A person’s wrongful death can have devastating impacts on those they leave behind. An Atlanta wrongful death attorney can help the surviving family member pursue a wrongful death claim or lawsuit, so they can be compensated for the losses they sustained due to the passing of their loved one. They can prove liability and ensure the surviving family will get maximum compensation.
How Wrongful Death Occurs
A wrongful death occurs when somebody has acted negligently and caused a person’s death. For instance, if an intoxicated motorist kills a pedestrian, they can be held liable for the death of the pedestrian and the losses of their surviving family members.
In Georgia, the main person who can bring a wrongful death claim is the spouse of the decedent. If they have no spouse, their children can bring a legal claim. Otherwise, the living parent or the estate administrator of the deceased person can sue for wrongful death.
A wrongful death claim can pay for the medical expenses that lead up to a person’s death can funeral expenses. Also, this claim can also bring closure to a devastating event and what the family has to go through as they seek justice for the death of their loved one.
Proving Liability and Damages
In wrongful death cases, the plaintiff should prove liability and damages. Proving liability requires disclosing information from defendants or witnesses. Meanwhile, proving damages can be done by getting statements from witnesses like family members, employers, friends, and doctors. The lawyer of the plaintiff should learn about the losses of the surviving family, the family’s history, the deceased person, and the individual clients. They may also interview other people who knew the decedent and describe the losses the family has experienced. Videotapes and photos can illustrate the decedent’s life and the losses the family sustained. The attorney can work with economists, medical experts, and occupational experts to get the information they need for evaluating the losses of the plaintiff.
Lost Income in Wrongful Death Cases
In the majority of wrongful death cases in Atlanta, the lost income that the decedent would have provided to their family is a big component of damages. It includes future earnings, benefits, salary, and other compensation. Also, surviving families may be able to seek compensation for lost fringe benefits.
To assess damages that involve loss of income, an attorney should present evidence of the deceased person’s actual earnings and ability to earn an income in the future. Future earning capacity can be determined by considering factors such as life expectancy, work habits, health, occupation, age, and business skills wotpost.