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Wrongful Death After a Crime

Wrongful Death After a Crime

Amber is heaven sent!! Amber and her team worked very hard on my case!! They checked on me while I had my weekly doctor visits. They were very detailed with my settlement. I didn’t have to second guess anything. I would recommend her to anybody who is in a car accident !! I’ve even referred my love ones who also needed her to represent them in an accident. She made my process as painless as possible. I wish I could give her 10 stars!!

Jeannette A., Client

I was referred to Amber by my daughter-in-law. I was involved in two rear end collisions in a three month period. She did an excellent job keeping me informed and explained everything to me, in a manner that I could understand. She followed through with me until I had my settlements.

Shirley H., Client

Amber Gilormo is a knowledgeable and hard working attorney. I would not hesitate to seek her counsel.

Kristen Pitts, Peer

The staff is awesome; thorough! They kept me informed!

Sanchez T., Client

Great Experience Wonderful Amazingly Service! I would definitely recommend to anyone who’s in need of attorneys 😎 They’re right ppl to go to for sure indeed!!

Client Review

I have had attorneys in the past that does not compare to Attorney Amber Gilormo. She handle all of my concerns and answered all of my questions in a timely manner, I never had to guess what was happening with my case I was always informed and kept to to date.

Client Review

Don’t answer the phone for attorneys who have bought your phone# after an accident — call Attorney Gilormo because you will not be disappointed.

Carla Robinson

No fees until we win


Our Wrongful Death Attorneys Can Seek Justice for Your Loved One’s Death

There is no reason why anyone should ever have to die as the result of a crime. There is no excuse for criminal conduct, especially when it puts another person’s life at risk. Yet, as we all know, Atlanta’s crime rate is high, and far too many people lose their lives to others’ criminal conduct each year.

If you have lost a loved one to a criminal act, your family may have a wrongful death claim under Georgia law. Families can pursue claims in various types of cases, and, depending on the circumstances involved, a variety of parties can potentially be liable.

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim After a Crime in Georgia

When seeking financial compensation for a loved one’s death, it is unnecessary to wait for a conviction. In fact, you should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. Unfortunately, criminals don’t always get convicted. But, even if a criminal walks free, it is still possible to file a wrongful death claim in Georgia.

There are two reasons why. First, the burden of proof in wrongful death cases (preponderance of the evidence) is lower than the burden of proof in criminal cases (beyond a reasonable doubt). Second, recovering compensation won’t necessarily involve filing a lawsuit against the criminal.

Understanding Your Family’s Legal Rights After a Fatal Crime

 Not all crime-related wrongful death cases involve claims against an individual. In fact, many wrongful death cases after crimes involve claims against companies rather than individual perpetrators. For example, families will often have claims against:

  • Insurance Companies Fatal car accidents will often result in criminal charges. If your loved one was killed in a car accident, your family can seek payment from the criminal’s insurance company and potentially from your loved one’s insurance company as well.
  • Bars and RestaurantsBars and restaurants can often be held liable in cases involving fatal DUI crashes. Under Georgia’s dram shop law, establishments can face civil liability for serving underage patrons or serving visibly drunk patrons who subsequently get behind the wheel.
  • Other Businesses – If your loved one was assaulted on any type of business premises (including a sidewalk, parking lot or alleyway), the business could be liable for providing negligent security.

These are not the only possibilities. No matter what happened, if you have lost a loved one and know or suspect that criminal conduct was involved, you should speak with a wrongful death lawyer about your family’s legal rights.

At Gilormo Injury Law, we are passionate about helping crime victims and their families. We will do everything we can to help you and your family, and we will fight to make sure the appropriate parties are held accountable.

Schedule a Free, No-Obligation Consultation with a Leading Wrongful Death Lawyer in Atlanta

If you would like to speak with a lawyer about your family’s legal rights, please contact us to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation. To schedule an appointment with an Atlanta wrongful death lawyer at Gilormo Injury Law, call 770-343-7101 or tell us how we can reach you online today.

Types of Wrongful Death Cases in Georgia

A wrongful death case is one where the victim dies as the result of another person’s actions. There are two main categories of wrongful death cases:

  • Unintentional: this is a wrongful death that is caused when the victim is killed as a direct result of another person’s negligence or recklessness.
  • Intentional: this is a wrongful death that is caused by an intentional or criminal act.

