Hundreds of people die in car accidents in the Atlanta area each year. While each traffic fatality is tragic for the victim’s family, not all car accidents will involve a wrongful death claim according to the law. Wrongful death is a legal term that means the injuries that led to the death of someone were caused by negligence or wrongdoing on the part of another person or party. Whenever someone is killed in a Georgia car accident, it is necessary to determine who was responsible for the crash and if negligence contributed to the accident.
Careless or reckless drivers who cause fatal accidents can be held accountable for the damages they inflict. It is considered negligent to cause a car accident while speeding, intoxicated, fatigued or distracted. Drivers can additionally be held accountable for deaths caused by running a red light, driving aggressively, changing lanes without first looking, turning left without properly yielding the right of way or failing to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
Families of Atlanta residents who sadly perish in a car accident should remain abreast of the investigation. Often, officials will be able to determine the cause of the crash and will report who was responsible to the victim’s family. Car accident wrongful death claims can be filed by the surviving spouse, children, parents or siblings. Wrongful death claims can additionally be filed by the personal representative to the victim’s estate for the benefit of heirs.
Wrongful Death Damages in Georgia
There are two main categories of damages that a surviving spouse or family member can seek following the loss of their loved one. The first are damages intended to compensate the family for the value of the life of their deceased loved one. These damages include loss of wages and benefits that the victim would have earned had he or she lived to a reasonable life expectancy. Damages also include intangible losses, such as loss of companionship, loss of care and loss of consortium.
The second category of damages is intended to compensate the deceased’s family for the financial losses related to the death. These types of damages are pursued by the estate of the deceased in what is called a survival claim. Such claims include funeral and burial expenses, medical expenses of the deceased and conscious pain and suffering experienced by the victim prior to death. Your wrongful death attorney will examine the facts of the accident and assist you in seeking the best possible recovery for the tragic loss of your loved one.