Wrongful Death Attorneys Committed To Justice
Nothing can make up for the tragic death of a loved one. When that death was the result of negligence on the part of another individual or company, it’s possible to seek compensation and justice through a wrongful death claim.
At The Finley Firm, P.C., our lawyers handle wrongful death cases across Georgia and Alabama. They are seasoned attorneys with decades of combined experience. They have obtained successful outcomes in multimillion-dollar cases, including mass torts cases where numerous people have been harmed. Not many personal injury law firms have this proven record of success.
Our attorneys know what a devastating impact a wrongful death has on those left behind. When you work with them, you can expect to be treated like family. They offer caring and compassionate representation at all stages of the case.
Building Strong Cases In Fatal Accident Claims
Wrongful deaths can be the result of many different events, such as:
- Motor vehicle crashes
- Construction accidents
- Work accidents
- Fires, burns and electrocutions
- Inadequate security and other dangerous property conditions
- Dangerous or defective products
Regardless of how the death occurred, if it was the result of negligence, then our lawyers will work tirelessly to hold the right parties accountable.
How To File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit
A wrongful death lawsuit is not as easy to file as more straightforward personal injury cases. Before even filing the lawsuit, you may need to take other steps to establish who has the ability to bring such an action.
These cases also require a more extensive investigation into the causes that contributed to the death and the parties responsible. A complete and thorough assessment is essential to laying the groundwork for a successful claim. Given the seriousness of such claims and the high stakes involved, it’s critical to work with skilled attorneys like ours.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death Claims
There are many nuances to these complex cases. Below, you will find general information that may be helpful. However, please seek legal advice for guidance on your situation. Our lawyers will be happy to answer your questions.
What does wrongful death mean?
Under the law, a wrongful death is one that is caused or is the result of the wrongful act or omission of another. A wrongful death can be the result of negligence (like a car or truck wreck), a defective product, an unsafe condition or an intentional act. It is considered a wrongful death because, if it weren’t for negligence, the death would not have occurred.
Not all deaths are wrongful. The law establishes guidelines and rules for when and how someone can be held responsible (and financially accountable) for the death of another. Our lawyers can help determine whether a death would be considered wrongful under applicable law.
Is wrongful death a personal injury?
While similar in many ways, a wrongful death claim and a personal injury claim are not the same. They are treated as two separate types of claims under the law. Sometimes, the negligence that causes personal injury ultimately leads to death. Depending on when the death occurs, the law may allow recovery for the personal injury and for the death. In other cases, just the wrongful death is actionable.
Our lawyers work hard to ensure that they pursue all available claims and damages to maximize our clients’ recoveries.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?
It is important that the person bringing the wrongful death lawsuit has legal standing to do so. Generally, a family member, personal representative or estate administrator must bring a wrongful death lawsuit. However, these laws vary by state.
Our attorneys can ensure that the proper party obtains the necessary approval and authority to file the wrongful death claim. They can handle any matters that must be addressed in probate court to do so.
What are wrongful death damages?
The damages – that is, financial compensation – for a wrongful death vary depending on the jurisdiction in which the death occurred.
In Alabama, wrongful death damages are punitive in nature. The damages are based on the wrongfulness of the conduct that caused the death. The more egregious the conduct is, the greater the damages are. The jury is allowed to consider a variety of things in determining those damages, but there are limits to what a court will allow to be considered in making such an award. Our attorneys can give you an idea of what a judge and jury may consider, given the facts of your case, and an estimate of the case’s value, at both settlement and trial.
In Georgia, wrongful death damages are meant to compensate the surviving family members for the full life of the person who died, which may include lost wages, benefits, and other services or income that the person might reasonably have earned throughout their expected life. They include intangibles such as lost care, companionship, and support. Georgia wrongful death damages also include the costs incurred as a result of the death, such as funeral expenses, medical expenses incurred prior to the death and the like. Our lawyers can evaluate which damages might be recoverable for a wrongful death occurring in Georgia.
How are wrongful death settlements paid out?
Wrongful death settlements can be paid out in a number of ways, and how they are paid out is often determined by who brings them and where the lawsuit is or would be filed. They can generally be paid in a lump sum or in whichever other manner the recipients agree on.
In Alabama, wrongful death settlements are not part of the deceased person’s estate, but they must be paid out in accordance with Alabama statutory law.
In Georgia, wrongful death settlements are paid to the person who properly brings the action or could bring the action. If that person is the administrator of the decedent’s estate, then the money is paid into the estate.
Our attorneys can explain how a wrongful death settlement might be paid out, given the facts of your specific case.
Do all wrongful death claims go to trial?
No. In many cases, a thorough investigation and strong evidence can lay the groundwork for a successful resolution through a settlement. A settlement avoids the stress of trial and the time-consuming nature of court proceedings. Our lawyers are skilled at negotiating favorable settlements, which starts with a thorough understanding of what your case is worth. They know how to put pressure on insurance companies and other defendants to sway them in your favor.
How long does it take to settle wrongful death claims?
The amount of time that it takes to settle a wrongful death claim depends on two factors: how quickly the claim can be prepared, and how willing the defendant is to settle it.
Our wrongful death lawyers understand that time is money. You shouldn’t have to wait years to get compensation. In pursuing a swift resolution, they are thorough but efficient. They work diligently to gather all the necessary facts relating to the wrongful death and, because they’re strategically prudent, if time allows, they prepare a detailed settlement package to send to the defendant. This allows the defendant to fully and fairly evaluate the case and offer a reasonable settlement.
However, not all defendants are reasonable. For those who are not, our attorneys quickly move to file a lawsuit. They continuously explore settlement opportunities on behalf of our clients, but they are also always ready to try a lawsuit at the earliest opportunity. The overwhelming majority of the wrongful death claims that they pursue on behalf of our clients are settled without the need for a trial.
When should I file a wrongful death suit?
A wrongful death lawsuit, like all others, is governed by a statute of limitations. This law establishes a deadline by which a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed.
In most cases, in Georgia, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the date of death. However, there are certain times when that deadline is tolled or stopped in Georgia, such as when the death was the result of a criminal act or when a deceased person’s estate has not been probated.
In Alabama, the statute of limitations for wrongful death actions is also two years from the date of death.
Our lawyers can help you calculate the deadline for your case. It’s important to talk with a lawyer as soon as possible to avoid jeopardizing your case.
Reach Out To Us For Personal, Compassionate Guidance
After you’ve been through such a devastating loss, you deserve a compassionate team of allies on your side. Ours is here to help you pursue justice and the financial recovery your loved one would have wanted for you.