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Justice On Your Side. Serving Savannah, Augusta, Atlanta and Beyond.

Wrongful Death Attorneys

Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Losing a loved one is difficult enough for the surviving family members. They are left reeling with the deep grief and loss of having a person who has been close to them for their entire lives and must deal with a variety of emotions that may never go away. At the same time, when that person’s death was due to negligence or intentional act, it makes the situation even worse. The surviving family members are left with the knowledge that their lost loved one could have lived, especially if the death could have been easily prevented. This unto itself can open up a whole new door of grief and a myriad of other emotions. In addition, the financial ramifications that arise as a result of the tragic loss of their loved one can be devastating as well. If the decedent had significant medical expenses prior to their passing and if they provided financial support for their family, it results in an even greater loss for the surviving family members.

With a tragedy so great, the deceased’s loved ones might not be so quick to think about consulting with an attorney about taking legal action in the form of a wrongful death claim. However, this type of lawsuit can be essential when the family needs some financial assistance after the loss of their provider. It also allows them the opportunity to seek justice for the loss of their loved one by holding the negligent party responsible for the wrongful death.

In this kind of situation, it is imperative to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. The surviving family members of a loved one who is lost to a wrongful death situation deserve to get justice. If you are in such a tragic and devastating situation, you must seek the help of a law firm that has experience dealing with wrongful death cases.

Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A wrongful death is the loss of a person’s life that can occur when someone else engages in negligent, reckless or even deliberate behavior that leads to the person dying. If a person behaves in a manner that is so outside the norm of what a reasonable person would do in the same or similar situation and it leads to someone else being harmed, it is considered to be negligence.

In order for negligence to be proven in a wrongful death case, there are certain elements that must be in place. They include the following:

  • A person has died
  • The person’s death was a direct result of negligence or an intentional act of causing harm on the part of someone else
  • The surviving family members suffer financial harm as a result of the death of their loved one
  • A personal representative has been chosen to manage the estate of the deceased

In a wrongful death lawsuit, the attorney will collect evidence and perform extensive research while examining all the facts of the case to determine that all of the elements are in place. They will then prove the following in court:

  • Duty of care: The plaintiff is required to show that the defendant owed the deceased a duty of care. For example, if the death resulted because the defendant was driving while intoxicated and smashed into the individual after disregarding a red light, it would show that there was a duty of care because the defendant was supposed to obey the rules of the road and not drink and drive.
  • Breach of duty of care: The next thing the plaintiff would have to prove is that the duty of care owed by the defendant was breached when they ran the red light and smashed into the deceased. The fact that the defendant disregarded the rules of the road and drove while drunk proves that there was a breach of the duty of care.
  • Causation: Finally, the plaintiff must also prove that even though the defendant broke the law, their actions were the direct cause of the person’s death. For instance, if an autopsy was performed on the individual who was struck by the defendant and it was determined that they suffered a heart attack moments before the accident, it might not be possible for the plaintiff to prove that the crash, not the heart attack, caused the individual’s death or at least contribute significantly to it.
Wrongful Death Attorney | The Eichholz Law Firm Georgia

Common Wrongful Death Cases

There are certain types of wrongful death cases that are extremely common. The court recognizes the following in most cases:

  • Negligent actions: This type of wrongful death case arises when a person has failed to follow the standard safety precautions or regulations or fails to warn other people of potential danger or behaves recklessly
  • Wrongful acts: This type of wrongful death case occurs when a person has committed any type of wrongful act, including violent crimes, which leads to the death of another person, even if they have not been convicted of a crime

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one of the leading causes of death in the United States for people of all ages are those that occur as a result of unintentional injury. In most cases, these deaths happen due to serious road accidents, including car and motorcycle accidents, work accidents, medical malpractice, product liability, plane accidents, train accidents, animal attacks and neglect or abuse.

