While there is no legal action that can compensate for the loss of a loved one, a Gwinnett County wrongful death attorney can ensure that justice is served for you and your family. The lawyers at Dermer Appel Ruder have an edge in the courtroom when representing clients involved in wrongful death lawsuits.
We know how insurance companies handle wrongful death claims in Georgia, as well as how to get the most for these claims. Call us at (404) 892-8884 and use your free consultation with our law firm to find out if you have the right to file a claim. If so, our Gwinnett County wrongful death attorneys can help.
The sudden loss of a loved one can feel incredibly overwhelming. Don’t make any difficult decisions or sign any settlement agreements until you have time to process what has happened.
You will need to inform your insurance company if you want to file a wrongful death claim. While it’s important not to sign any settlement agreements, you’ll likely need to give your insurance company a recorded statement of what happened. The at-fault party’s insurance company may contact you for a recorded statement as well; do not record anything for them until you speak to a lawyer.
Speaking to a wrongful death attorney early in the process can help you determine if you have a strong claim. Our attorneys offer free case evaluations to help you explore your rights.
Under the wrong circumstances, any personal injury accident can turn fatal. A life-threatening injury such as one to the brain or spinal cord can arise from car accidents, truck accidents, sports incidents, acts of violence, animal attacks, slip and fall accidents, premises liability accidents, pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, construction site accidents, or a variety of other situations. No matter how your loved one died, consult with a Gwinnett County wrongful death attorney. It’s possible that someone else could be legally responsible for the fatal accident.
Your rights and legal options after the unexpected death of a loved one will depend upon your relationship to the deceased person. In Georgia, the surviving spouse of the deceased person has the first right to file a wrongful death claim. If this person doesn’t exist or doesn’t file, the right goes to adult children, then to surviving parents, then to a personal representative of the estate.
If you’re one of these parties, you have two years from the date of your relative’s death to file a wrongful death case, according to Georgia law. You will need to go to the Gwinnett County civil courts to bring your lawsuit against the party allegedly responsible (“liable”) for your loved one’s fatal accident. This could be an employer, a drunk driver, a product manufacturer, criminal, and/or another party.
The Gwinnett County courts may award you and/or the estate damages for the wrongful death if you can prove that the accident would not have happened but for the negligent or wrongful acts of the defendant. According to state law, surviving family members are entitled to recover “the full value of the life of the decedent without deducting for any of the necessary or personal expenses of the decedent had he lived” in a wrongful death action. The “full value of life” damages can include:
You may also be able to recover “punitive damages”, which are designed to punish and at-fault party for their grossly negligent actions that caused the death of your loved one.
Proving wrongful death takes showing four main elements. First, that the defendant in question owed your loved one a duty of care. Second, that the defendant breached or failed in this duty. Third, that the breach of duty caused your loved one’s injuries and death. Fourth, that you (the claimant) suffered real damages because of the defendant’s negligence. Proving these four elements may require testimony from experts, evidence such as medical bills, and even a recreation of the fatal accident. That’s where our Gwinnett county injury lawyers come in.
Wrongful death is the gravest possible outcome of someone else’s negligence. It is unfair that we can lose the most important people in our lives because of someone else’s mistake, error, lapse in judgment, or act of recklessness. When the worst happens, your best confidant can be your family’s personal injury attorney. The Gwinnett County wrongful death lawyers at Dermer Appel Ruder offer help for your family through this difficult time.
Our law firm can take care of all aspects of your claim on your behalf, including the initial filing of your claim within the statute of limitations. We can help you identify the appropriate defendant(s), file your claim, and prove negligence, if applicable. We know how to fight for better case outcomes than you would receive on your own. More importantly, we’ll provide a strong support system for you and your family in the face of a tragedy. Wrongful death cases take patience, compassion, and expertise to navigate through effectively. Our firm proudly serves Atlanta and all surrounding areas. We can help, and it starts with a free legal consultation.
“Mr. Appel was quick to respond to my calls or emails, and I never worried about my case being neglected.” – Roslin W.