Fat Car Accident Lawsuit Guide
Unfortunately, thousands of people are killed in car accidents each year.
When this happens, the family of the victim is left with an incredible burden and is vulnerable to losing much more than just their loved one.
To protect themselves, it is essential that the deceased’s family speak with a personal injury attorney. By doing so, the survived can learn if they can file a wrongful death lawsuit, which can help them recover damages, caused by the accident and ease their burden.
Who can file a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
There are a few different parties that have the right to file a Wrongful Death claim in Georgia after someone is killed in a car accident.
The person filing the lawsuit is usually the primary beneficiary of the deceased or the personal representative of their estate.
In a lot of Wrongful Death cases, the primary beneficiary who files the claim is the spouse of the deceased.
If the spouse decides to file a wrongful death suit, they also are considered the representatives of the interests of any minor children involved. If minor children are involved, the spouse is automatically entitled to at least one-third of the total recovery amount.
If the deceased does not have a spouse, a wrongful death lawsuit may also be filed by the parents of the victim, or whomever their estate’s personal representative is.
However, if the personal representative is filing the claim, the financial settlement will be held by the victim’s estate and rightfully belong to their next of kin.
What must be proven in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The first factor to consider before filing a wrongful death lawsuit is negligence. To win this type of case, the plaintiff must be able to prove that the defendant killed the victim due to either negligence or an intentional act.
The standards by which the plaintiff are held are that they must meet the same burden of proof that the victim would have been required to had they survived the car accident.
These include Duty, Breach of Duty, Causation, and Damages.
Proving Duty in a wrongful death case stemming from a car accident requires showing that the defendant owed a duty of due care to the victim, by acting and driving responsibly. Once duty has been established by the plaintiff, they must then show that the defendant either took actions to breach that duty or acted negligently.
Now that Duty and Breach of Duty have been determined, causation must be proven.
Causation means showing the court that the defendant's breach of duty is what caused the death of the victim. In a car accident case, this would mean proving that the defendant’s car is what hit and killed the victim.
Finally, the plaintiff must prove damages that were caused by the car accident to win their wrongful death suit. In a wrongful death case, this is much easier to prove as the victim has died as a result of the accident.
How Long Does a Fatal Car Accident Settlement Take?
When determining the damages resulting from a wrongful death suit, there are two main factors that the courts consider.
The first claim is determining the full value of the life of the deceased, while the purpose of the second is to recover financial losses that were the result of the person’s death.
When establishing the full value of the life of the deceased, the main elements that the courts consider are:
- Intangible benefits, including loss of care and companionship.
- Lost wages and benefits, or what the victim would have potentially earned if they had not died.
Once the courts have decided on the value of the person’s life, they then decide on a number of financial losses that resulted from the person’s death.
Factors that are used to calculate this value are:
- Funeral and burial expenses incurred to the survived.
- Medical expenses that were the result of the car accident.
- Pain and Suffering endured by the victim.
Take Control of Your Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawsuit
When a person is killed as the result of a car accident, a wrongful death lawsuit is one of the ways the family they left behind are protected.
These lawsuits allow the survived to recover damages from the at-fault party to help ease the burden they are now facing.
If you live near Atlanta and someone you love has been killed in a car accident, and you would like to learn about your options, contact The Roth Firm.
Our experienced lawyers will get you the compensation and justice that you deserve.
Click on the link below for a free consultation with one of our Fatal Car Accident Injury Attorneys to talk about filing a lawsuit on behalf of your deceased friend or loved one.