Home Georgia Wrongful Death

Georgia Wrongful Death Attorneys

Helping You Heal After a Tragic Event

The experiences and relationships that occur over the course of a person’s lifetime are truly priceless. And there’s no way anyone could ever place an adequate monetary value on human life.

It’s impossible to calculate the loss that family members feel when someone you love is senselessly taken away from you.

In cases of wrongful death, the decedent’s loved ones deserve to be compensated for their loss, and the person who harmed them should have to pay for what they did.

Butler Prather LLP is one of the most successful trial law firms in the country. We represent aggrieved family members in wrongful death claims. We have a long history of proven success and have record setting verdicts and settlements.

We’ll always be sensitive to the pain you’re experiencing, and we’ll proceed in a manner that honors your loved one’s life and legacy.

Call (706) 322-1990 to learn more today.

Why Choose Our Georgia Wrongful Death Lawyers?

Butler Prather LLP is one of the most successful civil trial law firms in the country. In fact, our firm has won nine verdicts that exceed $100 million. We’ve also won over 60 verdicts and settlements that were larger than $10 million. We won a $1.7 Billion Dollar verdict in a Ford roof crush case that killed a couple.

We represent aggrieved family members in wrongful death claims. If your loved one passed away because somebody did something wrong, we want to hear about it. We handle all types of wrongful death claims, including car crashes, truck accidents, drunk driving accidents, and premises liability, such as falls.

We have offices located in Columbus, Savannah and Atlanta, but our law firm is known throughout the nation, and we’ve won large settlements for clients in over 30 states. Even though we have a big reputation, our team at Butler Prather LLP will always treat your family with the compassion and sensitivity you deserve.

What Is a Wrongful Death?

The state of Georgia defines wrongful death as one that results from the wrongful act of another person or business. Wrongful death claims involve some type of reckless or negligent behavior.

People have a duty of care to make a reasonable effort to avoid harming others. This includes preventing foreseeable accidents from occurring. When a person, a business, or an organization acts in a negligent manner, they can be held liable for the harm they cause.

Examples of negligent behavior that result in a wrongful death claim include:

  • A drunk driver who runs a red light and crashes into a pedestrian.
  • An apartment owner who neglects to fix a broken stairway.
  • A business that forces employees to clean up toxic chemicals without providing the necessary safety gear.
  • A swimming pool owner who fails to install a self-latching and self-closing gate as required by Georgia Law.

Who Is Eligible to Receive Wrongful Death Compensation?

Eligibility to receive damages in a wrongful death claim is determined by state law. Georgia designates the following order of eligibility:

  1. The decedent’s spouse
  2. The decedent’s surviving children
  3. The decedent’s parents
  4. The decedent’s estate

There’s a rule in Georgia that a surviving spouse must receive at least one-third of the settlement. When the decedent is survived by a spouse and one or two surviving children, the spouse and children will each receive an equal portion of the damages. If there are three or more children, the spouse will receive one-third of the settlement, and the remaining amount will be divided equally among the children.

If there is no surviving spouse, then the damages will be divided equally among the children. If the decedent has no spouse or children, the parents have the right to pursue compensation. If there is no surviving spouse, no surviving children, and no surviving parents, then the estate has the right to pursue a wrongful death claim.

Types of Wrongful Death Compensation Available

There are three types of damages awarded in a wrongful death claim: economic, noneconomic, and punitive damages. Economic damages include the tangible monetary losses that survivors have suffered. This takes into account the wages, pension, and investment income that the decedent would have earned in their lifetime and the value that their activities provided to those around them.

Economic damages may include:

  • Burial costs
  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of financial support
  • Loss of household services provided by the decedent, such as housekeeping, landscaping, and childcare

When a wrongful death occurs, there is no way to rectify the situation and make the victim’s survivors feel whole again. Noneconomic damages include the emotional harm that results from the victim’s untimely death and all the intangible things that the victim provided for their loved ones, including love, companionship, and emotional support.

Punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer and discourage others from acting in a
similar manner. These damages are awarded in cases where the defendant’s actions demonstrate “willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression, or the entire want of care.”

Behavior That Leads to a Georgia Wrongful Death Claim

Careless actions that cause the death of another human being can be grounds for a wrongful death claim. This may include:

A large percentage of wrongful death claims involve motor vehicle accidents. Careless driver behavior and other factors that may be grounds for a wrongful death claim include:

  • DUI
  • Speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Unsafe road conditions
  • Defective products

How Your Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

A Georgia wrongful death claim is a civil action that’s separate from any criminal case that a district attorney may choose to file. No criminal conviction is required for you to pursue a wrongful death action.

The burden of proof in a wrongful death claim is much different than a criminal case. To prevail in a wrongful death claim, you must demonstrate that it was “more likely than not” that the defendant’s careless actions caused your loved one’s death.

Your Georgia personal injury attorney will conduct a thorough investigation to determine what happened to your loved one. This will include the following types of evidence:

  • Police reports
  • Accident scene photos
  • Witness interviews
  • Medical records
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Surveillance camera video
  • Receipts and phone records
  • Internal company documents
  • Physical and forensic evidence
  • Accident scene re-creations

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

Your loved one’s memory must be honored and respected. And if your loss was caused by another person’s negligent behavior, you have the right to seek damages.

At Butler Prather LLP, we’ll help you determine if a wrongful death claim is the best course of action for your family to take.

Call (706) 322-1990 to schedule a complimentary consultation today.

I was in a complex premises liability case involving a multinational corporations. Mr. Butler & his associates were always three steps ahead of these defendants. When they say they are "exceptional trial lawyers," this is not just a slogan but it is a way of life.”
- Zack Hendon