Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorneys
At the Millar Law Firm, we understand that the loss of a loved one brings grief, pain, and confusion. Such feelings are compounded when a death may have been the result of another’s negligence. You have questions. How did this happen? Should I listen to the insurance company? Can I afford a lawyer? We can help. We are here to listen, help you evaluate your options, and walk with you through the process of pursuing justice for your loved one.
An Advocate for Your Family
With twenty-six years of experience, we understand the complexities of wrongful death cases and have intimate knowledge of wrongful death laws in Georgia and the Atlanta legal system.
Knowing the tactics and pressures used by insurance companies to reduce potential settlements and compensation, we zealously fight for your rights. It is important to realize that the insurance companies represent the negligent parties; conducting their own investigations, they may not preserve or turn over relevant evidence to you. They will not have your best interests in mind.
As your advocate, we take the time to thoroughly understand the facts and circumstances of your case, collecting evidence to build a strong compelling case. We focus on getting the maximum compensation from insurance companies or other responsible parties. This has resulted in millions for families who have lost loved ones.
The Millar Law Firm has successfully resolved wrongful death claims involving:
- Motorists killed by negligent tractor trailer drivers
- Interstate highway crashes and accidents on I-85, I-75, I-20, and I-16
- Automobile passengers killed by negligent drivers
- Drivers killed by careless, inattentive, reckless, or drunk drivers
- Pedestrians killed by negligent drivers
- Construction site- and job site-related deaths
- Customers assaulted and killed due to a business owner’s failure to provide adequate security
- Police brutality, including shootings, beatings, and other types of excessive force or misconduct
The Wrongful Death Claim Process
We strive to reduce as much as possible the stress of pursuing a wrongful death claim. The process can be lengthy, but we are equipped with the resources to accomplish every one of these steps necessary to reach a just conclusion.
- Initial Consultation
- Application of Georgia Law
- Negotiation with Insurance Company(ies)
- Advocacy on your Behalf
The process starts with an in-depth consultation, where we endeavor to learn all the specific facts and circumstances of your case. With this information we are able to provide the best advice and advocacy possible. This consultation is risk free and at no cost to you, regardless of whether legal action is pursued.
We take care of the next steps. We conduct our own investigation, which includes collecting the police report and all other evidence, including any reconstruction or reports from scientific experts that may be needed. We locate and interview any witnesses and connect with the negligent party’s insurance company so you don’t have to.
Applying our vast experience and knowledge of all of the laws in Georgia that are related to wrongful death, we use the particular facts and circumstances of your case to negotiate with the insurance company. We intend to settle the case with the best possible outcome for you and your family.
If no reasonable settlement can be reached, we will file a wrongful death lawsuit against the insurance company and other responsible parties in court. While progress may at times seem slow and be frustrating, we continue to relentlessly advocate for your rights through the entire process.
Timeline for Receiving Compensation
The Millar Law Firm is dedicated to getting the best possible outcome for you and your family as quickly as possible. However, each case is different and therefore the timeline for results will vary from case to case.
Georgia Law Concerning Wrongful Death
Title 51 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated deals with tort law. Wrongful death is outlined in Chapter 4 of the title. Wrongful death under homicide “includes all cases in which the death of a human being results from a crime, from criminal or other negligence, or from property which has been defectively manufactured, whether or not as the result of negligence” (O.C.G.A. § 51-4-1). Therefore, in order to qualify as a wrongful death, a death must be caused by either a negligent act or a negligent failure to act.
An example of wrongful death may include a business failing to provide proper lighting and security in a parking lot leading to an attack on a customer resulting in the customer’s death. A distracted driver striking a pedestrian, leading to that person’s death, is another example.
Important Laws Regarding Wrongful Death Lawsuits
It is important to note that Georgia has a two year statute of limitations on wrongful death claims. This means that you must either file a wrongful death lawsuit or settle the claim with the insurance company within two years of the negligent act or omission that caused death.
Persons Who Can Recover Compensation in a Wrongful Death Claim
Under Official Code of Georgia Annotated §51-4-2, either the surviving spouse or—if there is no surviving spouse—the children (either as an adult or as a minor through a guardian ad litem), may recover in a wrongful death action. Any money recovered shall be divided equally among the surviving spouse—if one exists—and any children. If the surviving spouse or one of the children dies during the proceeding, their share will either be dispersed equally among the other claimants in the lawsuit or—if none exist—among that person’s heirs.
No money recovered from a wrongful death lawsuit is subject to the debts of the decedent’s estate. Children born out of wedlock may also recover in a wrongful death claim.
Georgia recognizes two types of wrongful death claim:
- A claim to assert the “full value of the life of the deceased,” which covers the surviving spouse and or any surviving children and is meant to compensate the value of the deceased person’s life.
- A claim either by or on behalf of the estate of the deceased person, meant to both establish and recover the expenses of the wrongful death.
One frequently asked question is whether a boyfriend or girlfriend can recover for the wrongful death of a significant other? Unfortunately, in Georgia a boyfriend or girlfriend cannot recover for the wrongful death of their significant other.
Persons Responsible for Paying the Compensation in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The two biggest entities responsible for compensating in a wrongful death claim are businesses and insurance companies. Businesses are often found responsible if they fail to provide appropriate security on their premises. Insurance companies most of the time represent the negligent party and are responsible for covering the compensation owed in a wrongful death claim.
The financial losses endured by someone who has lost a loved one can be extensive. They may include the value of future wages your loved one would have earned had they continued to work. The family—spouse and/or children—may recover damages to compensate for pain and suffering, medical and other bills associated with the untimely death of your loved one, and funeral and burial costs.
When an inheritance has been received by family members, they may wonder whether that will impact their ability to recover in a wrongful death claim. It does not, for inheritance is separate from the compensation in a wrongful death claim.
Common Wrongful Death Situations
The variety of circumstances which could result in a wrongful death is limitless. Some of the most common such situations include:
- Fatal car accidents, including those caused by drunk drivers
- Work-related deaths
- Medical malpractice
- Death by pharmaceuticals
- Defective products
- Criminal activity
Protect the Future — Not only can a wrongful death claim help insulate you and your family from the financial losses of the untimely death of a loved one, but wrongful death cases help make the world a safer place by discouraging negligence.
Emotional Heartache Should Not Be Financial — The loss of a loved one is the hardest thing many people experience in life. Financial losses should not be an additional burden.
We Care — The Millar Law Firm truly cares, for we are an abiding member of and enjoy taking part in our community. Such care involves helping individual families recover from devastating losses.
Please feel free to call the Millar Law Firm to set up your free no-risk consultation today!