Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorney
Wrongful Death Lawyer Providing Legal Counsel To Atlanta Victims
Wrongful death occurs when a life is taken without legal justification. Murder is never justified, but most wrongful deaths result from accidents. What all states say that is while no amount of money will ever undo the loss suffered, state laws are intended to try bringing some form of justice. Justice is found in 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 to recover compensation for their loss.
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. And sadly, about 20% of fatal Atlanta crashes involve a drunk driver.
In cases of what the state calls the “attractive nuisance doctrine”, we have seen children die because their neighbors fail to fence in or cover a swimming pool. Children and adults die when gun owners carelessly allow loaded weapons to come into a child’s possession.
Falling tools and collapsing scaffolding cause deaths at Atlanta construction sites. Nursing home residents die from dehydration when caregivers neglect their basic needs.
In all of these sad situations, our Atlanta wrongful death lawyers aggressively pursue the responsible individuals and businesses. We provide compassionate counseling to our 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 sue for wrongful death.
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.
Georgia law also 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. Contact our office if you have additional questions.
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 noneconomic 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 noneconomic loss it is even harder. There is no formula for the measurement of noneconomic losses. Georgia judges instruct juries to measure noneconomic 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 generous 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. 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.
Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer at Tobin Injury Law Today
We are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We do not charge to answer questions of family members who have suffered a loss. We offer in-home consultations; we promise to listen and help. Please email us or call us at 404-JUSTICE (404-587-8423). You can also request a free consultation by filling out our convenient online form.