Wrongful Death and Serious Injury

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in Georgia?

There are three parties that can bring a wrongful death case under Georgia law… 

  • The spouse of the deceased
  • The children of the deceased
  • The estate of the deceased

A living spouse has the first opportunity to come forward as the plaintiff. If the spouse declines, the children have the option to sue on behalf of their late parent. If there is no surviving family, then the executor of the estate–someone that was identified by the deceased in their will or estate plan–may choose to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.

Wrongful death cases often involve genuine accidents, but they can also involve crimes. The survivors of a deceased person who died because of a criminal act can bring forth a civil lawsuit, while the same defendant is also being charged by the state for a crime. The wrongful death case would be litigated in civil court, while the defendant also had to face a separate criminal court proceeding.

In these types of cases, there is a very different legal dynamic between the civil and the criminal. In criminal court, a defendant is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. But in a civil case–like a wrongful death lawsuit–a jury need only be convinced that it’s more likely than not, the defendant is responsible for the death.

The reason for the differing standards of proof is that each case is determining entirely different things. A criminal court is deciding whether the defendant will go to prison, which is why the U.S. Constitution places a high bar of proof on the state. But on the civil side, a Duluth wrongful death lawyer is only seeking to have the defendant make financial restitution to the survivors of the deceased.

How Are Wrongful Death Settlements Paid Out?

If the courts do award a financial settlement, the money can be paid out in two ways. It can be a lump-sum payment, which comes all at once, Or a structured settlement can be paid out over a period of time.

Just as important as how a wrongful death settlement is paid out, is who it is paid out too. The state of Georgia seeks to have monies evenly divided between a surviving spouse and surviving adult children. If an adult child is deceased and there are grandchildren in that lineage, then the grandchildren become eligible to receive what would have been their parent’s portion of the settlement.

Parsons Law, LLC will give each client the strong representation and advocacy they deserve. Clients are already hurting because of their loss. A lawyer can’t take away that pain, but what our Attorneys can do is make sure clients have peace of mind in knowing that their legal advocacy is in good hands.

Our Duluth office serves Lawrenceville, Norcross, all of Gwinnett County and north into Hall County. Call today at 678-314-1553 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

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Duluth Wrongful Death Lawyer

A financial settlement can’t make up for the loss of a loved one. But the civil courts in Gwinnett County have to at least try and offer something to the families of those who may have died because of someone else’s negligence. The wrongful death lawsuit is the legal mechanism by which compensation can be awarded.

A Duluth wrongful death lawyer from Parsons Law, LLC will do the scrupulous legal footwork necessary to build your case and then bring a zealous spirit of advocacy in negotiating and litigating a fair settlement. Call today at 678-314-1553 or contact us online to set up a free consultation. Serving Lawrenceville, Norcross, all of Gwinnett County and north into Hall County.

A wrongful death lawsuit is almost identical to any other personal injury lawsuit. Almost–the difference is who the plaintiff is. In a standard personal injury case, the injured party would be the plaintiff. But when a death is the tragic outcome, then the plaintiff is those who seek justice on behalf of the deceased.

How Are Damages Calculated in a Georgia Serious Injury Case?

Damages in any personal injury case can be both compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages are split into two categories–remuneration for measurable costs, along with an effort by the court to compensate a plaintiff for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.

Then there are punitive damages, which can be awarded by a court as a punishment to the defendant–essentially a warning to others that the type of negligence that resulted in the serious injury is completely unacceptable. Punitive damages are most commonly associated with cases where the defendant is a large corporation that has acted irresponsibly.

The amount of damages awarded in each case will depend on the specific circumstances involved and how well the Duluth serious injury lawyer in charge of the case presents these circumstances to the court. The attorney for the injured plaintiff has to be ready with answers to questions like these…

  • What are the immediate medical bills faced by the plaintiff, starting with the cost of hospitalization?
  • What is the cost of lost wages–this can be easily documented with past W-2 or 1099 forms that show the income the plaintiff earns
  • What will be the financial cost of ongoing rehabilitation? In serious injury cases, it may be important to bring in testimony from medical experts on how long rehab is going to take.
  • Does the plaintiff’s home need to be remodeled to adjust for their changed circumstances? This might include ramps, or any other renovations needed to make the home accessible?
  • Is an entirely new house going to be required for the plaintiff given their new reality?
  • Can the plaintiff be reasonably expected to advance in their career in the same way they would have prior to the accident? The loss of future earnings can be a part of compensatory damages, and this is another area that may require calling in outside testimony.
  • What personal hobbies that the plaintiff previously enjoyed are now off-limits?
  • Has the plaintiff lost the ability to enjoy time with family and friends?
  • Does the plaintiff need therapy for depression or any other mental health issue that may have arisen because of the accident?

These are just a handful of the questions that should be asked and issues that must be analyzed in finding the way to a fair serious injury settlement. Furthermore, even getting to the point of asking these questions presumes a Duluth serious injury lawyer was able to successfully demonstrate the defendant’s responsibility for the plaintiff’s injuries.

Advocacy You Can Trust From a Lawrenceville Serious Injury Lawyer

Duluth Serious Injury Lawyer

When someone’s life has been drastically altered by an injury, they need an attorney who has specific skills in cases that involve major injuries with damage calculations that need to project out over a long period of time. Serious injury cases are not the same as other personal injury claims and the experience of the Duluth serious injury lawyer they retain should reflect that.

What is a Serious Injury in Georgia?

There’s an adage saying that “minor surgery” is that which is being performed on someone else. In that same vein, we might say that a “serious injury” is something that happens to us. That can be how it feels, but there is objective criteria that defines what “serious injury” is for the purposes of Georgia law.

Serious injury is typically understood by the courts to involve damage ranging from dismemberment to fractures to the consequential limitation of using a body part. To be considered “serious injury”, a plaintiff will generally need to be removed from their daily activities for at least three months.

Under certain circumstances, causing serious injury can leave a defendant subject to criminal charges. These are separate from the civil case that the injured party is bringing forward, but a guilty plea or conviction in a criminal case can certainly substantiate the plaintiff’s claims in a serious injury lawsuit.

At Parsons Law, LLC we aim to prove diligent advocacy and well-documented settlement proposals that our clients can rely on for their recovery. From our Duluth office, we serve Lawrenceville, Norcross, all of Gwinnett County and up into Hall County. Call today at 678-314-1553 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

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