How is the Settlement Shared Among the Surviving Family Members?
Georgia law defines how wrongful death compensation should be distributed among family members. O.C.G.A. § 51-4-2(d)(1) requires a wrongful death recovery to be divided equally among the surviving spouse and children. However, the spouse will always keep at least 1/3 of the recovery regardless of how many children there are.
Estate claims are distributed according to the terms of the victim’s Will, or as provided by Georgia law if the victim died without a Will.
Georgia law also creates exceptions to these general rules. Our Georgia Wrongful Death Law FAQ explains in more detail the process of bringing and distributing the proceeds of a wrongful death claim. Of course we welcome you to contact us with any questions you have.
What Compensation Can Surviving Family Members Pursue in a Wrongful Death Case in Georgia?
O.C.G.A. § 51-4-2(a) defines the measure of wrongful death compensation as “the full value of the life of the decedent.” The value of a life is priceless, and no money can ever say what human life was worth. However, Georgia court decisions define “full value” in two ways: first, the economic loss, and second, the non-economic losses.
Economic losses include the income the victim would have earned over the course of a normal lifetime if the victim’s life had not been cut short. Economic losses also include the value of services (such as cooking or home maintenance) that the victim would have provided to family members if the victim had lived a normal lifespan.
When it comes to trying to measure the non-economic loss it is even harder. There is no formula for the measurement of non-economic losses. Georgia judges instruct juries to measure non-economic losses from the standpoint of what the victim lost by not living a full life. What does that mean? Some people love to go camping and fishing. Some people take the time to watch a sunset every night. Married people look forward to watching children and grandchildren grow up. Children get to play outside. Children get to play with friends. Teenagers start to go on dates. All of these things are treasures that make up the value of a life. And when these treasures are stripped from our clients, our Atlanta personal injury attorneys fight.
The loss of life’s pleasures is not easy to value, but our experienced wrongful death attorneys try our best. We assemble evidence to bring the victim back to life in the minds of jurors. When Georgia jurors understand what the victim has lost, we expect them to provide favorable compensation to surviving family members.
How Does Tobin Injury Law Help Atlanta Surviving Family Members?
We are dedicated to helping families rebuild their lives after careless or deliberate actions cause a loved one’s death. Wrongful death compensation cannot restore a life; we know that. We don’t pretend otherwise. What we promise to do is make everyone remember the human life that is no more. We especially make the wrongdoing person remember what he did.
We are dedicated to making Atlanta and all of Georgia a safer place to live. Our Atlanta car accident lawyers think drunk drivers and high drivers who cause wrecks should go to prison. The criminal justice system ensures that drunk driving and high driving drivers face criminal penalties. What we try and do as wrongful death lawyers in Atlanta is send a message to drunk drivers and the insurance companies that insure those drivers that driving drunk will lead to severe financial penalties.
The aggressive pursuit of wrongful death compensation changes the behavior of irresponsible people and businesses. We try and help our clients feel that in their own way they are saving other lives by seeking justice for a family member’s death.
Georgia’s Wrongful Death Lawyers at Tobin Injury Law
As we said at the start, we are sorry for your loss. We hope this page has been helpful. If you’d like to talk with our lawyers, we are available to answer your questions in your home or in our office. We do not charge to answer questions. We promise to listen, and educate. Because we work on a contingency fee arrangement, it means you do not pay us for our time. We only get paid at the very end after we have successfully resolved your case and gotten you paid. We welcome you to email us or call us at 404-JUSTICE (404-587-8423) to speak with our experienced Atlanta wrongful death lawyers.