Dealing with the grief when you have lost a loved one may feel unbearable. If your family member died as a result of another party’s negligence or intentional actions, you should not wait too long to take the necessary steps to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Here’s the way to get started.
Burden of Proof
In most legal cases, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff. Wrongful death suits are no exception, and there are several things that must be proven for the lawsuit to go forward. With your wrongful death attorney’s assistance, you can establish these things early and know that your case is strong.
Three Things to Prove to Establish your Case
- The individual contributed to or caused the death of the deceased. Was the death of your loved one directly related to the actions of someone else? Who was that individual or entity?
- The death was intentional or caused by the negligence of the named party. Was the injury, and death that resulted, a true accident? Or, was the responsible party negligent, or worse… did they intend to injure or kill your loved one? Establishing negligence or intent is a huge part of proving your case.
- The person filing suit is eligible to ask for damages. You must show that you are identified as a person that is eligible to file suit under wrongful death laws in Georgia. People that can file for damages are, in order of entitlement:
- Spouse – Surviving Spouse
- Children – Children of the Deceased
- Parents – The Surviving Parents of the Deceased
- Next of Kin – As named in the Will as beneficiaries of the Estate
- Estate – Administrator or Executor may file on behalf of beneficiaries
Your evidence must support the occurrence of the event that caused the death, and the loss that occurred. It must also support the proof of negligence at the time of the event.
Economic damages will be easier to prove, through evidence such as medical bills, funeral bills and burial costs, records of wages earned and the loss they represent. They can also be represented by showing potential pension and savings growth, and similar records.
Act with Urgency
Your wrongful death case will be subject to the statute of limitations in Georgia. This can be less than straightforward, especially in cases where the deceased experienced the injury, and passed away a period of time later.
Get Legal Help
In this difficult time, you will need someone with a lot of experience to guide you through the process in order for you to get the best result with the least amount of trauma. Consult with an attorney that has a good reputation for winning wrongful death cases. When you meet with them, be sure to bring any evidence that you might have gathered. Remember that you need evidence of the negligence, as well as evidence of the event itself. If you are in the very early stages, let your wrongful death attorney help you to gather the evidence that you need.