Wrongful Death Attorney Gwinnett County
Losing a loved one is often a difficult and confusing time. This is especially true for those who lose a loved one due to someone else’s wrongful or negligent actions.
Unfortunately, thousands of people lose family members due to the negligence of others every year.
In some cases, the surviving family members of the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover the damages they incurred as a result of their loved one’s death.
For more than 30 years, Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C. has provided representation to parties all across Georgia.
And during that time, we have earned a reputation as one of the exceptional wrongful death law firms in Gwinnett County. To see if you qualify to bring a wrongful death lawsuit, contact our office online or call (706) 354-4000 today for a free consultation.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
Georgia defines wrongful death as the death of a person caused by someone else’s reckless, criminal, negligent, or intentional act. Many wrongful death cases rely on proving the party who caused the death was negligent.
To win a negligence claim, you must be able to prove the following four elements:
- Breach of duty,
- Causation, and
To establish the first element, you must be able to show that the other party owed your loved one a duty to use reasonable care to prevent harm under the specific circumstances presented.
Next, you need to prove that the opposing party breached their duty of care. You can do this by showing that they acted in a way that a reasonably prudent person would not have acted under the same or similar circumstances.
Examples of a breach of duty by another party in a wrongful death case might include:
- A person who drives while under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- A person who speeds or fails to adhere to traffic signals; or
- An employer who fails to ensure no hazardous work conditions exist.
So first, you must establish the existence of a duty and subsequent breach of that duty in your wrongful death case.
Then, you must be able to show that the other party’s breach is what caused your loved one’s death. This can be a tricky element to prove.
A wrongful death attorney in Gwinnett County can help you assess your case and prove causation. Finally, you must prove that you suffered damages as a result of the other party’s breach. This can include things like medical bills and lost income.
A wrongful death lawyer in Gwinnett County can help ensure you satisfy every element of negligence so you can prove your wrongful death claim.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia?
Not just anyone can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased. Georgia only allows certain surviving family members to bring such a claim.
These family members include:
- The surviving spouse of the decedent;
- Surviving children if there is no surviving spouse;
- Surviving parents of the decedent, if there is no surviving spouse or surviving children; or
- The administrator of the decedent’s estate may choose to file on behalf of any other next of kin if none of the parties listed above exist.
A Gwinnett County wrongful death lawyer at Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C can help determine if you qualify to bring a wrongful death suit.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
Georgia awards damages in wrongful death cases based on the “full value of the life of the deceased.” Calculating the full value of life typically includes two parts—you must calculate both tangible and intangible losses. Additionally, Georgia authorizes damages for things like medical costs and funeral expenses associated with the wrongful death.
Damage calculations can cause anyone confusion, even the most experienced attorneys and judges.
But trained lawyers know where to start and can use their legal knowledge to figure out how to arrive at a final, accurate calculation in any given case. That is one of the many reasons it is critical to hire a Gwinnett County wrongful death attorney to assist with your wrongful death claim.
Intangible losses include things like time spent with friends and family, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of important milestones, and other important life events. This can mean falling in love, graduating from college, having children, enjoying retirement, or other items of that nature.
If the decedent died before experiencing these things, those experiences are included in the “full value” of the decedent’s life. The court calculates these losses from the decedent’s point of view, not that of his surviving family members.
Tangible losses refer to the economic losses incurred as a result of the death. For example, the wages the deceased person would have earned, the value of their economic services like mowing the lawn or doing chores, and the loss of the defendant’s future earnings.
Along with the wrongful death claim, the surviving family members can file an “estate” claim that offers different compensation than a wrongful death claim.
The estate claim will compensate surviving family members for things like the pain and suffering the decedent experienced before their death, funeral expenses, medical costs, and other expenses associated with the death.
Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Gwinnett County Today
Our team at Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C. has extensive experience representing clients who lost loved ones due to negligence.
Our skilled team of wrongful death attorneys relies on long-standing relationships with the local bar and courts. We are dedicated to innovation and aggressive advocacy, and it’s our mission to provide every client with the skilled legal assistance they need.
We are AV® Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, the highest Peer Review Rating, indicating high ethical standards and preeminent legal ability.
We have also been recognized by the well-known attorney referral guide, The Best Lawyers in America®. Additionally, four of our attorneys are members of the American College of Trial Lawyers—which recognizes no more than 1% of the total attorney population of each state.
We look forward to putting our skills to work for you. Contact us online or call (706) 354-4000 today for a free consultation.