Wrongful Death Claims: Legal Recourse and Compensation for Families

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Learn about wrongful death claims in Georgia, including legal definitions, filing procedures, and how Philip Kim Law, P.C. can assist you in seeking justice for your loved one.

 

Author: Philip Kim, Founder, Philip Kim Law, P.C.

Defense lawyer Philip Kim has committed his career to standing up for the accused, and protecting the rights and reputations of his valued clients. If you face criminal charges in Georgia, we can provide you with the skilled, effective defense representation you need.

Published on June 26, 2024.

 

Navigating a Wrongful Death Claim: How Philip Kim Law, P.C. Can Help 

Wrongful death refers to a situation where someone dies due to another person’s negligence or harmful actions. This legal concept allows the family of the deceased to seek compensation for the death of their loved one. 

A wrongful death claim is more than just about financial compensation; it’s a way to seek justice for the deceased and ensure accountability, which can help families find some measure of peace and closure. 

Although it can never fully make up for the loss of a loved one, wrongful death claims are designed to address both the emotional and financial hardships that may follow such a tragic event.

At Philip Kim Law, P.C., located in Lawrenceville, Georgia, we are expanding our practice to include personal injury claims alongside our established criminal defense services. If you’re dealing with the impact of a wrongful death, we are here to provide legal support and guide you through the process to secure the compensation and justice you deserve.

Legal Definition and Criteria

Wrongful death in Georgia is defined as the death of a person caused by the negligent, reckless, or criminal actions of another person or entity. If the deceased had survived, they would have been able to file a personal injury claim themselves. But since the victim is dead, their loved ones have a legal right to seek compensation for a life unjustly lost.

Like other personal injury claims in Georgia, wrongful death claims require the presence of several factors to succeed:

  • There must have been a duty of care that the defendant owed to the deceased.
  • There was a breach of this duty due to actions or a failure to act that did not meet the expected standard of care.
  • This breach directly caused the death of the person.
  • The death resulted in measurable losses, both financial and emotional, such as lost income or companionship.

In Georgia, the law limits the categories of people who can file a wrongful death claim to the deceased’s immediate family. Typically, the spouse has the right to sue, and the children can file the claim if there is no spouse. If neither spouse nor children are available, the deceased’s parents or an estate representative may pursue the claim. They can seek damages that reflect the full value of the deceased’s life, covering economic contributions and less tangible aspects like lost companionship.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death

An act of negligence can dramatically alter the lives of a family, often resulting from ordinary activities that unexpectedly lead to tragic ends. These events can leave a lasting void in the lives of survivors and raise numerous legal issues.

Most wrongful death cases are caused by incidents related to

Medical Malpractice

Sometimes, routine medical procedures go wrong, or diagnoses are missed, which can be distressing. For example, a heart condition misdiagnosed as indigestion might lead to an unexpected death. This highlights the harsh reality that even those trusted with our health can make mistakes with fatal consequences.

Automobile Accidents

Car accidents remind us that even a moment’s distraction can have deadly consequences. Despite improvements in vehicle safety, these accidents can cause significant harm and loss.

Workplace Accidents

Many workplaces, including factories, construction sites, and offices, pose risks such as electrical faults, falls, or exposure to toxic substances. These hazards can lead to fatal accidents and prompt legal battles for affected families.

Criminal Activities

Intentional acts of harm that lead to death are profoundly disturbing. Whether through violent acts or crimes gone awry, these deliberate actions create devastation and a pressing need for accountability.

These examples underscore the importance of thorough investigations and the invaluable role of skilled legal guidance in addressing the complexities of wrongful death claims. If you or someone you know is dealing with the repercussions of a wrongful death, do not hesitate to contact Philip Kim Law, P.C., for support and legal guidance. Our dedicated team is here to help you achieve justice and compensation for your loss.

How To File a Wrongful Death Claim

If you lose a loved one or family member unexpectedly, it is important to understand how to legally seek justice through a wrongful death claim in Georgia. Here are the necessary steps:

Consult With a Wrongful Death Attorney: This initial meeting allows you to share your case details, receive legal advice, and start to build your case. Your attorney will review your information and begin a thorough investigation to gather evidence.

File the Wrongful Death Lawsuit: This step formally initiates the legal process.

Discovery Phase: Both parties exchange and review evidence. This phase requires careful scrutiny to ensure all pertinent information is considered.

Negotiate a Settlement: Many wrongful death claims are resolved through settlement negotiations to avoid the unpredictability of a trial.

Go to Trial if Necessary: If a settlement cannot be reached, your attorney will represent your interests in court.

Adhere to the Statute of Limitations: In Georgia, you must file a wrongful death claim within two years from the date of the deceased’s death. It’s crucial to follow this timeframe to maintain your right to seek compensation.

Understanding these steps and having the right legal guidance can help you navigate the process effectively. Our firm is dedicated to guiding our clients through these challenging times with professionalism and empathy, whether through litigation or securing a fair settlement.

Compensation in Wrongful Death Cases

When a life is tragically cut short, the law allows for financial compensation to help the surviving family members. 

Although money cannot replace a loved one, it provides financial support to ease the burden after their loss. 

Compensation in wrongful death cases is categorized into economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages:

  • Medical expenses incurred before death
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Lost wages and benefits that the deceased would have likely earned

These economic damages help families manage the immediate and future financial gaps caused by the death of their loved ones.

Non-Economic Damages:

  • Pain and suffering endured by the deceased before death
  • Loss of companionship and affection
  • Emotional distress suffered by survivors

These damages are harder to quantify but are crucial as they acknowledge the emotional and personal suffering caused by the loss.

The process of determining compensation involves careful consideration of many factors, including the deceased’s age, health condition prior to death, earning potential, and the emotional and financial dependence of the survivors. This personalized approach ensures that the compensation reflects the unique impact of the loss on the deceased’s family.

Contact Philip Kim Law, P.C. Today

Losing a loved one unexpectedly is profoundly difficult, especially if their death was caused by someone else’s negligence. At Philip Kim Law, P.C., we understand the complexity and emotional depth of wrongful death cases. Our legal team has extensive experience in criminal defense and is now applying that legal skill to personal injury law, including wrongful death claims.

We approach each case with a deep commitment to justice and a personal touch, recognizing that behind each case is a unique story and a family seeking closure. Our goal is to fight for the best possible outcome for our clients, providing strong advocacy and working to make sure the responsible parties are held accountable.

We stand by our clients every step of the way, from the initial consultation to the resolution of the case, to protect their rights and ensure they receive the compensation they deserve. We also offer each family the chance to discuss their case with us free of charge.

If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a wrongful death, don’t hesitate to contact Philip Kim Law, P.C. today. Let us help you begin the journey towards justice and restore balance to your life during this challenging time.

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Philip Kim Law, P.C.
368 West Pike Street, Suite 203
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
(678) 203-6968
Fax: (678) 273-3501
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