Savannah Wrongful Death Lawyers Helping Families Get Justice
Fighting for Georgia spouses, children, and loved ones
A Georgia wrongful death occurs when an individual or company causes someone’s death through neglect, recklessness, failure to make safe products, or for other reasons. A death of a relative because of misconduct leaves the surviving family devastated. They no longer have the warmth, comfort, support, love, friendship, and guidance of that person. The deceased has lost out on life’s joys and pleasures, including time with family members.
At Harris Lowry Manton LLP, our Savannah wrongful death attorneys understand how upsetting this time can be. That is why we calmly work with the family to help them mourn, to understand the litigation process, and to get the full compensation that Georgia law allows. In one case, HLM obtained a $16,520,000 verdict on behalf of a spouse whose husband was killed when a tread separated from a Michelin tire, causing a van carrying multiple passengers to go out of control, hit a guardrail, and rollover — resulting in the death of a husband and father. The jury, after a seven-day trial, awarded $5,020,000 for the value of the decedent’s life, his pain and suffering, and funeral costs. Another $11,500,000 was awarded as punitive damages.
What are the elements of a wrongful death claim?
When someone dies through the fault or misconduct of another, Georgia allows the family of the deceased victim the right to collect different types of damages. Our Savannah wrongful death lawyers demand compensation on behalf of the decedent’s estate for all of the following that apply:
- The funeral bills for the decedent
- Any outstanding medical bills
- The pain and suffering of the decedent before death occurred
- The amount of financial support and emotional support the decedent would have provided the family members
In figuring out how much financial support should be awarded, the jury or insurance company considers:
- How the deceased earned a living
- What the deceased relative was earning
- How many more years the deceased person would have likely worked
- The right of the deceased to retirement benefits, such as annuities and IRAs
We work with financial experts who can properly figure the full amount of the financial loss. The emotional support loss considers many factors as well, such as which relative, typically a spouse and/or children, were affected and the type of support those relatives would have reasonably expected from the deceased.
Which relatives are entitled to benefits in wrongful death cases?
The formal claim for benefits is filed by the personal representative of the estate. That representative is normally named in the decedent’s will or appointed by the local court. The estate then brings the action on behalf of specific relatives. Georgia allows the following relatives the right to claim part of any award or settlement:
- The spouse. The surviving spouse is usually the first person who is entitled to benefits.
- The children. If there is a spouse, they typically get 1/3 of the settlement, and the children split the 2/3 that is left. If there is no spouse, the children split the full amount.
- The parents. Parents are entitled to benefits if the decedent was not married and had no children.
If there are no direct relatives, then a personal representative can still file and request payment for the medical bills, funeral costs, and decedent’s pain and suffering.
How do wrongful deaths typically happen?
As one of our Savannah wrongful death lawyers can explain, any incident can lead to an unexpected death. At HLM, we routinely help families whose loved ones died because of:
- Car, truck, or vehicle crashes
- Mass transit collisions
- Medical malpractice
- Defects in medical devices, vehicles, electronics, drugs, and toys
- Property accidents
- Nursing home neglect or abuse
- Construction site accidents
If your loved one was killed due to the negligence of another, we can help you pursue damages. In some cases, such as drunk driving, we also demand punitive damages.
Speak with a caring Savannah, Georgia wrongful death lawyer now
At HLM, our Savannah wrongful death lawyers understand that every family must properly mourn for their loved one. We respect a family’s need to grieve. Once the case begins, we answer everyone’s questions, investigate the cause of the incident, determine who is responsible, and properly assess the value of the case. We then aggressively work to settle the case. If settlement offers do not respect the family loss, we bring cases before Georgia state and federal courts. For compassionate help, please phone 912.417.3774 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.
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Savannah, GA 31401