Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death Cases in Atlanta and the State of Georgia

In Georgia, when a person dies due to the negligence or fault of someone else, a special type of legal claim known as wrongful death arises. Wrongful death claims typically involve complex legal issues, such as the nature, type and proof of damages allowed, estate and inheritance law, insurance, annuity and other distribution matters, and other issues that generally require specialized expertise, skill and experience in handling such claims.

Wrongful death claims may arise from a wide range of incidents or situations, including car and truck accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home and elder abuse or neglect, premises liability and negligent security, and use of defective products. Essentially, any time a person’s death results from another’s negligence or wrongful conduct, a recovery for wrongful death may be sought.

A Georgia wrongful death case is really two separate claims. The first claim is brought by the deceased person’s estate or legal representative (also called the “estate claim”) to recover out-of-pocket damages such as the decedent’s last known medical bill and burial expenses, as well as general damages for conscious pain and suffering the decedent experienced before death. The second claim is the actual wrongful death claim, in which the decedent’s surviving heirs seek damages for loss of life (discussed below).

In a wrongful death cases, decedents’ survivors are entitled to recover damages for the “full value” of the decedent’s life. While most of us believe it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to put a dollar value on life, the law requires just that in order to determine full and fair compensation for a life wrongfully taken. The full value of life is measured by considering both tangible economic elements such as wage and earning calculations, loss of future wages, and loss of retirement benefits, as well as non-economic elements, sometimes referred to as “hedonic” damages or damages for the “lost pleasure of life.” Economists and similar expert witnesses are typically employed to help calculate and prove the economic elements of damages in a wrongful death claim. Such experts may also be used to help show the economic value of lost services provided by the decedent, for example, housekeeping, yard work, child care, elder care, and other services the decedent may have provided that are lost as a result of his or her death. Proof of damages in wrongful death cases can be quite complex, and the experience and skill of the attorney handling the case and experts employed can make the difference in whether or not survivors and heirs receive full and complete compensation for the loss of their loved ones.

The Atlanta, Georgia wrongful death attorneys at Brownstein & Nguyen have decades of experience fighting for the rights of those who have suffered the loss of family members and loved ones as a result of the negligence or fault of others. Our attorneys have a proven track record, both in and out of the courtroom, of ensuring that survivors and beneficiaries recover maximum compensation for their losses in wrongful death cases. Click here to view some of our notable results, and click here to see what our clients say about our experience and dedication in handling their claims.

If a family member or loved one has lost their life due to the negligence of others, call or contact our experienced wrongful death attorneys in Atlanta today for a free consultation.