Whether your loved one dies in a car accident, at a grocery store, or on a business trip, you’ll want to confront the party responsible for the tragedy. Luckily, you can find justice and compensation by filing a case with a wrongful death attorney. Consider the sections below to decide if your situation meets the proper criteria to file a wrongful death case.
The Key Elements of a Wrongful Death Case
Breach of Duty
First, the decedent’s family and their lawyer must work to prove that the defendant (the individual they believe to be responsible for the death) owed their loved one a duty of care. This means they were expected to act in a way that wouldn’t jeopardize the individual’s safety. For example, a restaurant owner owes a duty of care to their patrons. Then, the family must prove that the duty was breached, or unfulfilled due to a negligent action—such as failing to inform patrons of a broken staircase.
Next, the plaintiff needs to show that the negligent action was the direct result of the individual’s death. Following the previous example, the broken staircase resulted in the trip and fall that left the individual with fatal injuries.
Finally, it must be clear that the individual’s surviving family members and dependents were directly affected by the death. For example, a mother’s sudden passing resulted in a loss of income for her spouse and children. Other damages include emotional pain and suffering caused by the loved one’s death.
If you’re filing a wrongful death case, you need to make sure that it falls within your state’s statute of limitations. In Georgia, survivors must present a wrongful death claim within two years of the individual’s death. State law also states that only certain people can bring this claim forward, including the decedent’s spouse, children, surviving parent, and personal estate representative.
If you believe you might have a case, reach out to the wrongful death attorneys at Smith & Tabor Attorneys At Law of Toccoa, GA. Since 1985, they’ve been helping clients throughout the area, whether they’re facing a personal injury or the death of a loved one. Their other practice areas include estate planning, family law, and workers’ compensation. To learn more, visit the website, or call (706) 886-5141 today to schedule a consultation with a wrongful death attorney.