The Principles of a Wrongful Death Claim
Wrongful death claims are personal injury cases where the harm is that someone has died. All of the same factual issues that exist in proving another person or company responsible for the injury are the same, but there is another layer of tasks required on top of the normal claim when you have to prove damages for wrongful death. The law firm of A. Russell Blank LLC has experience handling both types of cases and is available to help the victims and their survivors in times of need.
Understanding Wrongful Death Claims
In Georgia, a wrongful death is considered to be the loss of life resulting from a “negligent, reckless, intentional or criminal” act. These deaths may arise from a variety of causes, including negligently caused traffic crashes, defective products, workplace injuries or acts of medical malpractice. Though some of these acts may give rise to criminal charges, a wrongful death is always pursued in the civil court system. Financial compensation may be sought by the spouses or children of the deceased, by surviving parents or by a legal representative of the person’s estate. A Snellville wrongful death attorney will carefully study the nature of the death in order to determine the viability of a particular case.
Taking Legal Action
A wrongful death claim often involves two separate elements or claims. The first part is often referred to as the “wrongful death” claim. It is brought by the surviving spouse, children, parents or other relative for the “full value of the life” of the decedent. That would involve proving whatever income might have been lost, plus the other intangible values of a person such as their worth as a parent, spouse, community leader, etc. It is a figure that the jury believes would be a reasonable approximation of the value of a particular life for however long they determine the person would have lived.
The second aspect of a wrongful death claim is called the “survivorship action”. It is brought by the legal representative of the estate of the deceased. The elements of this claim are proof of the medical costs before death, the funeral and burial expenses, and the value of any pain and suffering the person experienced prior to death. If there are facts that could authorize an award of punitive damages, then that would become a part of the survivorship action. Resolving such complex cases is primary objective of a wrongful death attorney in Georgia.
Wrongful death claims are similar to personal injury cases in that the underlying wrongful conduct must be proven. However, the measure of damages is different and requires additional evidence to prove the value of a person’s life and the costs and the expenses of the last illness. It is for these and other reasons why those seeking compensation need good legal representation. This is why they should consider seeking assistance from the wrongful death attorney in Georgia at the law firm of A. Russell Blank, LLC.