Losing a loved one is devastating. When someone causes the death and refuses to take responsibility, the grief can be overwhelming. Depending on the circumstances, you and your family may want to speak with an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Gainesville, GA from our Stewart Melvin & Frost Trial Team to discuss what rights and options you and your family may have.
For example, it is important to know the difference between a wrongful death claim and a survival action. To learn more about the key differences between the two, click here.
What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil claim against a defendant(s) that caused the death of a loved one, either intentionally or negligently. Because these are civil in nature, they can be brought to court whether or not the defendant was charged of a crime related to the death.
A wrongful death lawsuit can provide the family of the deceased individual or his or her estate a path to hold the defendant accountable.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Depending on the circumstances, the family members who can bring the claim can be the spouse, children, or parents. Typically, the claim is vested with the spouse who brings the claim on behalf of herself/himself and any children of the deceased. If there is no spouse, the law provides for children or parents to bring the claim. It will be important to contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer to learn about who is the proper person to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
How Is a Wrongful Death Settlement Determined?
It is important to remember, no sum of money will ever fill the hole left behind by the sudden and unexpected loss of your loved one. However, the law provides your family with a path for accountability against the defendant(s) who caused the death of your loved one. The law also provides several factors to help determine the value of your loss. Your civil lawyer in Gainesville with the Stewart Melvin & Frost Trial Team will walk you through those factors and help you in determine a full and just value for your family’s case. Keep in mind, no lawyer can provide you with a guarantee. Typically, compensation will consider various categories of loss, such as:
- Economic factors, such as lost earnings capacity, typically include what the deceased person might reasonably have earned if he or she had lived, and
- Non-economic factors, or intangible factors, such as the deceased’s relationships, family life, passions, and other reasons for living that may illustrate the deceased’s enjoyment of life.