You lost a loved one in an accident in Atlanta, Georgia due to the negligence of another party. Now what? Do you need an Atlanta wrongful death attorney to help you seek compensation for your loved one’s loss? How do you know if you need a wrongful death attorney? Carefully consider how these key elements may impact your need to hire an attorney.
Types of Wrongful Death CasesIn general, you have the right to file a wrongful death claim in Atlanta any time the negligence of another party causes your loved one’s death. However, common wrongful death cases include:
- Car accident claims
- Medical malpractice claims
- Workplace accident claims
- Defective product claims
Who Handles a Wrongful Death Claim?The closest family members to the deceased have the right to file a wrongful death claim. First, that means the spouse of the victim. If the victim was not married, the victim’s children may have the right to file a wrongful death claim. In a case where the victim had neither spouse nor children, the victim’s parents may have the right to file a claim. Finally, in some cases, the deceased might not have a living spouse, child, or parent. In those cases, sometimes, the victim’s estate can file a wrongful death claim in order to pursue compensation for the deceased’s final expenses. Once the family of the deceased has filed a wrongful death claim, the family can decide how to distribute the funds from that claim. The family typically only has the right to file one claim, regardless of how many people were impacted by the deceased’s loss.
When is It Viable to Prove Negligence? What Elements Do You Have to Prove?In order to file a wrongful death claim, the victim’s family–and, typically, their attorney–will need to prove several key things. First, they will need to prove that the liable party bore a duty of care to the victim at the time of the accident. This may, for example, mean a business or property owner, or it may mean a driver out on the road. Next, they will need to show that the liable party committed an act of negligence that led to the victim’s injuries and, ultimately, death. Sometimes, it can be difficult to prove negligence in an accident. In other cases, however, an attorney can help collect the evidence needed to prove that the liable party committed that act of negligence. This may include:
- Car accident scenarios, especially if the liable party ignored the rules of the road, chose to speed, or used a cell phone or engaged in another distraction while driving
- Workplace accidents in which the employer deliberately put the deceased in a dangerous position or did not provide needed safety gear
- Premises liability accidents, including situations in which the liable party failed to properly maintain the property
- Product liability accidents, in which a defective product caused serious injury that ultimately resulted in the victim’s death
- Medical malpractice incidents in which the medical care provider clearly committed an act of negligence that resulted in the victim’s death