Fatal Car Accidents in Riverdale
If the unthinkable happens and your family member dies in an automobile accident, as 37,000 Americans do every year, you may be flooded with grief and conflicted about what to do. However, a compassionate attorney can help with figuring out your next steps.
If someone else’s negligence caused your loved one’s death, you should contact an injury attorney with knowledge about fatal car accidents in Riverdale. Your loved one is gone, and the family should be compensated for their loss. Our legal team is here to get you justice and compensation.
What to Do When A Loved One is Killed in a Car Crash
A family member who learns a loved one has just been in a fatal car wreck, or who is with the loved one but survives the wreck, should take specific steps to preserve evidence for any future claim:
- Call 911 to summon emergency help from the police and medical professionals
- If not on the scene, get to it as quickly as possible
- Use a cell phone to take several pictures of all vehicles, skid marks, any interior clues such as open alcohol containers or that the victim was wearing a seatbelt
- Identify and speak to witnesses; ask for contact information
- Wait for the police to talk to the at-fault driver, who may be in shock and is likely injured, too
- After retrieving a copy of the police report, contact a personal injury lawyer
- Review the evidence of the fatal car collision with an attorney to decide whether a wrongful death lawsuit is an option for the victim’s family
Fatal Car Wrecks Usually Caused by Negligence
Whether a car accident results in sudden death or eventual death, usually there is an at-fault driver who caused the tragedy. By some reckless act or failure to act when the motorist has a duty to drive responsibly, a family loses a loved one, and life changes forever. The victim’s family must prove negligence to the courts. A local attorney will look closely at extenuating circumstances to determine whether the accident was the at-fault driver’s doing. For instance, if the at-fault driver veered to avoid hitting a pedestrian crossing against a traffic light in the dark, the driver may not have been negligent.
Plaintiffs in Georgia Wrongful Death Claims
Under Georgia Code § 51-4-2, the decedent’s spouse is the first person eligible to bring a wrongful death claim in Georgia. The spouse also must represent any minor children the couple shared but will be entitled to at least one-third of the settlement, no matter how many children are involved.
If the decedent leaves no spouse or children, any surviving parents or a representative of the estate can file a claim. Should the representative collect a settlement for the estate, it will be distributed by the estate to the next of kin of the decedent. Because Georgia’s wrongful death laws are complicated, contact an attorney for guidance after a deadly car crash.
Damages Awarded in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The decedent’s family can ask for monetary damages to compensate them financially for the value of the decedent’s life. This would include lost wages, and the wages decedents might have earned had they lived longer. It would also include intangible benefits, such as the loss of companionship and consortium. The courts will consider certain factors in deciding the value of a decedent to the family. For example, families may be impacted more if the decedent is a young breadwinner with minor children, rather than one widowed with grown children.
The family or the estate representative can also ask for repayment of the immediate financial loss incurred by the family or estate for medical expenses related to the accident, burial and funeral expenses, and in some cases, the decedent’s pain and suffering caused by the accident leading to death.
Get Help from a Riverdale Wrongful Death Attorney
Your grief is immense after losing a family member in an accident caused by someone else. We can help relieve some of your burdens, so you do not have to deal with insurance companies and lawsuits.
Call today for a free consultation with a professional attorney experienced in handling fatal car accidents in Riverdale. Our team is here to discuss the facts of your loved one’s fatal car accident and what compensation may be available for your loss.