Wrongful Death

When an individual dies in Georgia due to the negligence or inaction of another person, the family of the victim can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. Though nothing can bring loved ones back, holding the negligent person or party accountable for their wrongful actions can provide some measure of solace.

Evidence in a wrongful death case disappear's very rapidly after the incident which causes injury and death, and the competent attorneys at Falanga and Chalker, working for your benefit, is the only way of securing and preserving the evidence and protecting your rights.

The statute of limitations for Wrongful death in the state of Georgia is two years from the date of the deceased’s death, in which to bring the claim. Limits may be applied to an award of damages. Wrongful death may be brought for either an intentional or unintentional act that causes an injury that results in death. An example of an intentional death is a blow to the head during an altercation that later results in death. An example of an unintentional death is a driver of an automobile who unintentionally causes death of another in an accident may be held liable for negligence.

One may ask who is entitled to sue for wrongful death? In the state of Georgia if the deceased had a spouse, then the surviving spouse holds the claim, and he or she is the only person who can bring it. If they had children then the surviving spouse must act as a representative of the children and share any damages awarded with them pursuant to Georgia law with the spouse receiving no less than a one third share. If the deceased was divorced and had children, then any surviving children of the deceased would hold the right to proceed with the claim. If no spouse or children then the next of kin under the laws of decent and distribution in Georgia would apply to decide who is next in line to proceed with the claim.

Usually, a petition is required to be filed to appoint a conservator, executor or administrator to also represent the estate. Falanga and Chalker can assist you in these mandatory legal filings with the county probate court for the county where the deceased last resided prior to his/her death.

Determining the amount of damages in a wrongful death action requires many variables to be taken into account. In order to compute compensation, the salary that the decedent could have earned may be multiplied by the number of years the individual most likely would have lived and can be adjusted for various factors, including inflation. A standard actuarial table serves as guide for the life expectancy of particular groups identified by age or gender. The decedent’s mental and physical health, along with the nature of his work, may also be taken into consideration. This is where the attorneys at Falanga and Chalker spend a great deal of time gathering details, photos, poems, letters and stories from the deceased’s life to include in a settlement package or for use in closing arguments to the jury. It is through these testimonies that a jury can be educated on the quality of life the deceased lived. Punitive damages maybe awarded also, these are a means of punishing the defendant for his action and are awarded at the discretion of the jury under certain factual situations.

The right attorney is really the key to a smooth process for settling the wrongful death claim. The attorneys at Falanga and Chalker will provide up-front realistic advice during the whole process of your wrongful death case. The attorneys will give you realistic expectations about the entire process from start to finish. The experienced attorneys at Falanga and Chalker have handled numerous wrongful death claims throughout the years.

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