Seeking Justice with a Wrongful Death Attorney in Gwinnett County
As an immediate family member of someone fatally injured in an accident, you have the right to seek justice by filing a wrongful death claim. The claim will seek damages that you and other wrongful death beneficiaries suffered because of your loved one’s death. You may also seek a survival action that seeks compensation on behalf of your loved one’s estate for damages he suffered himself. Before you start filing a claim, familiarize yourself with the Georgia wrongful death process and get help from John Morrison, a wrongful death attorney in Gwinnett County.
How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim?
The first thing to consider when pursuing a wrongful death claim is Georgia’s statute of limitations, which gives you up to two years after the date of death to file a claim. If you attempt to file a claim after the two-year limit has passed, the right to bring the claim is almost always void.
There are some circumstances that can “toll” or stop the time limit, such as when the death was caused by an accident that is also being investigated as a criminal case. When the criminal case is opened, the wrongful death time limit is tolled until the criminal case is closed.
How can I prepare to file a claim?
The surviving family members who bring the claim must be able to provide proof that another party’s negligence was responsible for the death of their loved one. Thus, if you plan to file a claim, work with John Morrison to gather documentation regarding the accident (police reports, medical records, etc.) and secure testimony from any witnesses to the accident. Our firm will also help you get any paperwork ready and handle the legal processes required to bring the claim.
What do I have to prove to establish someone else was liable for my loved one’s death?
Proving negligence takes more than just showing that your loved one sustained fatal injuries in the accident. You must prove that the following elements of negligence were true.
- The liable party owed the deceased a duty of care to keep them from harm at the time of the accident. For example, all drivers owe others who use the roads a duty of care.
- The liable party breached the duty of care (was negligent) either by acting in a manner that a responsible person would not or by failing to act in order to preserve their duty of care to the deceased. For example, a property owner who fails to fix a broken staircase is negligent by inaction.
- The defendant’s negligence caused the accident. You must make a connection between the defendant’s actions or inaction, and your loved one’s death.
- You and other beneficiaries suffered damages.
What kind of damages can I recover?
In your claim for compensation, you can seek several types of damages related to the fatal accident and the long-term effects of the loss of your loved one. A wrongful death claim may result in recovery of the following types of damages.
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and benefits, including what the deceased would have earned had he continued to live
- Loss of care and companionship
- Loss of consortium provided to the surviving spouse
- Funeral and burial expenses
Some additional damages may apply to certain wrongful death cases. If the deceased did not immediately pass away following the fatal accident and suffered a considerable amount of pain before death, compensation for “pain and suffering” may be recoverable in a survival action.
Make sure you set up a consultation with John Morrison so you can go over the various types of damages that apply to your claim.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
When filing a claim to seek justice and compensation in a wrongful death case you must first determine who is eligible to file. Certain surviving family members (spouse, children, parents) are eligible to file a claim. If there are no surviving family members, a representative in charge of the deceased’s estate may file a claim.
The person bringing the claim does so on behalf of the deceased’s beneficiaries.In many cases, the person bringing the claim is also a beneficiary.
Who can help me with my claim?
From gathering evidence to identifying personal representatives and beneficiaries, filing a wrongful death claim is not an easy task. At the Law Offices of John Morrison, LLC we want to give your family every bit of help possible to pursue your claim and reduce the emotional burden on your shoulders. Call us at 770-951-8900 or fill out our contact form when you are ready to get started.