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Negligence Laws and How They Apply to a Wrongful Death Claim

Posted by attorney Ronald Smith

An Atlanta wrongful death lawyer knows that the pain and devastation of losing a loved one can be made much worse if it was the result of negligence. If negligence caused your loved one’s death, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Negligence Laws in Georgia Laws surrounding negligence can change. For the most up-to-date information, contact a lawyer who handles personal injury cases. The state of Georgia follows modified comparative fault, 50 percent rule. Comparative fault means that even if an injured person was somehow at fault for the accident, he or she may still be able to recover some damages. However, the amount available for recovery could be reduced or possibly denied. Since Georgia uses the 50 percent rule, this means that the fault of the injured individual has to be 49 percent or less. If it is determined he or she was 50 percent or more responsible for the accident, compensation cannot be recovered. Your ability to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit could be impacted if your loved one was found to be halfway responsible for the accident. This is why it is vital you speak with lawyers who are familiar with personal injury cases that involve the loss of life. Determining Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Claim If it has been determined that you have a legitimate claim worth pursuing, an attorney will figure out the types of damages that may be available. Damages fall under two categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are those that have an obvious value attached to them. For instance, if your loved one acquired medical bills due to the accident, these may be addressed through your claim. His or her projected lifetime income could also be factored in. Tangible losses, such as services or health benefits, may also be included in your claim. Those that don’t have a set value but have worth are non-economic damages. Non-economic damages can include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of companionship, loss of parental guidance, and more. Individuals Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim Whether an individual can bring forth a lawsuit depends on the state in which he or she resides. In Georgia, the spouse, children, or parents of the deceased may bring a claim. If there is no surviving spouse, children, or parents, a representative of the deceased’s estate may be able to file a claim as well. It’s best to check with an attorney to learn if you have the legal right to seek compensation on behalf of a loved one. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the person filing the wrongful death claim will be the one to receive a settlement. The monies may go into an estate and should be distributed accordingly. Several factors may determine the beneficiaries. Keep in mind that there is also a time limit in which you can file a claim for wrongful death. To avoid missing that deadline, you should consult with an Atlanta wrongful death lawyer at the Law Offices of Shane Smith as soon possible. Contact us at 404-513-5415.

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