Alpharetta Wrongful Death Lawyer
Losing a family member is an experience that can shake the very foundation of your world. When that loss occurs because another party was reckless or negligent, the turmoil can be even greater. While a wrongful death lawsuit can compensate you financially, handling the legal matters might seem overwhelming when you’re grieving and planning a funeral.
At Horst Shewmaker, our Alpharetta wrongful death lawyers are available to help. Although no settlement or verdict can bring your loved one back, a lawsuit can secure the financial resources that your family needs to cope with the loss. The associated investigation can also determine why it happened, how it could have been prevented, and hopefully prevent others from dying the same way.
We are here to listen to your story, understand your needs, and provide you with the legal guidance you require. To learn more about how we can help you get justice, please reach out to us for a free consultation.
Why Hire Us For Your Wrongful Death Claim?
At Horst Shewmaker, we understand what you are feeling and the challenges you are facing right now. Our Alpharetta wrongful death lawyers are here to offer you guidance, support, and unwavering advocacy during this difficult time. Here’s how choosing us can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
- Compassion and Empathy: Our approach is rooted in compassion and empathy, ensuring that you are treated with the respect and care you deserve. We genuinely care about your well-being and are dedicated to providing a supportive environment where you can share your concerns and needs without hesitation.
- Proven Experience: Horst Shewmaker brings years of experience and a track record of success in handling wrongful death claims. Our legal team knows how to build strong cases that stand up against powerful entities and insurance companies.
- Personalized Attention: We understand that your family’s needs are unique and cookie-cutter approaches simply will not suffice. We take the time to understand your situation, listen to your concerns, and tailor our strategies to align with your goals. Your peace of mind is our priority.
- Thorough Investigations: Successfully pursuing a wrongful death claim requires thorough investigation and careful attention to detail. We collaborate with experts and gather the evidence needed to build a compelling case.
- Effective Negotiation and Litigation: Whether through negotiation or litigation, we are relentless in our pursuit of justice. Our skilled personal injury lawyers are adept at securing favorable settlements but we are always prepared to take your case to court if necessary. Our reputation for zealous advocacy often leads to favorable outcomes for our clients.
Wrongful Death Claims in Georgia
In Georgia, a wrongful death claim arises when a person’s death is caused by the negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions of another party. These claims aim to hold responsible parties accountable for their actions, provide financial support to the surviving family members, and address the emotional and financial toll caused by the loss.
Wrongful death can result from a wide range of accidents and incidents, including but not limited to:
- Car accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
- Slip and fall accidents
- Construction site incidents
- Criminal acts
- Nursing home negligence
Each case is different, and the circumstances surrounding the incident play a significant role in determining the viability of a wrongful death claim.
Importance of Establishing Negligence or Liability
For a wrongful death claim to succeed, establishing negligence or liability is crucial. (Negligence refers to the failure to exercise reasonable care, resulting in another person being injured or killed.) To build a strong case, it’s essential to prove the following elements:
- Duty of Care: The responsible party owed a duty of care to the victim.
- Breach of Duty: The responsible party breached their duty through actions or inaction.
- Causation: The breach of duty directly caused the victim’s death.
- Damages: The surviving family members have suffered tangible losses as a result of the death.
Proving negligence or liability requires thorough investigation, evidence gathering, and often the expertise of professionals in various fields. A skilled wrongful death attorney is equipped to handle these complex legal aspects, ensuring that the necessary elements are established to support your claim.
Compensation and Damages Following the Death of a Loved One
Surviving family members and the estate’s representative are able to seek various types of compensation, including:
- Full value of the decedent’s life
- Medical expenses incurred before the deceased’s passing
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Property damage
- Pre-death Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before passing
- Punitive damages (in cases involving willful misconduct or aggravating circumstances)
This compensation is typically categorized into economic and non-economic damages.
- Economic Damages: These are tangible financial losses that can be calculated, such as medical bills, funeral costs, lost income, and future financial support that the deceased would have provided to their family.
- Non-Economic Damages: These losses are challenging to quantify but are just as important. Non-economic damages include pre-death pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc.
The amount of compensation awarded in a wrongful death claim varies based on several factors, including:
- The victim’s age, health, and life expectancy
- The victim’s income and earning potential
- The circumstances of the incident
- The strength of the evidence and arguments presented in the case
Having an experienced Alpharetta wrongful death lawyer on your side can help you assess your claim accurately and maximize your compensation. At Horst Shewmaker, we are dedicated to helping you secure the compensation you need to move forward while honoring your loved one’s memory.
In Georgia, the law specifies who has the legal right to file a wrongful death claim. The priority order is as follows:
- Spouse: The surviving spouse of the deceased has the first right to file a wrongful death claim in Georgia.
- Children: If there is no surviving spouse, the victim’s children (both minor and adult) are eligible to file a wrongful death claim. They can file the claim individually or jointly.
- Parents: If there is no surviving spouse or children, the deceased’s parents have the right to bring forth a wrongful death claim. This includes biological and adoptive parents.
- Estate Representative: If none of the above-mentioned individuals are available, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death claim. The compensation obtained through the claim would be distributed to the deceased’s estate and beneficiaries according to Georgia law.
According to OCGA §9-3-33, spouses, children, parents, or personal representatives of the estate typically have up to two years from the date of the victim’s death to file their wrongful death claim, although exceptions do apply in some cases. For instance:
- If the responsible party is a government entity or employee, there may be shorter deadlines or specific notice requirements that need to be met.
- When the case involves a criminal offense, the statute of limitations may be paused (tolled) for up to six years or until the final disposition of the case, whichever period is shorter. Once that occurs, the two-year period would then start running.
You may lose your right to seek compensation if you do not initiate a wrongful death claim within the specified timeframe. An Alpharetta wrongful death lawyer can determine how much time you have left and get started right away so you don’t miss the filing deadline.
Most wrongful death lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, Horst Shewmaker included. This means that the attorney will receive a percentage of your compensation if they are successful in winning your case. If the case is unsuccessful, you do not owe the attorney any fees. If you have questions about our fee structure, please let us know during your complimentary consultation.
Questions? Get a Free Consultation From an Alpharetta Personal Injury Lawyer!
When you lose someone you love because another party was negligent, an Alpharetta personal injury attorney can go over your legal options and help you file a claim. At Horst Shewmaker, we understand that no amount of money will ever make up for the death of your loved one, but your family still deserves financial justice for the resulting losses. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, call 404-400-1175 or contact us online today.