Wrongful Death Attorney in Atlanta, Georgia
When a loved one passes away unexpectedly or due to an event that should never have happened, life changes forever. After your loved one is gone, you and your family are left with so much to deal with. These deaths are traumatic on more than one level.
In many cases, it is important to seek justice for your loved one whose death could have been prevented. Seeking justice through the legal system could help you and your family move forward after a needless tragedy.
At my firm, Kyle H. Jarzmik Law, I can help you understand your legal options during this difficult time. I’ll put my extensive legal experience, as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney, to work to help you seek justice on behalf of your loved one. My firm serves clients in Atlanta, Georgia, and throughout the state of Georgia, including Fulton County, Cobb County, Dekalb County, and Gwinnett County.
Navigating life after the unexpected passing of a loved one is incredibly difficult. My firm is here to help.
Why File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Nothing can bring your loved one back. But you can seek to prevent the same trauma from happening to other families. You can seek justice for your loved one by aiming to hold the responsible person accountable.
Another reason why you might want to file a wrongful death lawsuit is to obtain financial assistance for your family. That financial assistance could help provide funds for funeral and burial costs, lost income from missing time at work, and other expenses.
What Constitutes Wrongful Death in Georgia?
Georgia law defines wrongful death as encompassing several different situations. When a person dies as a result of a crime, that is considered wrongful death. Similarly, when a person dies from criminal or other negligence, then that is considered a wrongful death. Lastly, when a person dies due to property that was defectively manufactured (and there does not need to be negligence involved in its manufacture), then that is considered a wrongful death.
Statute of Limitations
Each state sets a deadline, known as the statute of limitations, for different types of cases. Wrongful death cases in Georgia generally have a statute of limitations of two years. Once two years have passed from the date of your loved one’s death, you will no longer be able to file a wrongful death claim.
However, the statute of limitations changes when the deceased person’s estate has not gone through probate. Then the statute of limitations is extended for up to five years.
Additionally, if the person’s death was caused by a crime, then the statute of limitations changes. For up to six years after the person’s passing, if the criminal case is still ongoing, then the statute of limitations will be suspended. Once the case is resolved, then the statute of limitations is two years from the date the case is resolved.
Speak with a knowledgeable wrongful death attorney to learn more about how the statute of limitations would apply in your case.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
Georgia law dictates who can file a wrongful death claim in the state after an accident leading to death. If the deceased person had a surviving spouse, then the spouse must file the case. When the deceased person did not have a surviving spouse, then their child or children can file a wrongful death claim. If the deceased person had no surviving spouse or children, then their parent or parents can file the claim. Lastly, if there were also no surviving parents, then the executor of the deceased person’s estate can file the claim.
What Needs to Be Proven to Constitute Wrongful Death?
Certain conditions must be met to prove that the case was one of wrongful death. First, it must be proven that there was a duty of care. For example, a driver on the road has a duty of care to obey all traffic laws.
Second, it must be proven that the duty of care was breached. The person who had the duty of care is liable for a wrongful death. For example, it must be proven that the driver was speeding when the accident occurred.
Next, it must be proven that it was that particular breach of duty that caused the person’s death. For example, the driver’s speeding is what caused the cars to collide and not another factor.
It must be proven that the defendant was liable “by a preponderance of evidence,” meaning that it was more likely than not that they caused the wrongful death. This is less difficult to prove than “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Speak with a personal injury attorney to learn more about what needs to be proven to constitute a wrongful death.
No dollar amount will ever replace your loved one. Financial compensation, known as damages, can help defray costs caused by the accident that led to their passing.
In a wrongful death case, you can seek damages for two different areas. The first is for the value of the person’s life. The second is for costs caused by the death.
For the value of the person’s life, damages generally include compensation for lost wages, benefits, and services. These may be easier to calculate. This area also includes compensation for lost advice, care, companionship, and even counsel.
The second area covers costs related to your loved one’s passing. This includes medical expenses related to their last illness or injury, as well as funeral and burial expenses.
Wrongful Death Attorney Serving Atlanta, Georgia
Navigating life after the unexpected passing of a loved one is incredibly difficult on many levels. Understand all of your legal options. My firm, Kyle H. Jarzmik Law, is here to help. I have a thorough understanding of the law as both a prosecutor and defense attorney. I’m proud to serve clients in Atlanta, Georgia, and throughout the state of Georgia, including Fulton County, and Cobb County. Contact my firm today to schedule a consultation.