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Why People File Wrongful Death Claims

  • A wrongful death claim is a form of personal injury claim that is brought against a negligent party in the case of an individual’s death. Typically, a personal injury case is brought by the person who was injured, but in the case of wrongful death that is not possible. Instead, a family member brings the case of wrongful death against the person or entity who was negligent in the death.


    Wrongful death claims may be filed for a number of reasons, including gaining a feeling of closure and a sense that justice has been done in the case. In some instances, a family may have lost a main financial provider, leading them to file a wrongful death case out of financial need. Whatever the reasons for filing a wrongful death claim, the most important thing is ensuring that the process gets started.


    If you believe you have a case of wrongful death, get in touch with a personal injury attorney at The Stoddard Law Firm as soon as you can. You can often get a free initial consultation, so you can have a professional evaluate your case before committing to a course of action. Get in touch with an attorney you can trust today.


    Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?


    In the state of Georgia, wrongful death claims are filed by the heirs of the deceased. This could include the surviving spouse of the deceased, the children of the deceased, the parents of the deceased, or the brothers and sisters of the deceased.  When the deceased has no living children, parents, brothers, or sisters, then the wrongful death claim will be brought by whomever the deceased person’s heirs choose to bring the claim, and this person will be deemed the representative of the deceased person’s estate.


    What Are the Damages in a Wrongful Death Case?


    There are two types of damages in wrongful death cases: tangible value of life and intangible value of life.


    Tangible value of life covers those things that are easily given a dollar value. This includes things like lost ability to earn money through work, lost productivity in household chores, etc. One of the common types of damages in a wrongful death case is the expected future lifetime earnings of the deceased—that is, the amount that the deceased would likely have earned had he or she lived a full life.


    Intangible value of life covers things that are harder to put a dollar figure on. This includes things like the loss of the ability to spend time with loved ones, the loss of relaxation, and the fact that the deceased will not be able to take part in major life events that would have otherwise taken place. These aren’t easy things to put a dollar value on, but a skilled attorney can help.


    How to Start a Wrongful Death Case


    A wrongful death case typically begins with your attorney sends a Letter of Representation to the negligent individual/entity. It can take some time for your attorney to gather the facts necessary to send such a letter, and so it’s a good idea to talk to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.


    In Georgia, you typically have two years after the date of the death to file a case for wrongful death, That said, there are numerous exceptions to this rule.  In certain circumstances, the time period to properly notify the Defendant of your intent to sue is as little as six months.  In other circumstances, the wrongful death claim can be brought as late at eight years after the incident.  The big idea is this: its important to contact an attorney quickly because some lawsuit are time barred if the proper steps are not taken in a matter of months, and because in cases where more time exists, it can still take months for your attorney to prepare a case.


    Get in touch with a personal injury attorney you can trust as soon as possible. Let the attorney know about your situation and get an evaluation of your potential wrongful death claim. Set up a consultation with The Stoddard Law Firm today and get your case started as soon as you can.