Vehicle Accidents

Driving is a privilege that requires everyone with a driver’s license to adhere to the rules of the road and to obey all traffic signs and signals. People are required to use caution behind the wheel and use the appropriate methods while traveling in certain weather conditions while always staying alert of everyone else on the road. Vehicle accidents sadly rank close to the top of the list of the most common causes of wrongful death. According to the National Safety Council, in 2019, around 38,800 people were killed in road accidents.

In some cases, a wrongful death lawsuit is filed against the driver of another vehicle. However, in others, the lawsuit is filed against the driver of the vehicle in which the decedent was riding at the time of the accident that led to their death. Sometimes, wrongful death lawsuits are also filed against the manufacturer of the vehicle, such as for defective components of the car like airbags, tires, brakes and others that malfunctioned.

Aviation Accidents

If an airplane has defects, it can lead to an aviation accident that results in severe, debilitating injuries and death. Unfortunately, there have been cases involving a pilot flying while under the influence of alcohol or drugs that contributed to the wrongful death of the passengers on the plane.

Product Liability

Product liability is the area of law where manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and retailers are held responsible for defective products sold to consumers. Among the three classes of product liability are (1) design defects, (2) manufacturing defects, and (3) failing to warn consumers about known or potential defects. In a wrongful death suit, if an individual claims negligence that’s connected to product liability, the plaintiff’s attorney must prove there was a duty owed, then a breach of that duty, then a resulting injury (wrongful death) caused by the defendant.

Medical Malpractice

In a wrongful death case involving a death resulting from negligence by a doctor or other medical professional, the plaintiff is required to prove that the actions, inactions or negligence led to the individual’s death. The medical professional can be a doctor, nurse, surgeon or pharmacist.

Workplace Accidents

Commonly fatal work accidents involve those that require the use of equipment. If equipment malfunctions or a worker slips and falls or suffers serious injuries from burns or an explosion and gets killed, their surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Most of these accidents occur at manufacturing plants, mining locations and construction sites.

There are certain safety standards that employers are required to ensure as per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. If an employee is killed as a result of a work accident and those standards were disregarded by the employer, there are grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit.

Damages in Wrongful Death Cases

Various factors come into play when the court determines a specific monetary amount in damages to the decedent’s surviving family members in a wrongful death case. Some of those include the relationship between the survivor and the decedent, expected lifespan of each party, and an estimation of the services the decedent would have performed had they not died.

The relationship a person had with the decedent can determine the benefits they receive. The following are potential benefits based on the relationship:

  • Spouse: The individual’s surviving spouse can recover compensation for loss of companionship, loss of protection, and for mental and emotional pain and suffering
  • Child: Minor children can recover compensation for the loss of guidance and instruction, parental companionship, and mental and emotional pain and suffering
  • Parent: Parents of a minor child who died as a result of wrongful death can get compensation for mental and emotional pain and suffering.
  • All survivors: All surviving family members of the deceased can recover a compensatory amount that is equal to the value of the support and services they have lost as a result of their loved one’s death. They may also be able to recover damages for medical and funeral expenses.

Additionally, the court can decide to award the surviving family members punitive damages in addition to the regular damages that are awarded in a wrongful death claim. Punitive damages are those that are given as a way of punishing the defendant if they committed a serious wrongdoing that directly led to the death. For example, if someone behaved in a grossly negligent, reckless or even intentional manner and caused the death, the court may decide to give the surviving family members punitive damages.

Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer

The Eichholz Law Firm helps families take legal action against the negligent party responsible for the death of their loved ones. Our lawyers are dedicated to serving victims and fighting for justice. Call the Eichholz Law Firm today at (855)-551-1019 or fill out an online form for a free consultation.

Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.

At the Eichholz Law Firm We Are Lawyers That Care About You

Our clients are at the center of everything we do and our team is focused on delivering results. We are committed to fighting for justice and increased social responsibility in our community.

Our objective is to provide expert legal services in an effort to maximize results for clients who have been injured through the negligence of others.













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