Despite the mass awareness of the consequences of negligent and reckless driving, car accidents or even fatal accidents still happen in Georgia and throughout the United States. An unfortunate reality is that most people will encounter at least one car accident in their lifetime. Thankfully, not as common is the number of deaths that can occur from a car accident. Each year, there are more than 50,000 reported deaths related to vehicular accidents in the United States. In a fraction of a second, using alcohol, drugs, or texting and driving can result in a fatal car accident.
When someone’s reckless conduct leads to the untimely death of an individual, whether it was intentional or accidental, the deceased’s loved ones may be able to pursue what is referred to as a “wrongful death claim.” A wrongful death claim in Georgia involves the death of a person caused by the wrongdoing of another party. In order to prevail in such cases, your facts must show that the death was the result of the negligence or recklessness of another person or party. There are several reasons where a wrongful death in a car accident may occur, this could be because of an at-fault party’s negligence and recklessness, criminal activity, or even manufacturing defects.
Accidents that May Result in Wrongful Death:
- Driving under the Influence
- Distracted driving (texting while driving, eating, fiddling on the stereo, etc.)
- Speeding (racing, swerving and passing without care)
- Driver fatigue or sickness
- Poor weather conditions (heavy rain, snow, etc.)
- Car manufacturing defects (faulty tires, brakes, engines)
- Inexperienced drivers (young and the elderly)
If any of these reasons led to a fatality in your loved one’s case, it’s possible that you may prevail in a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased. Rather than deciding on your own if this possible, we recommend contacting an experienced Atlanta wrongful death lawyer to assess your chances of success and explain the process for filing a wrongful death claim. While compensation can never replace the loss of your loved one, compensation can assist with dealing with the loss of income and other financial stress experienced after the loss of a loved one.
How To Prove Wrongful Death in Georgia Accident Claims
An untimely death or a wrongful death claim is different in every state. Only a personal injury lawyer licensed to practice law in Georgia can really outline what you’ll need to prove to the court in order to prevail. In Georgia, you’ll have to prove that the following elements have been satisfied:
- That another driver caused the accident that resulted in the untimely death of a family member or a loved one.
- The driver was acting negligently or recklessly that was the cause of the death.
- The deceased is survived by a spouse, child, dependents, and beneficiaries.
- There are financial damages resulting from the untimely death of your loved one.
The success of each case will depend on the facts. This means that in order to show or “prove” the other party was negligent, you will want to ensure that the law firm you retain has experience collecting the right evidence and investigating each case thoroughly. You will want to ensure that the evidence shows the other driver’s conduct led to the futility. Evidence that your attorney will gather will include witness statements, police reports, photos of the accident scene, video surveillance from the scene, expert testimony and analysis of the cause of death, and more.
Additionally, not all family members can file wrongful death claims. Wrongful death claims can only be filed by an immediate family member, such as a spouse, child, or parent of the deceased.
Equally important is knowing the time limitations that wrongful death cases have. Referred to by the courts as the statute of limitations, if a case is not filed in a timely manner, you may forever lose your chance at ever receiving justice for the loss of your loved one. Your case may be dismissed quickly for filing it too late.
Losing a loved one because of the negligence and recklessness of others is extremely devastating. While no amount can ever bring back a loved one, pursuing justice for the loss of your loved one and receiving financial compensation may ease the financial burden that goes along with your family member’s untimely death.
Our law firm has a track record of experience helping families in Georgia pursue wrongful death claims. For more information on how you can file a claim, contact us today or call us immediately at (404) 562-8857.