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Pursuing Wrongful Death Litigation

If a person’s death was the result of the negligence of another person or entity, the surviving family members typically have the right to file a civil lawsuit seeking damages from the responsible party. Wrongful death can encompass a number of things, from intentional homicide to medical malpractice. These cases can be complicated, overwhelming, and time-consuming for those filing the claim.

A wrongful death claim is a civil suit, meaning monetary damages are the expected outcome. This is different from a criminal prosecution, which does not result in damages and can be cause for some form of corporal punishment.

Talk to an attorney at Jenkins Utley, P.C. before filing your claim. We can help you decide the best way to go about filing your claim and make sure you have a case to argue. Jenkins Utley, P.C. has years of experience fighting personal injuries cases and is here to help you fight yours.

Who is Eligible to Pursue a Wrongful Death Litigation in Georgia

Who can file a wrongful death claim varies from state to state. In Georgia, wrongful death lawsuits cannot be pursued by every person who knows or is related to the decedent. The state of Georgia has created a hierarchy determining who is able to pursue and file a wrongful death claim. The following is the order in which one can file:

  1. The spouse of the decedent
  2. The children of the decedent
  3. The living parents of the decedent
  4. Administrator of the decedent’s estate

What Needs to be Proven

There are three key points that Plaintiffs need to prove in order to win a wrongful death case:

  1. Duty of Care – The Plaintiff must prove to the court that the Defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased person.
  2. Breach of Duty of Care – The Plaintiff must prove that the Defendant breached the duty of care owed to the deceased.
  3. Causation – The Plaintiff must also show that the Defendant’s particular action directly caused the wrongful death.

Damages That Can be Awarded

The loss of a loved one can be extremely difficult on family members and can cause extreme financial hardship. Determining the value of the deceased’s life can be challenging, as several factors come into play.

In a wrongful death case, the value of one’s life is determined by economic and non-economic considerations. The economic value can be determined by the decedent’s salary at the time of death multiplied by how many working years they had left. This, combined with any 401k and benefits they were receiving, go into the economic value of one’s life. The non-economic value of the decedent's life can be more difficult to determine and takes into consideration how the deceased lived their life, what they liked to do, who they were taking care of, their overall health, etc.

Examples of Wrongful Death Accidents

Wrongful death cases can stem from a variety of incidences, including car accidents and medical negligence. Here are a few additional examples:

  • Negligent or careless conduct
  • Drunk driving
  • Medical malpractice
  • Engineering malpractice
  • Nursing home negligence or abuse
  • Defective products
  • Dangerous medical devices
  • Intentional homicide

Contact the Experienced Attorneys at Jenkins Utley, P.C.

Wrongful death cases are highly complex, and there is no easy way to know if you have a strong case. Our team of experts will review your unique situation and determine if we can help you obtain the results you’re looking for.

Contact the Jenkins Utley, P.C. Personal Injury Lawyers to book your free consultation or give us a call at (404) 334-3013.