Every Life Has Value
That's the driving philosophy of our Atlanta wrongful death lawyers. We understand that the tragic and unnecessary loss of a loved one can leave you angry, frustrated and confused.
At Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance, PC, we cut through the anger, frustration and confusion. In this difficult time in your life, our personal injury lawyers will be your champions. We will fight for you and for the memory of your loved one.
We understand the intricacies of Georgia's wrongful death statute and the compensation issues involved. We will passionately and effectively advocate on your behalf.
If you've recently lost a loved one in the Atlanta, Georgia area as a result of someone else's negligence, you should speak to our wrongful death lawyers. Please call Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance, PC today at 404-760-7400 for a free consultation.
Georgia's Wrongful Death Law
The state of Georgia's wrongful death statute allows a surviving spouse, a child (if there is no spouse) or parents (if there is no spouse or child) to pursue compensation for "the full value of the life" of the lost loved one.
In many states, wrongful death compensation is restricted to economic damages, such as lost wages. This can mean that a poorer family is disadvantaged in the courts. However, Georgia law also allows for the pursuit of non-economic damages as well.
As such, our Atlanta wrongful death lawyers can usually pursue compensation for:
- Lost wages
- Emotional pain and suffering
- The value of lost companionship
- Medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
Types of Wrongful Death Cases
Sadly, there are a wide range of wrongful death case types. Finding a wrongful death attorney with specific experience that is relevant to the circumstances of your claim is crucial.
We have helped clients who lost loved ones due to:
How Are Wrongful Death Settlements Paid Out?
Similar to other personal injury cases, a wrongful death settlement can be paid out as a structured settlement, where the plaintiff receives a portion of the payment at regularly scheduled intervals.
Alternatively, plaintiffs can elect to receive a lump-sum payment. Under this type of payout, all of the damages are paid up front, with nothing more to come in the future.
There are specific benefits and limitations to each of these options. We can help guide you toward the best option for your needs based on your unique situation.
Are Wrongful Death Settlements Taxable?
Wrongful death claims are not taxable because they are not considered a source of income. You will not have to pay taxes on your wrongful death settlement in Georgia.
How Long Can a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Take?
Some wrongful death lawsuits will resolve within a few months, many will take at least a year, and others can take multiple years.
Factors that can influence the length of your case include delays in gathering evidence and the complexities of the claim. If an agreement cannot be reached pre-trial, a wrongful death claim will be heard in front of a jury. This process can take significantly longer than a settlement, but may be necessary or appropriate under certain circumstances.
The best way to learn how long your claim may take is through a complimentary review from one of our attorneys.
Can You Sue an Estate for Wrongful Death?
If a now-deceased person was responsible for an accident that resulted in harm or death to someone else, that person’s estate can be sued for damages. So too can individuals, corporations, government entities, and any other party responsible for the loss of life.
During the investigative process, we work to identify all liable parties and to hold each accountable for the damages they have caused.
What Are the Chances of Winning a Wrongful Death Suit?
Cases with strong evidence fair better than those with weak or insufficient evidence. Your chances of securing fair compensation in a wrongful death claim will be directly linked to the strength of your case.
Having an experienced legal team on your side can help to strengthen your chances of winning a wrongful death claim. With decades of experience and a long and proven history, the award-winning attorneys at Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance work to build solid cases for our clients. If you have lost a loved one in an accident, we encourage you to give us a call and schedule a free consultation where we can review your claim, discuss your rights, and help you choose the best course for seeking the compensation you are due.
How Hard Is It to Prove Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death claims can be difficult to prove. This is one of the largest reasons to make sure you are working with a law firm that understands how to navigate the complexities of these cases.
As with many civil lawsuits, an investigation may be required to establish fault along with the rights of the victim’s family. The attorneys at Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance have decades of experience with these claims, enabling us to help families who have lost a loved one get the justice they are due.
How Much Can You Get for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Each case is unique. In Georgia, we are able to seek compensation for economic damages such as end-of-life medical expenses, burial and funeral costs, projected lost wages, loss of retirement benefits, and other damages for which a monetary value can be assigned. We are also able to seek compensation for non-economic damages such as emotional suffering and loss of companionship. This means that our lawyers are able to seek adequate compensation to help families of all economic backgrounds live the best life possible following the tragic and untimely loss of a cherished family member.
If you have lost a loved one, talking to an attorney is one of the best ways to learn how much compensation you may be entitled to seek.
How Long Do I Have to Bring a Wrongful Death Case?
You have two years from the date of a loved one’s death to file a wrongful death claim. However, we strongly advise you to take action as soon as possible. The longer you wait to file, the more difficult it may be to establish fault and seek full compensation. Acting quickly can help protect your rights and help your family secure the compensation needed to maintain your quality of life.
Can a Georgia Wrongful Death Lawyer Bring a Case After a Shooting or Other Violent Crime?
Family members who have lost a loved one due to violent crime are absolutely entitled to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death claims are civil proceedings and are neither influenced by nor prohibited by criminal charges. In fact, criminal charges seldom do much to provide grieving families justice. Civil action is often necessary to ensure families get the true justice they deserve.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Georgia?
In the state of Georgia, the surviving spouse of a wrongful death victim will be given the first opportunity to file a wrongful death claim. Children of the deceased must be included in this claim as well. When there is no surviving spouse, the victim’s children and/or adopted children may file suit.
When neither spouse nor children are available to file suit, parents of the deceased may file a claim. This is true even if the victim was an adult. If a representative of the estate has been designated by the decedent, that representative may file a claim on behalf of surviving family members as well.
Talking to an attorney is one of the best ways to determine if you are entitled to take legal action following the untimely death of a family member.
Contact Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance, PC For a Free Consultation Today
Every life has value. And every life has a story. We want to hear your loved one's story, and we treasure the opportunity to tell that story as we pursue justice and compensation on your behalf.
If you live in the Atlanta, Georgia area and need an experienced wrongful death attorney, please contact Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance, PC for a free consultation.