Atlanta Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Serving All of Georgia
Statistics show that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs remains one of the deadliest crimes in Georgia. In 2010, there were almost 300 alcohol-related fatalities in Georgia, which represent approximately 24 percent of all roadway deaths throughout the state. This translates to 3.1 fatalities for every 100,000 people living in Georgia.
When a family loses a loved one in a DUI/DWI accident, it can be emotionally devastating. While coping with the grieving process, the survivors of a drunk driving accident victim must also focus on holding the at-fault parties accountable and seeking the compensation they deserve.
At The Millar Law Firm, our Atlanta impaired driving accident attorneys can assist you with getting the justice you and your loved one deserve. We are highly experienced in investigating these accidents. We can determine who should be held liable — including drivers, car owners, employers and any bar, tavern, restaurant or social host who may have served alcohol to the drunk driver. We can build a case with our team of experts and prepare for trial. We will seek a full and fair settlement through mediation and, if that cannot be achieved, we’ll advocate strongly in the courtroom. We won’t back down from insurance companies.
If your family member has been killed in a drunk or drugged driving accident, contact our Georgia DUI/DWI accident attorneys today for a free case evaluation by calling 404-620-4301 or fill out our online contact form.
Alcohol-Related Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Georgia
Under Georgia law, the spouse of an adult killed in a drunk driving accident may file a wrongful death lawsuit. The state’s wrongful death statute, which dates back to the days before the Civil War, is considered one of the best in the country in terms of respect for human life. However, there are several loopholes that may cause issues because of the awkward nature of the 19th-century phrasing. An experienced Atlanta attorney is key in helping you overcome the various “trapdoors” that could become problematic in your case.
Georgia law regards damages for wrongful death as allowing you to recover full value for the life of an individual. This includes the projected lifetime income with no deductions for expenses such as monthly bills or income taxes. In addition, the amount of compensation also includes intangible figures that focus on the overall enjoyment of living that was taken away by the responsible party.
While projected lifetime income can be calculated more clearly in a wrongful death claim, the indefinable aspects of the deceased person’s life, including the experience of living, are not as easy to translate into dollar figures. This elusive aspect of recovery can be settled entirely through the judgment of an impartial jury. Georgia is unlike other states in that it does not limit this area of compensation in a wrongful death case.
Once an award amount is established, the spouse is entitled to at least one-third of the total recovery, with the remaining portion going to the couple’s children. In a case when no surviving spouse exists, the right to damages goes to the victim’s children. If the surviving spouse cannot be located, the courts may allow the children to file a wrongful death claim on their own. In a case with no surviving spouse and no children, then the decedent’s parents can bring a wrongful death claim. If the parents are divorced, the court can decide how to divide the damages between them at its discretion.
In cases that have no surviving spouse, child or parent to claim the recovery amount, the administrator of the decedent’s estate has the power to sue on behalf of the estate.
Recovering Damages in a Georgia DUI Wrongful Death & Survival Case
In a drunk driving accident lawsuit, the survivors may be entitled to medical expenses, lost wages and funeral costs, as well as compensation for the deceased driver’s pain and suffering and loss of the loved one’s care, comfort and companionship. Because drunk or drugged driving is such an egregious form of negligence, the survivors may also be entitled to punitive damages, which are added to actual damages. When this happens there will be no upper limit or cap on punitive damages available in these cases.
In addition to building a case and establishing the liability of the responsible parties, an experienced DUI/DWI accident attorney at The Millar Firm can also help with insurance issues that often arise. A health insurer who has covered medical expenses or a workers’ compensation carrier who has provided medical and wage benefits could seek reimbursement from the wrongful death verdict or settlement. However, there are limits to how much they can recover.
Another insurance dispute may also occur with the decedent’s auto insurance company. Every driver in Georgia must carry at least $25,000 per individual and $50,000 per collision or accident in liability insurance. Truckers must carry at least $100,000 in insurance coverage per person and $500,000 coverage per accident. If the damages exceed these limits, you will turn to uninsured or underinsured insurance coverage (UM/UIM). Insurers will often contest paying out these claims.
Contact Our Atlanta DUI Accident Wrongful Death Attorneys Today
When you are grieving the loss of a loved one who has been killed by an intoxicated driver, you need the experienced Atlanta DUI/DWI accident lawyers at The Millar Law Firm to focus on protecting your legal rights and interests. We will to maximize the recovery through a wrongful death lawsuit. Over the years, we have helped our clients secure over $100 million in verdicts and settlements. Take a moment to review our client testimonials to hear about previous clients’ experiences with our firm.
Contact us to find out how we can help. Just call 404-620-4301 or fill out our online contact form. The Millar Law Firm does not charge for meeting with you and evaluating your claim. If we accept your case, we usually represent clients on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay us any attorney fees unless we recover money for you.