When to file a "wrongful death” claim and what to expect to recover for a loss.

Apolinsky & Associates, LLC law firm has been recognized as a preeminent personal injury law firm that successfully handles catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases that impact individuals and their families' quality of life, income and long term health. Founder Stephen D. Apolinsky, a member of the Georgia, Alabama and D.C. Bars, has been profiled in Newsweek Magazine, recognized as a Superlawyer and as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer. He is also the creator of the free app My Injury Lawyer.

Over past 30 days my uncle died in a nursing home and a friend of a friend was killed in an automobile collision. Do both families have ”wrongful death” claims? What can they expect to recover for the loss of a loved one?

If someone legally caused the deaths, then there would be “wrongful death” claims. Who can bring the claim is complicated so, you are encouraged to discuss the particular situation further with a lawyer. As far as what can be recovered, wrongful death in a nursing home or as a result of a collision is treated the same under Georgia law.

Pursuant to Georgia law, there are two distinct claims that may be brought in conjunction with wrongful death. The first claim is the claim created by statute for the wrongful death of the person. This claim establishes the “full value of the life of the deceased” from the perspective of the deceased, which includes both the economic value of the deceased’s life and also the intangible element incapable of exact proof. The economic value is basically the amount of money the deceased would likely have earned had he or she lived until natural death. The intangible element is related to the non-economic factors such as relationships, altruistic activities, and the general impact the person had on surrounding persons.

The second claim related to wrongful death is the claim held by the Estate of the deceased. This claim would include things such as medical expenses incurred as a result of the injury prior to death, conscious pain and suffering prior to death, and funeral expenses.

We have handled a number of wrongful death cases; however, the foregoing answer is not legal advice and is merely a general overview. You are advised to consult a lawyer to address your specific situation. Feel free to send comments or questions to: steve@aa-legal.com.