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Clayton County Wrongful Death Lawyer

The death of a loved one can be incredibly traumatic if it happens suddenly or due to the negligence of another person or company. If you believe the death of your family member was caused by the careless or reckless behavior of another person, you may be able to hold them liable to some extent through a wrongful death lawsuit.

With help from a seasoned Clayton County wrongful death lawyer, you may be able to receive monetary compensation for some of your losses and damages related to your loved one’s death. Filing a wrongful death claim could be difficult, but a dedicated personal injury attorney may be able to help.

Basics of a Wrongful Death Claim

A variety of circumstances can serve as reasons to file a wrongful death claim. In Georgia, wrongful death claims may only be brought forth by “representatives of the estate,” who would be—in order of priority—spouses, children, or parents of the individual who died. If the claim is successful, whoever filed the claim could receive payments from the responsible party to cover costs and losses associated with their family member’s death.

To win a wrongful death case, the estate representative must prove:

  • A person has died
  • The death of that person was caused by the carelessness or negligence of another person
  • The surviving family members of the deceased person suffered a financial loss
  • The person bringing forth the claim is an estate representative

If monetary compensation is awarded, it could be used to cover the medical bills of the deceased, funeral expenses, emotional turmoil, and lost wages that would have been earned by the deceased person. A wrongful death attorney in Clayton County could help estate representatives and their families take stock of all their losses and ensure they demand appropriate compensation.

Calculating Financial Damages

There is simply no way to put a price tag on a human life, but in reality, surviving family members of a wrongful death victim generally need some form of compensation if they wish to maintain their standard of living. This may be especially true when the deceased person was the primary source of income for that family.

When calculating the worth of a wrongful death claim, the court may consider the deceased person’s:

  • Age
  • Income at the time of death, as well as the potential income they could have earned in the future
  • Moral character
  • General health and life expectancy

In general, younger victims with higher salaries may justify higher damage awards in wrongful death cases. When a child or older person dies, however, their families may usually recover fewer damages. This is because most children may not have regular incomes and most elderly individuals may have retired and no longer earn a steady wage from employment. An accomplished lawyer has experience calculating damages for families who have lost a loved one.

Recovering Punitive Damages

In some wrongful death cases, surviving family members could be awarded punitive damages. Unlike other types of damages, which may be based on specific costs and losses that could be calculated and added up, punitive damages may be awarded solely to punish the guilty party and discourage them from engaging in similar behaviors in the future.

Some courts may place limits on the compensation a jury could award a surviving family, which means they may not allow punitive damages to be awarded at all. If a surviving family member wishes to receive punitive damages, they should work closely with a Clayton County wrongful death lawyer to see what their options might be.

Call a Clayton County Wrongful Death Attorney 

Dealing with the death of a loved one could take time, and filing a lawsuit may be the very last thing on your mind. But losing a loved one might place a profound financial strain on a family, and compensation from a successful lawsuit could be used to provide for them as well as yourself.

If you are entitled to monetary compensation because of your loss, it may be beneficial to further inquire about the possible recovery you may receive. When you are ready, call a Clayton County wrongful death lawyer for additional information.