A man was recently arrested in Gwinnett County for causing a collision on Highway 316 that resulted in the death of a 9- year-old child, according to our Atlanta wrongful death attorneys.
According to police reports, the man was attempting to get off an exit when he rear-ended the vehicle in front of him.
Tragically, the 9-year-old child who was sitting in the third-row seat sustained critical injuries upon collision and later passed away at the hospital.
The driver was arrested and charged with following too closely.
Although these types of accidents do not always involve criminal charges, it is possible for an at-fault party to face allegations in both civil and criminal court.
While the criminal allegations are brought by the state, the civil claims are filed by the injured party who suffered the loss.
In this case, the victim’s family could file these charges on her behalf, seeking compensation for medical bills, but also mental anguish and emotional distress.
Filing a wrongful death claim is a complex and often emotionally grueling process, so if you recently lost a loved one in an accident, you should retain experienced Buford wrongful death lawyers who can represent your legal interests.
Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim
In Georgia, a wrongful death is one that is caused by the negligent, intentional, criminal, or reckless conduct of a third party.
Essentially, if the victim could have filed a personal injury claim for damages if he or she had survived, then one of his or her family members can file a wrongful death claim on the victim’s behalf.
However, only certain relatives are permitted to file this type of claim.
For instance, if a victim has a surviving spouse, then he or she would have standing to file the claim.
In the event that the victim left behind a spouse and minor children, then the surviving spouse would also represent the interests of the children in court.
Even in these situations, a surviving spouse is guaranteed at least one-third of the total recovery.
In the event that a victim was not married and did not have any children, then the claim could be filed by his or her surviving parents or the personal representative of the estate.
In the latter situation, any damages recovered from the at-fault party would be held by the estate for the deceased’s next of kin.
Wrongful death suits must be filed within two years of the date of the decedent’s death, regardless of who is filing the claim.
If you have questions about your eligibility to file a claim, contact a Buford wrongful death lawyer right away.
Wrongful Death Damages
Surviving family members who file wrongful death suits can collect monetary damages if they are able to demonstrate that the at-fault party’s negligence caused the accident that took their loved one’s life.
This includes compensation for both the financial and intangible value of the decedent’s life, such as:
- Lost wages and benefits;
- Medical expenses related to the decedent’s last injury;
- Funeral and burial costs;
- Pain and suffering endured by the decedent prior to death; and
- Loss of care and companionship.
To learn more about what is required to file a wrongful death claim, please contact an experienced wrongful death attorney in Buford who can advise you.