Wrongful Death Attorney in Milledgeville, GA
Wrongful death claims are typically the most serious of all personal injury cases. Regardless of the situation from which the claim arises, the nature of the case facts will determine the outcome in all instances when the evidence is finally presented in court. Many times a wrongful death case will also be associated with a criminal case when the death was a deliberate act by the respondent or if the negligent party was exhibiting illegal behavior at the time of the fatal incident. Cases can be complicated under any circumstances, and they are always strongly defended even when fault in the case is obvious. Insurance company adjusters and other primary litigants will also be working diligently at reducing a wrongful death settlement value, if not choosing to take the case to trial in hopes of a complete dismissal. The grief of the family is generally not as important as a reduced case value to the insurance company lawyers who deal with claim reduction on a daily basis, and it is imperative to have an experienced and aggressive Milledgeville GA wrongful death lawyer representing the case for a positive outcome.
Types of Wrongful Death Accidents
Wrongful death lawsuits can be the result of a number of tragic events. All cases are unique in some aspect, and the type of case can make a major difference in the final outcome when all evidence is evaluated by the court. Possible types of claims include:
- Medical Malpractice
- Product Liability
- Auto and Commercial Vehicle Accidents
- Workplace Accidents
- Personal Attack
- Premises Liability Cases
Legal Standing Assignment
Wrongful death claims are directly addressed in Georgia statutes in order to allow families of deceased individuals to have legal financial recourse following the untimely death of a loved one. The test for determining who has legal standing is set forth specifically for spouses, dependent children, and parents in some situations. There can be complications in assigning standing in some cases, as technicalities can matter and assignment of standing can be contested within the family. An immediate family member can serve as the estate trustee, but many times the wrongful death attorney representing the case will act as an estate representative also because the primary decedent’s estate could have a personal injury claim and will normally go through probate. The ultimate goal of an effective Milledgeville wrongful death lawyer will be maximizing all available damages for the entire family. Any proceeds from a wrongful death settlement is considered the property of the family, while any proceeds from a personal injury claim that applies is considered property of the decedent estate.
The amount of available damages in a wrongful death claim can vary widely, but in cases such as a major trucking accident, there could be several negligent actors who can be pursued. There is always a better chance for whole recovery when a commercial entity is the respondent negligent party. All companies will typically have insurance companies involved in the negotiations as well unless gross negligence is obvious and the plaintiff personal injury attorney is requesting punitive damages. Compensatory damages for loss of consortium and financial support are the primary financial awards, with a specified one-third damage guarantee for spouses when children are included as plaintiffs. Structured damage awards can be common in many wrongful death cases, especially when the decedent has multiple family dependents, and making a final determination on allocation of personal property can be complicated.
Associated Lawsuits and Comparative Neligence
Many wrongful death claims will also have an associated personal injury case filed by the estate of the decedent, and facts exposed in the case could bar a wrongful death claim based on the comparative negligence law used in Georgia. Families of victims who are not successful in a personal injury claim could be restricted from a wrongful death claim following the fact, and having the same attorney representing both cases can be a real advantage regarding understanding the case. Fatal accidents impact an entire family, and having a compassionate Milledgeville GA wrongful death lawyer who will fight for whole damage recovery can be the difference in an equitable settlement or no settlement at all.
Contact Nelson & Smith LLC Milledgeville GA Wrongful Death Lawyer
Anyone in central Georgia who could potentially have a wrongful death case should contact the personal injury legal professionals at Nelson & Smith Law Firm for a comprehensive free case evaluation. Wrongful death cases are about more than financial settlement. They are about family resettlement as well.