Most wrongful death cases involve negligent or reckless behavior, which require you and your Atlanta wrongful death attorney to prove the other party should be held responsible due to their failure to take reasonable care. Some examples of common wrongful death cases that arise due to negligence include:

Wrongful death cases that arise from intentional or criminal acts are more straightforward lawsuits in that you don’t have to prove negligence. The important thing to remember is that you can still pursue a wrongful death claim even though the responsible party is being criminally prosecuted. You will most likely not recover your losses from the prosecution. A wrongful death claim gives you the opportunity to pursue fair compensation, even if the other person is ultimately acquitted or the case is dropped.

Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorney for Children

A case involving the wrongful death of a child requires special consideration. Georgia law limits the right to pursue a wrongful death action involving a child as follows:

  • If the child’s parents are living together and not divorced, then both parents shall jointly have the right to pursue the wrongful death claim.
  • If either parent is deceased, the surviving parent shall have the sole right to pursue the claim.
  • If the parents are divorced, separated, or living apart, each parent shall have the right to pursue the claim. If one of the parents refuses to proceed or cannot be located, one parent can proceed with the claim on behalf of both parents. Collection of any judgment can be complicated in this scenario, but an experienced Atlanta wrongful death attorney can help you navigate the process.

It’s important to note that Georgia law expressly allows parents to pursue a wrongful death claim even if the child was born out of wedlock.

We Understand How Difficult It Is to Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim

After the loss of a loved one, it may seem impossible to know where to turn. There are many reasons to choose Gilormo Injury Law. We are a boutique firm, able to focus our attention on your case with uncommon attention to detail. We will treat you with kindness, compassion, and empathy, and will treat your claim with experience and efficiency. Maybe most importantly, unlike bigger firms, we will communicate with you in a timely fashion, and never ignore your phone calls or messages.

Our firm has spent more than a decade working tirelessly for the injured and has a long and successful track record representing clients throughout the state of Georgia. We offer a free consultation, during which we will evaluate your case and present you with your best options. We work on a contingency basis, which means there is no risk for you.

Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Georgia?

Unfortunately, wrongful death claims cannot be brought by just any friend or family member. Georgia limits who may pursue a wrongful death claim, determined by the relationship to the victim. You can file a lawsuit with an Atlanta wrongful death attorney in the following instances: 

  • If the victim was married, only the surviving spouse may pursue a wrongful death claim. The surviving spouse must also represent the interests of any surviving minor children. 
  • If the victim was not married at the time of death, only the surviving children can pursue a wrongful death claim. 
  • If the victim has no surviving spouse or children, then the right to pursue a wrongful death claim passes to the victim’s parents. 
  • If the victim has no surviving spouse, children, or parents, then the wrongful death claim can be pursued by the victim’s estate. 

Of course, this becomes much more complicated if the victim has divorced and remarried and has a blended family. The situation becomes even more complex if there are surviving minor children involved, you may need to have a guardian appointed. An experienced Atlanta wrongful death attorney will know whether you can pursue a claim and how to go about it.

A Survival Action vs. Wrongful Death Claim, An Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorney Explains

Wrongful death and survival actions are both strictly governed by law. In other words, they exist because the state has passed laws that allow these types of claims. Prior to the enactment of these laws, when someone died, their personal injury claim died with them, and their estate had no chance of pursuing a personal injury claim after the death of the person who would have had the personal injury claim.

Wrongful death laws allow the estate to recover damages for the beneficiaries of the deceased, while survival laws allow the estate to recover damages that the deceased person could have recovered in a personal injury lawsuit if they had survived. A wrongful death claim is typically brought by the surviving family members directly, which includes a surviving spouse, children of the deceased, parents of the deceased, or any other person allowed under law that was financially dependent on the deceased.

Survival actions are typically brought by the executor of the deceased person’s estate. Survival actions provide compensation for various aspects related to injuries sustained by the deceased up until the time of their death. This compensation may include pre-death medical expenses, pain and suffering incurred by the victim before he or she passed, or lost wages for the period of time between sustaining his or her injuries and his or her’s death.

Generally, survival actions can provide substantial benefits if the time between the injuries and the death was fairly significant. For example, if a person dies immediately after sustaining an injury in a car accident, the survival action compensation may not be significant. However, if that person survives and is suffering from their injuries for months or even years before they pass away, a survival action will likely bring more compensation, along with any wrongful death compensation for the case.

