Do I have a Wrongful Death Claim if My Spouse is Killed in a Car Accident in Georgia?

We see car accidents every day. On our way to work we see people on the side of the road after a fender bender. Or we see a story on the news about a terrible crash on the highway. Thankfully, it usually involves people we’ll never know. We can say a little prayer for them and thank our lucky stars that it’s not us.

Most car accidents only cause minor injuries. Rear-end accidents, for example, don’t typically cause serious injuries. However, some accidents are so serious that people end up in the hospital or even dead.

If this happens, the family of the victim has the right to file a wrongful death claim against the other driver. At a time like this, it’s helpful to employ the services of an experienced car accident attorney. He can handle the legal side of things while you focus on keeping your family together.

Car Accident Lawyers in Athens, Georgia See Too Many of These Cases

Nothing is more devastating than a car accident that results in the wrongful death of a loved one. The last thing you expect to happen is to get a phone call that your spouse has died in a car accident. You’re going to want to hold someone responsible. And you should. Whoever caused the accident should be held accountable for the pain and damage they have caused.

Sadly, Georgia sees too many car accident fatalities. In 2015, there were over 1,400 people who died in car accidents. This number had gone down over the previous five years but is on the climb yet again. This is due to people driving negligently. It’s also caused by an increase in impaired driving accidents.

Car accident lawyers in Athens are equipped to handle these types of cases. They are compassionate and understand what your family is going through. As much as you hate to think about a lawsuit, your family is entitled to compensation for your loss. And Athens car accident lawyers are there to help get you this compensation.

An Auto Accident Attorney in Athens Can Handle Your Wrongful Death Claim

In most wrongful death cases, you’ll need to prove negligence. You’ll have to prove that the other driver was responsible for your spouse’s death. In order to do this, your lawyer will have to prove the following:

  • The defendant owed your spouse a duty of care
  • They breached this duty
  • Your spouse was killed
  • His death was caused by the defendant’s breach

Proving the first element is easy. Everyone on the road owes a duty of care to everyone else on the road. You have to obey traffic laws and be wary of other travelers. If you don’t honor this duty, you’ll be guilty of a breach. For example, if you drink and drive, you have clearly breached your duty of care.

It’s also not difficult to prove that your spouse had died. The difficulty lies in proving that the defendant caused his death. You need to show that your spouse would still be alive if it weren’t for the defendant’s actions.

Car Accident Lawyers in Athens Know Who is Entitled to File a Wrongful Death Claim

Under Georgia law, the following people are allowed to file a wrongful death claim:

  • The deceased person’s spouse
  • Children of the deceased
  • Surviving parents of the deceased if there is no spouse or children
  • Personal representative of the decedent’s estate

Clearly, if you are the spouse of the victim, you have every right to file a wrongful death claim against the defendant.

Georgia law also dictates what the plaintiffs in a wrongful death claim are entitled to:

  • The surviving spouse must receive at least 1/3 of the wrongful death claim
  • If a personal representative handles the claims, the settlement must be split amongst the legal heirs of the estate

If your spouse is killed in a car accident, you need to call an Athens car accident lawyer. He can get you and your family the money you deserve.

Your Car Accident Attorney in Athens Will Get You the Damages You Deserve

If your spouse is killed in a car accident, you’ll be entitled to certain damages. Your Athens car accident attorney will work hard to get you this compensation. In a wrongful death claim in Georgia, you’re allowed to demand the following:

  • Full value of the life of the estate – this is basically the monetary damages for both the financial and intangible value of the decedent’s life. These damages include:
    • Lost wages and benefits that your spouse would’ve earned had he survived
    • Lost off care and companionship that the family has lost
  • Financial expenses such as funeral costs and medical bills

Call and schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced Athens car accident lawyer today. Let him focus on getting your family their just compensation while you and your family grieve the loss of your loved one.

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