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Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyers > Blog > Wrongful Death > The Emotional and Financial Tolls of Wrongful Death

The Emotional and Financial Tolls of Wrongful Death

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Losing a loved one unexpectedly is a devastating experience whenever it happens and whatever the cause. However, the loss of a loved one due to someone else’s avoidable negligence can be particularly frustrating, leaving families overwhelmed with grief and financial uncertainty. Negligent and reckless individuals who cause these kinds of wrongful deaths can and should be held accountable for their actions. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party is one of the methods for doing so.

Demonstrating Liability 

Seeking compensation in a wrongful death case requires that claimants first establish liability, which in turn, requires compelling evidence demonstrating that:

  • The negligent party had a legal duty to the decedent;
  • The negligent party breached that duty; and
  • The breach resulted in the decedent’s death.

How a claimant goes about establishing liability for wrongful death will depend on the circumstances of a case. If, for instance, the decedent passed away as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident, then the victim’s family would need to prove that by speeding and driving recklessly an at-fault party violated the duty of care owed to all motorists. The standard for a hospital that was negligent when performing a surgery, on the other hand, resulting in a patient’s death, would be different. Knowing what a defendant’s duty of care was can be complicated, which is why it’s so important to work with an experienced attorney who is well-versed in these issues.

Proving Damages 

Once a claimant has demonstrated that the defendant’s breach of duty caused their loved one’s fatal accident, then the next step will be to prove damages. While no amount of money could ever replace the loss of a beloved relative, seeking financial compensation can help alleviate some of a family’s burdens. Such recovery, however, is only possible when a victim’s surviving family members can establish how their loss has financially affected them. This could require proof of:

  • Loss of income;
  • Loss of financial support;
  • Lost benefits;
  • Medical debts; and
  • Funeral and burial costs.

Of course, losing a loved one in a tragic accident goes far beyond finances, but takes a devastating emotional toll that cannot be overstated. Recognizing this, courts are also willing to award grieving family members damages for their non-economic losses, such as reimbursement for the victim’s pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship and guidance, and quality of life. The profound sense of grief that accompanies the loss of a relative can have long-term repercussions on those who are left behind. Seeking justice by filing a wrongful death claim acknowledges these emotional costs, while also attempting to hold the at-fault party accountable.

Compassionate Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyers 

For help understanding the legal process of a wrongful death claim, please call our experienced and compassionate Atlanta wrongful death lawyers today. We will do our best to provide you with some clarity, guidance, and reassurance during this difficult time. Contact Shiver Hamilton Campbell at 404-593-0020 to set up a free consultation.

Sources:

 law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-51/chapter-4/51-4-2

scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=5964501526028135223&q=georgia+wrongful+death+damages&hl=en&as_sdt=6,45

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