- Bell Law Firm has served the families of wrongful death victims in Atlanta since 1999.
- Lloyd Bell is an award-winning attorney with over two decades of experience.
- Mr. Bell was included on Atlanta Magazine’s prestigious list of “Super Lawyers” in both 2005 and 2005.
- Martindale-Hubbell awarded Mr. Bell with the AV rating, which is the best rating that can be given to a lawyer.
- Our aggressive and honest attorneys are committed to recovering as much compensation as possible for families that are grieving the loss of a loved one.
- Read the reviews on our website to find out what it’s like to work with one of the top law firms in Atlanta.
There is nothing more devastating than losing a loved one, especially if you find out a negligent person was to blame for the events. If your family member was killed because of another person’s negligence, you may have the right to file a wrongful death claim and recover compensation. To discuss your legal options now, contact an attorney at Bell Law Firm by calling 404-249-6768.
Let One of the Top Atlanta Lawyers Explain Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim
Each state has its own laws in place that regulate who can file a wrongful death claim. In Georgia, the victim’s surviving spouse may file the claim. If the spouse and the victim had children that are under the age of 18, the spouse must represent the children’s best interests in court. If compensation is awarded, the spouse is entitled to a minimum of one-third of the total amount.
If there is no surviving spouse, the children may file a wrongful death claim on their own. In the absence of a spouse and children, the victim’s parents are able to file a wrongful death claim. Finally, if none of these parties have survived, the victim’s estate may choose to file a wrongful death claim.
How Are Wrongful Death Settlements Paid Out?
Similar to other personal injury cases, wrongful death settlements are typically paid out by the at-fault party’s insurance company. For example, if your loved one was killed by a negligent driver in a car accident, your attorney will negotiate with the driver’s insurance company to reach a fair settlement.
But, what happens if your loved one was killed in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, and that person does not have insurance to cover the accident? You are still able to pursue a wrongful death claim against the negligent property owner, however it will be difficult to recover the compensation that you are awarded. Chances are if the property owner does not pay for insurance, he probably does not have many assets.
How Are Wrongful Death Damages Calculated by Experienced Attorneys?
It is very difficult to place a value on someone’s life. There are a number of factors that may be taken into consideration when determining how much a plaintiff should be awarded for lost wages, lost wages, loss of companionship, and other damages. These factors include:
- The age of the victim at the time of his death
- The victim’s health prior to the accident
- The victim’s income
- The victim’s ability to earn income in the future
- The dependents’ age and dependence on the victim
- Medical expenses incurred by the victim after the accident but prior to his death
- Funeral prices
- The value of any lost benefits, including health insurance
Are Proceeds from Georgia Wrongful Death Suits Taxable in the United States?
No, if you receive compensation for your wrongful death case through a settlement or trial verdict, this money is non-taxable.
What Are the Differences Between Survival Actions vs. Wrongful Death Claims in the USA?
If a negligent person has caused your loved one’s death, there are two separate claims that you should know: survival actions and wrongful death claims. A survival action is filed by the victim’s estate, whereas a wrongful death claim is filed by family members. The goal of the survival action is to recover compensation for financial losses and pain and suffering that the victim experienced after the accident and prior to his death. Basically, a survival action is the claim that would have been filed by the victim if he had survived the accident.
On the other hand, the surviving members of the victim’s family can file a wrongful death claim to recover compensation for any losses that they have suffered. This can include loss of companionship, lost wages, and lost benefits.
How to Choose a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Atlanta, GA
There are countless different attorneys that can help you file a wrongful death claim, so which should you choose? First, ask your friends and family if they have any recommendations. Even if they have not personally been involved in a wrongful death case, they may know of an attorney who is highly respected in this field.
You can also contact your local bar association to ask for a recommendation. They will be able to provide you with a list of attorneys near you. Once you have a short list of attorneys, it’s recommended that you schedule consultations with them so you can ask them specific questions.
Ask each attorney about their experience handling wrongful death cases. If an attorney typically works with cases involving minor injuries, you shouldn’t let him handle your wrongful death case. Also, ask each attorney whether they will feel comfortable taking your case to trial if a settlement cannot be reached during pre-trial negotiations. Some attorneys will refer you to another law office if the case goes to trial, but getting new legal representation midway through your case is never a good idea. That’s why it’s important to find an attorney who is comfortable—and experienced—in both pre-trial negotiations and trial cases.
Bell Law Firm Has Been One of the Top Atlanta Wrongful Death Law Firms for Over Two Decades
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another person, you don’t have to suffer through this tragedy alone. Get in touch with our wrongful death attorneys to schedule a free consultation to review your case. We represent clients in various locations, including every zip code within the greater Atlanta area. Our attorneys have experience in various personal injury and wrongful death practice areas, including car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycles, premises liability, medical malpractice, and brain injuries.
You only have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a claim, so it’s never too early to seek representation, even if the accident just happened yesterday. Contact us today—our phone number is 404-249-6768. You can also reach our wrongful death lawyers after business hours by sending an email to [email protected].
To learn what it’s like to work with our attorneys, please read reviews left by our former clients on our website. To see a map of our office location, visit the “Contact Us” page on our site. You can also learn more about wrongful death by reading our blog.