According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unintentional
accidents and injuries are the fifth leading cause of death in the United
States. When a death is caused by another party’s negligence or
intentional wrongful act, surviving family members may be able to receive
a financial settlement or award by filing a
wrongful death claim.
In order to recover after the death of a loved one, victims must bring
a lawsuit under Georgia’s wrongful death statute. The law authorizes
people who had a specific relationship with the deceased to recover if
they are able to establish that their loved one’s death was caused
by negligence or some other wrongful act.
The classes of individuals who may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit
include parents, children, spouses, and personal representatives in some
cases. The types of damages that may be available in a Georgia wrongful
death case include both economic and noneconomic damages for “full
value” of the decedent’s life.
If you have lost a loved in any type of accident, it is always a good idea
to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney to determine whether
you have a potential case. Do not hesitate to
contact us at Goldstein & Hayes, P.C. for a free consultation.
The following are the most common incidents that result in wrongful death recovery.
Motor Vehicle-Related Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that
32,367 people died in motor vehicle-related accidents in 2011 alone. These
accidents include passenger
car accidents, commercial
bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents.
Any method of transportation comes with the risks of accidents and injuries,
and many accidents occur due to another person’s negligence. Examples
of parties that may be held liable for wrongful death in motor vehicle
- Drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Drivers who violate traffic laws or do not follow traffic signals
- Distracted drivers
- Drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks
- Aggressive drivers
- Fatigued drivers
- Drivers who do not properly signal
- Car manufacturers that sell defective vehicles
- Mechanics that fail to properly repair a car
- Municipalities that do not adequately repair or maintain the roads
The CDC reports that 27,483 people died from injuries caused by fall accidents
in 2010 alone. Common fall accidents can include slip and fall accidents,
falls down stairs, and falls from heights. Slip and fall accidents are
often caused because a property or business owner was negligent in some
way. Common causes of slip and falls include wet or slippery floors, debris
in walkways, loose electrical cords, and other hazards. Falls from heights
can occur due to defective windows or screens, defective railings, and more.
Acts of Violence
When a victim dies due to act of violence, the person responsible will
likely face charges and penalties in criminal court. The surviving family
may also be entitled to recover in civil court, as well. The civil case
is separate from the criminal proceeding, and wrongful death recovery
may be possible even if the criminal charges are unsuccessful.