Wrongful death refers to the death of a person caused by the intentional, reckless, or negligent act of another person, company, or institution. Many incidents may qualify as “wrongful death” under the law, and the victim’s family may be entitled to seek justice on their loved one’s behalf by filing a legal claim. In most states, including Georgia, money damages may be recovered in the civil courts from any party whose actions caused or contributed to the death of the victim. The victim’s family may recover damages for the full value of the life of the victim, for the pain and suffering experienced by the victim prior to their death, and for funeral and burial expenses.
We understand that no one would be willing to part with a loved one in exchange for any sum of money, and we agree that it is impossible to place a money value on the life of a human being. However, our legal system attempts to provide relief to the family members left behind by allowing for the payment of money damages in a wrongful death case.
If you want to know whether you should pursue money damages on behalf your loved one, contact the law firm of Deitch & Rogers, LLC to learn more about your options.
Wrongful Death Claims
Some of the more common incidents that may support a civil claim for wrongful death include:
- Armed robbery, shooting or stabbing death on Apartment or Hotel property
- Carjacking death in parking lot or shopping mall
- Shooting of innocent bystander related to drug or gang violence
- Violence in the workplace
- Vehicular Homicide/DUI/Reckless Driving
- Failure to keep a property safe and free of potentially fatal hazards
About Filing A Wrongful Death Claim
The spouse, child or other legal representative of the deceased may file a civil lawsuit against those responsible for the death. In Georgia, the lawsuit must generally be filed in court within two years after the death. This time limit may be extended in the event the death was the result of a criminal act. When a wrongful death lawsuit is settled before going to trial, or when a jury awards damages at trial, the settlement or judgment is intended to provide monetary compensation to the legal heirs of the deceased. The amount of compensation is based on an evaluation of the value of the life of the deceased had his or her life not been ended.
In addition to “value of life” damages, additional monies may be recovered to compensate for the deceased person’s pain and suffering in the event he or she was conscious between the time of injury and death, and to reimburse for medical and funeral expenses. These damages, if any are awarded, are generally made part of the deceased’s estate and are separate from any amounts that may represent the legal value of the victim’s life.
If you think your loved one’s death was the fault of another, contact us before you sign any papers regarding the death — especially an insurance company’s offer of settlement. Our attorneys will discuss your case with you in private and advise you and your family of your rights. We understand this is a difficult and emotional time, and we are interested and available to help you make the decision that best honors the memory of your loved one.
- Premises Liability
- Serious Violent Injury
- Wrongful Death
- Rape and Sexual Assault
- Unsafe Apartments
- Unsecure Hotels/ Motels
I have seen Gilbert Deitch in every capacity as a lawyer. I have opposed him in premises liability cases, used him as a consultant and seen his work as a trial lawyer
Gino Brogdon, Former Judge
Fulton County Superior Court