Losing a loved one can be devastating. When you learn that your family member’s untimely death was preventable and that another person or entity’s wrongful, reckless, or negligent actions caused it, you may be feeling a range of emotions and will want to hold the liable party accountable.
You can seek justice when you pursue legal action against them. You also can get help during these challenging times when you reach out to a Covington, GA, wrongful death attorney from Kaine Law. We can help you review legal recourse available to you during a free consultation with our team.
What Are Wrongful Death Actions in Covington?
Under O.C.G.A. § 51-4-1, wrongful death applies to “all cases in which the death of a human being results from a crime, from criminal or other negligence, or from property which has been defectively manufactured, whether or not as the result of negligence.”
This means wrongful death happens when one person is responsible for causing another’s death, whether through an intentional act or a negligence-based incident, such as medical malpractice. If it hadn’t been for the defendant’s actions in your case, the deceased might still be alive today.
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Covington, call 404-214-2001
Compensation Types a Covington Wrongful Death Attorney Might Seek
When you pursue a wrongful death lawsuit in Covington, your family has the right to recover specific losses under O.C.G.A. § 51-4-5(b). These are separated into two categories. The first compensates the surviving family members for the “full value of the life of the decedent.” Some of the damages that may be included are things like:
- Loss of companionship and love
- Loss of advice and counsel
- Loss of comfort, care, and support
- The decedent’s lost wages
- The decedent’s loss of potential future earnings, including bonuses, salary increases, and retirement savings plan contributions
The second category covers damages intended to compensate the decedent’s estate for specific types of financial losses, such as:
- The decedent’s medical expenses in relation to their fatal injury
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Other relevant expenses related to the decedent’s fatal injury or wrongful death
You can learn more about what your family’s Covington wrongful death lawsuit might be valued at when you contact our office to discuss the ways the loss of your loved one has impacted your lives. You can also read about recoverable damages in a wrongful death case here.
Covington Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me 404-214-2001
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Action in Georgia?
Although you may want to start your Covington, GA, wrongful death lawsuit right now, it’s important for you to find out if you’re eligible to proceed. Only specific parties have the right to pursue wrongful death actions on the decedent’s behalf under the law, according to O.C.G.A. § 51-4-2. Below are the family members, in order, who can pursue a wrongful death action in Covington, Georgia:
- The decedent’s surviving spouse
- The decedent’s surviving children
- The decedent’s surviving parents
- The executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate
Georgia’s wrongful death laws do not allow siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins, uncles, aunts, or other family members to pursue wrongful death actions. However, if the administrator of the decedent’s estate files the wrongful death lawsuit, any damages awarded will then be held by the state to benefit the decedent’s next of kin.
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How Our Covington Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help Your Case
As we seek compensation for your family, we will take care of every aspect of your wrongful death case. This means we will:
- Investigate the accident or incident that fatally injured your loved one
- Collect and review all relevant evidence that supports your case for wrongful death compensation
- Interview witnesses who can help us understand what happened
- List all liable parties and prove their negligence
- Assess all recoverable damages in your case and assign a dollar value to them
- Manage all case communications with all involved parties
- Negotiate with the liable party’s insurance company for fair compensation
- File your lawsuit for damages if we cannot settle your case
We will keep you updated on your case, explaining all laws that apply and the developments that occur. We also will answer all your questions.
With our Covington wrongful death lawyer handling your case, you and your family can take care of your loved one’s final arrangements and help each other at this time.
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How Long Do You Have to File Your Covington Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Georgia?
Like most legal matters, wrongful death lawsuits have a statute of limitations. The decedent’s family or administrator of the estate must file the action before this deadline expires.
For most Georgia wrongful death cases, the statute of limitations generally expires two years after the decedent’s death, according to O.C.G.A § 9-3-33. Failure to file your lawsuit before that two-year deadline expires will result in the loss of your right to bring forth a lawsuit.
Georgia’s Statute of Limitations Deadline May Be Paused in Some Cases
The statute of limitations deadline could be tolled or delayed under limited circumstances. If the decedent died because of a crime, the statute of limitations on your wrongful death lawsuit could be suspended for a maximum of six years until the criminal case against the defendant is complete under O.C.G.A. § 9-3-99. The two-year statute of limitations would begin from the date the defendant’s criminal trial was resolved.
If the decedent’s estate was not put through probate, the statute of limitations might be tolled for a maximum of five years under O.C.G.A § 9-3-92. If you have questions or concerns surrounding when the statute of limitations expires in your Covington wrongful death case, do not hesitate to contact our attorney to discuss your case.
What Is the Difference Between Criminal Charges and Civil Cases?
Pursuing a civil wrongful death lawsuit is different from the criminal charges the liable party might face in your loved one’s death. In criminal cases, the state prosecutor must bring charges forward. They will likely seek criminal penalties, including fines, restitution, and jail or prison time. The prosecutor must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt for the judge or jury to convict the defendant.
This is a stark contrast from wrongful death actions, which are brought forward by the families of those killed because of another’s negligent or wrongful acts. In a wrongful death lawsuit, you seek compensation for the damages the decedent and your family endured. Your Covington, GA, wrongful death case rests on proving liability based on a preponderance of the evidence. This means the evidence must show that the defendant in your case is more than likely liable, given the evidence presented.
Various Events Can Lead to Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Covington, GA
Negligence can occur at any time in Covington, GA, and when it does, it could, unfortunately, fatally wound some people.
Any of the following can prompt Covington families to bring forth a civil action if they lose a loved one because of negligence:
- Motor vehicle accidents (car, truck, motorcycle crashes)
- Bicycle accidents
- Boating accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Defective products and services
- Slip and fall accidents
- Premises liability accidents (e.g., negligent security)
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace accidents
This short list is not comprehensive, so if you don’t see your situation here, you can give us a call so we can review your case and determine how we can help you.
Get a Free Consultation With a Covington Wrongful Death Attorney Today
The wrongful death action process can often be complex, which is why many who file wrongful death lawsuits seek legal counsel to help them navigate it. Kaine Law’s Covington wrongful death attorney will advocate for justice for your loved one and your family. You could recover damages that can make it easier to cover your loved one’s end-of-life expenses and provide some financial relief for the family. We also serve Covington, GA, for personal injury, car accidents, and more.
Our team will help your family make the culpable party pay for their recklessness. You can call our office at (404) 882-2965 today for your no-cost, risk-free consultation. We accept cases on contingency, which means you owe us no money up front for us to start working on your case. We get paid only if we recover compensation for you.
Call or text 404-214-2001 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form