Savannah Wrongful Death Lawyer

If your family member has passed away due to the negligent actions—intentional or otherwise—of another person, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit. To do so effectively, though, you should strongly consider consulting with an experienced Savannah wrongful death lawyer. With the help of a dedicated and compassionate personal injury attorney, you could build a comprehensive case for all the damages owed to you by a negligent party.

Wrongful Death Defined

Just as a legal professional would with a traditional personal injury case, a Savannah wrongful death attorney must prove legal negligence in order to recover compensation on behalf of victims and their families. Specifically, attorneys must show that the wrongdoer acted without reasonable care, that the negligence led directly to an injury causing death, and that the injury and death caused compensable damages to the decedent and his or her remaining next of kin.

Wrongful death cases can arise out of both criminal and non-criminal activity, but any civil case stemming from a wrongful death would be kept separate from any criminal charges related to the death. If someone is found guilty of a crime prior to a civil claim, it may help the victim’s chances of recovering in civil court, but the outcome of either case does not necessarily affect the outcome of the other.

Who Could File a Savannah Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Only specific people are allowed to pursue legal action for a wrongful death in Savannah. Georgia state law sets a hierarchy of who can bring the lawsuit and, if damages are awarded, who may recover a determined amount.

Per O.C.G.A. §51-4-2, the following people have legal standing to file a lawsuit for the wrongful death of a spouse or parent:

• The surviving spouse;
• Any surviving children; or
• The deceased’s estate.

O.C.G.A. § 19-7-1 outlines the people who have standing to bring a wrongful death lawsuit for the death of a child as follows:

• The spouse of a deceased child; and
• A parent or parents.

Applicable Damages in Savannah Wrongful Death Cases

There are generally two different types of claims in wrongful death cases: one for the deceased’s related funeral and medical expenses, and one to pay the full value of the life of the deceased. Damages for the value of the deceased’s life could include lost wages and benefits, including what the deceased person might have earned if he or she had not died. They could also compensate for the loss of care, companionship, and other intangible benefits the deceased provided to loved ones.

In wrongful death cases where the death occurred due to an intentional or criminal act, the court has the option to assign punitive damages to the defendant. Rather than compensating a victim for specific injuries and losses, the purpose of punitive damages is to deter similar behaviors and to discourage others from taking similar actions in the future. A wrongful death lawyer in Savannah could help clarify whether punitive damages may be warranted in a particular case.

Help from a Savannah Wrongful Death Attorney

An expected and natural death may cause stress and grief on its own. When someone’s death is unexpected or caused by the negligence of another party, emotions can run even higher.
A dedicated Savannah wrongful death lawyer could be your advocate in such a tragic situation, helping you hold the offending person liable for his or her actions against your loved ones. With our cutting-edge courtroom presentation technology, we could bolster your chances at courtroom success. Reach out to us at any time to receive your free case consultation.