Charges for a Wrongful Death Criminal Case in Georgia

A criminal case is brought by the government on a state or federal level. Civil claims such as a wrongful death claim generally involve unintentional deaths, while a criminal case does not have to. Common charges include involuntary manslaughter, voluntary manslaughter, and murder or homicide. 

If you’re prepared to take legal action on behalf of your deceased family member, contact our attorneys today to learn about your options. We’ll help you determine the best way to proceed based on your unique circumstances.

Compensation Available in Wrongful Death Claims 

Most people don’t realize the full value of their wrongful death claim. First, you are entitled to seek compensation for any losses that directly result from the death of your loved one. This includes medical expenses, as well as burial and funeral expenses. You are also entitled to seek compensation for any pain and suffering that the victim experienced prior to death. 

Perhaps more importantly, Georgia law allows you to seek recovery of the “full value of the life of the decedent without deducting for any of the necessary or personal expenses of the decedent had he lived.” This means that your wrongful death claim can include the following:

  • Their total expected income over your deceased loved one’s lifetime
  • Retirement benefits and investment income
  • The value of any care and companionship they provided to you and your family 

Determining your deceased loved one’s future income, investment returns, and the value of their companionship is a difficult calculation to make. Some of these elements are subjective (such as the loss of companionship), while others require some economic analysis. However, an experienced Atlanta wrongful death attorney should be able to provide you with an estimate of what your claim may be worth. Factors include:

  • Costs of medical expenses
  • The person’s age and health at the time of passing
  • The degree of fault the other party had in causing the death (such as the level of negligence, if a breach of contract occurred, etc.) 
  • More complicated calculations, such as emotional distress if a loved one witnessed or experienced the accident 

Calculating the value of a wrongful death claim involving a child can be even more complicated. You may not be able to seek the value of their future employment or retirement and investment income, but the value of the loss of their companionship could be quite significant. 

The Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Lawsuits

In Georgia, there is a two-year statute of limitations to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The deadline begins running from the date the victim died. If the victim died at the scene of the accident, the deadline will expire two years from the date of the accident. If the victim died several months after the accident, then the deadline will expire much later. This can be somewhat confusing if you’re already pursuing a personal injury claim because the statute of limitations runs from the date of the accident. In this scenario, your personal injury claim will overlap with a wrongful death claim. 

There are exceptions, however. A criminal investigation or administration of the victim’s estate can “toll” the statute of limitations, meaning that it will be postponed to a later time. However, do not assume that this applies to your case – if you miscalculate or mistakenly believe that an exception applies to you, the consequences could be disastrous. 

Two years may seem like a long time, but when you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, it can pass faster than you think. The longer you wait to pursue your claim, the more difficult it may be to obtain the evidence you need to pursue your case. If your loved one has been injured in an accident and death is a possibility, we strongly recommend that you consult with an Atlanta wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. They can tell you what you will need to make your claim and be prepared to move forward without delay if you decide it’s appropriate.

The Role of an Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorney

If you lost a loved one in a wrongful death accident, pursuing a wrongful death claim is your only option for getting the compensation you deserve. Unfortunately, they are extremely difficult for non-lawyers to pursue on their own. You need to understand the law and know how to navigate the process. The insurance company will try to settle your claim for far less than it is worth. Most non-lawyers wind up settling their wrongful death claims for a fraction of their value but continue to struggle both emotionally and financially long after the claim has been resolved. An Atlanta wrongful death attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve. 

What You Need to Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim in Atlanta

Though your wrongful death lawyer will handle the legal aspects of your lawsuit, there are still steps you can to keep the process running smoothly:

  1. Obtain a death certificate for the deceased
  2. Provide your attorney with any evidence you may have to show what caused the accident or negligence that led to your loved one’s passing. 
  3. Keep track of your receipts and other documents that show the costs you or loved one had to pay in connection with their injuries and related to their death. (i.e. funeral expenses, burial costs, etc.) 

Contact an Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorney at Gilormo Injury Law

The death of a loved one is always hard, but it doesn’t have to define your future. Atlanta wrongful death attorney Amber Gilormo helps people in the Atlanta area get the compensation they deserve so that they can grieve and heal. If you’d like to schedule a free consultation, we serve clients throughout Greater Atlanta including Alpharetta and Cumming. 

Call us at 770-343-7101 or contact us online to discuss how we can help.

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Amber is heaven sent!! Amber and her team worked very hard on my case!! They…

Jeannette A., Client

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