The only thing worse than sitting in traffic and creeping past a car crash is learning that someone you love has been the victim of a wrongful death auto accident.
For families, a wrongful death is particularly devastating because it could have been avoided if only the other party had been exercising proper care. Along with the grief you are suffering, you may also find yourself the victim of an unexpected financial burden as a result of your loved one’s death.
You may need information about your rights and resources if you are going through a case such as this.
- What is a Wrongful Death Auto Accident?
- Causes of Wrongful Death Auto Accidents.
- Wrongful Death Verdicts and Settlements.
Attorneys at the law firm of Fried Goldberg have extensive experience with tragedies involving wrongful death car accidents. We hope this article offers the help and guidance you need through this difficult time.
Wrongful Death Auto Accident
A wrongful death case is not a criminal case, and does not involve sending the offending party to jail. Instead, a wrongful death accident involves filing a claim against the responsible person or entity and pursuing financial damages to compensate the victim’s family for the costs they have incurred from their loved one’s death. Financial damages may also include compensation for the pain and suffering the car accident victim experienced leading up to their death.
Important Wrongful Death Laws
Every state has different laws surrounding how a car accident wrongful death lawsuit may be filed. In the state of Georgia, there is a statute of limitations that gives the victim’s family two years after the auto accident to file a car accident wrongful death lawsuit.
In addition, if certain types of vehicles were involved in your loved one’s car accident, special rules apply to filing a car accident wrongful death lawsuit. If the auto accident involved government property (such as a city bus) or happened on public land, there may be a shorter time limit for you to file your claim. If the accident involved a commercial truck, it can be difficult to determine whether the driver or the trucking company is the at-fault party in your wrongful death car accident case.
Finally, the state of Georgia applies some fairly complex at-fault laws to any auto accident lawsuit. In particular, the “modified comparative negligence law” means that a judge or jury will determine what percentage of fault belonged to each party in the car accident, and this percentage will be used to determine the financial damages awarded in your car accident wrongful death settlement.
Attorneys That Will Be There To Win The Fight
After 50 years of helping families through the legal process of a wrongful death car accident settlement, we understand how confusing this process can be. This can be a lot to deal with as you are struggling with grief and loss. All too often, the family of a wrongful death car accident victim will simply work with the vehicle insurance company to submit a claim around the death of their loved one.
It is very important to realize that submitting a claim to your insurance company is not the same as seeking a car accident wrongful death settlement. Insurance companies want to see your claim resolved quickly and inexpensively. They are not concerned with the pain and suffering your loved one endured in the days or months before their death. Furthermore, insurance companies do not take into account the costs associated with your loved one’s death, such as medical bills and funeral costs, when assessing your claim.
For this reason, it is essential to secure the services of an experienced wrongful death attorney before dealing with your insurance company. Having knowledgeable legal counsel on your side will ensure that you receive the full compensation you deserve, and that you and your family have the resources you need to move forward with your lives.
Causes of Wrongful Death Auto Accidents
Causes of wrongful death car accidents may include:
- Another motorist who was using a cellular phone to talk, text or other application while driving
- Intoxication, fatigue, recklessness or poor judgment on the part of another motorist
- A highway or road that was improperly built or poorly maintained
- Bad or invisible signage on a road or highway
- Failure of local authorities to provide adequate warnings about a road hazard
- A vehicle manufacturer, distributor, or installer who released a faulty car to market
- A truck that was not properly inspected or maintained for safety
- Carrying a load that exceeded the vehicle’s maximum weight capacity
- A driver that was not adequately trained
- Trucking companies who require their drivers to remain on the road longer than the federal legal limit
- A hired driver (such as a cab driver or chauffeur) who fails to follow road safety laws
These are just a few of the ways that a wrongful death car accident can take place. Some involve individual persons, while others involve companies or government organizations. Depending on the circumstances, your car accident wrongful death lawsuit may claim damages against one or several of these entities.
Wrongful Death Verdicts and Settlements
In submitting a claim, one of the hardest challenges to families in the wake of a wrongful death car accident is trying to “tally up” the financial costs they have incurred. The last thing you want to do is try to assess the financial value of your pain and suffering after a loved one has died.
There is no single fixed amount of financial compensation for a wrongful death car accident. Instead, your car accident wrongful death settlement will depend on the costs you have incurred around your loved one’s death, together with the financial burden you will assume in the future in your loved one’s absence. Judges will also take into account the pain and suffering experienced by your family during this time.
Experience and Expertise on Your Side
This is where it is immensely helpful to have a car accident wrongful death attorney on your side. A good attorney will collect any and all documents from you that prove the costs you have undergone. These include:
- Ambulance costs
- Emergency room and hospital bills
- Medication and other treatment costs
- Medical reports
- Funeral expenses
- Information regarding the loss of current wages and future earnings
- Loss of deceased’s earning capacity
- Loss of benefits from the deceased
- Assessment of the damage to the vehicle
- Pain and suffering the deceased underwent before their death
- Pain and suffering you and your family have undergone
A lawyer will also be able to help you understand your rights as they relate to your relationship to the deceased. In general, a claim for a wrongful death accident must be filed by someone who suffers damage from the victim’s death. In the state of Georgia, this is largely limited to a surviving spouse, children or parents of the deceased.
Remember that state law limits the amount of time you have to file a car accident wrongful death lawsuit. If you do not pursue a wrongful death claim within the required time, you may lose your window. Losing the opportunity to receive financial compensation for the costs you have undergone. As well as the opportunity to hold accountable the party who caused your loved one’s death. Once, that time limit has passed, you could be permanently barred from ever getting into court to seek compensation in your case.
However, by hiring a wrongful death lawyer, you can rest assured that your car accident wrongful death claim will be completed within statute. An experienced attorney will know exactly what to do and handle all the details so that you can focus on your family’s healing and recovery.
Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer
Free, No Obligation Consultation
One sign of a good law firm is that their attorneys work on a contingency basis. Contingency based pay means that you pay nothing up front—the lawyer only collects a fee if they win your case. Most reliable law firms will also offer a free, no-obligation consultation where they will listen to the details of your case and help you understand your options.
The law firm of Fried Goldberg has successfully pursued hundreds of car accident cases, including those involving wrongful death. We have fought for the rights of car accident wrongful death victims all over the state of Georgia and beyond. Our expertise includes a specialty in cases involving commercial truck accidents. Our experienced team of attorneys will work on your behalf to ensure that you receive justice.
Call us today at (404) 591-1800 for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation about your wrongful death car accident case. We are here to listen and help you understand your rights.
The Truck Accident Attorneys
The Truck Accident Attorneys at Fried Goldberg LLC devote at least 75% of their caseload to representing the victims of accidents involving tractor trailers and other commercial vehicles. Our extensive experience with the laws governing the trucking industry is the reason we are routinely successful at taking on trucking companies when someone is seriously injured.
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The Truck Accident Attorneys
The Truck Accident Attorneys at Fried Goldberg LLC devote at least 95% of their caseload to representing the victims of accidents involving tractor trailers and other commercial vehicles. Our extensive experience with the laws governing the trucking industry is the reason we are routinely successful at taking on trucking companies when someone is seriously injured.
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Our experienced attorneys have represented individuals who have been seriously injured. We are proud of the outstanding reputation we have within our industry and our track record of success, which sets us apart. In particular, we have recovered a total of nearly $350 million for our clients in the state of Georgia.