Car accidents can have serious consequences and, in some cases, lead to loss of life. Losing a loved one in a car accident can be a traumatic and heart-wrenching experience, and the aftermath can be incredibly overwhelming. It is important to understand the following legal process in such a situation. This FAQ page aims to provide comprehensive information on what happens when someone is killed in a car accident in Georgia.
What Should I Do If a Loved One Was Killed in a Georgia Car Accident?
Seek medical attention if you or anyone else is injured. Once done, you should contact a qualified, experienced wrongful death attorney in Georgia. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and guide you through the legal process.
Understanding a Wrongful Death Claim
A wrongful death claim provides the surviving family members of a deceased person the opportunity to seek compensation for their loved one’s death. In Georgia, a wrongful death claim can be filed by the deceased person’s spouse, children, or parents.
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What Damages Can I Recover in a Wrongful Death Claim?
In a wrongful death claim, you may recover damages for various losses, including but not limited to medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost income, lost benefits, and pain and suffering. The number of damages you can recover will depend on the specifics of your case.
Several parties can be held liable in a wrongful death claim, including the driver of the car that caused the accident, the car’s owner, the manufacturer, and any other parties who contributed to the accident.
The Statute of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia
In Georgia, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is two years. If you fail to file a claim within this time frame, you may lose your right to recover damages.
In a wrongful death claim, you must prove that the other party was negligent in causing the accident that led to your loved one’s death. Negligence means that the other party breached their duty of care and caused the accident.
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What If My Loved One Was Partially at Fault for the Accident?
Georgia follows a modified comparative fault rule, which means that if your loved one were partially at fault for the accident, your damages would be reduced by the percentage of fault. However, if your loved one was more than 50% at fault, you may be unable to recover any damages.
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How Long Will It Take to Resolve My Wrongful Death Claim?
In some cases, a claim can be resolved in months. In others, it can take years. Your attorney can give you a better idea of what to expect based on the specifics of your case.
Not necessarily. Many wrongful death claims are settled outside of court through negotiations between your attorney and the other party’s attorney. However, your case may go to court if a settlement cannot be reached.
Paying for a Wrongful Death Attorney
Many wrongful death attorneys in Georgia work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t have to pay anything upfront. Instead, your attorney will take a percentage of your settlement as their fee if they successfully recover your damages. This allows you to pursue justice for your loved one without worrying about upfront legal costs.
Can I Still File a Wrongful Death Claim If the Other Driver Was Not Charged with a Crime?
You can still file a wrongful death claim even if the other driver was not charged with a crime. While criminal charges may impact your wrongful death claim, they are unnecessary for you to file a claim.
What Should I Look for When Hiring a Wrongful Death Attorney in Georgia?
When hiring a wrongful death attorney in Georgia, you should look for an attorney with experience handling wrongful death claims. You should also look for an attorney who is compassionate and empathetic. Additionally, you should ask about the attorney’s fees and ensure they work on a contingency fee basis.
During the legal process, you can expect to work closely with your attorney to gather evidence, negotiate with the other party’s attorney, and potentially go to court. Your attorney will keep you informed throughout the process and help you understand what to expect at each stage.
Filing a Claim If Your Loved One Was a Passenger or Pedestrian
Yes, you can file a wrongful death claim if your loved one was a pedestrian hit by a car. Pedestrian accidents are a common cause of wrongful death claims, and an experienced attorney can help you determine who may be liable for the accident.
You can file a wrongful death claim if your loved one was a passenger in the car. In some cases, the driver of the car may be liable for the accident, while in other cases, the owner of the car or another party may be liable.
What If the Other Driver Lacks Insurance to Cover My Damages?
If the other driver does not have enough insurance to cover your damages, you may still be able to recover compensation through your own insurance policy. An attorney can help you explore your options for recovery and determine the best course of action for your situation. Contact Barrios Virgüez today for more help with your case.