Georgia has seen numerous wrongful death cases resolved in recent years. Some of those cases are outlined below:
- A 25-year-old man died during a sleep study, performed at a sleep center. The case was found to be a situation of neglect, and the family was awarded $20.5 million.
- A four-year-long case involving allegations of neglect at a nursing home resulted in an award of $1.25 million to his daughter. The death was attributed to insufficient care and neglect that led to infection. Also, the man suffered from malnutrition during his stay, which ultimately led to his death even after being moved to another facility.
- The adult daughter of a prison inmate who died during incarceration has filed against the private company hired to private medical care to inmates. The daughter alleges her mother did not receive medical care in a timely manner, and this led to her death. Reports say medical personnel and jail employees ignored the woman’s medical history and her symptoms, treating her for a cold and denying her access to a doctor and the medical unit. A similar case was filed in 2016, citing a lack of proper care for an inmate led to blindness in one eye. This case involved prescribed eye drops and failure to provide them over several months of the inmate’s incarceration.
- The widow of an 86-year-old man who died after six months in a Georgia nursing home filed a wrongful death suit in March of 2016, alleging the man was not properly cared for during his short stay. He suffered poor hygiene, pneumonia, falls, fractures, weight loss, and eventually death as a result. The death occurred in March of 2014. A severe staff shortage in the nursing home was not properly addressed, leading to neglect. The same nursing home has faced three other cases in the last few years.
- In 2012, three wrongful death cases were filed regarding the deaths of three newborns at a hospital in Georgia. The cases allege the babies died because medical professionals at the hospital failed to notice fetal distress, signs of early labor and also delayed a cesarean section. Due to the improper actions in these cases, the babies died. The hospital named in all three cases has a history of receiving unsatisfactory ratings concerning safety and patient care.
- A man from North Georgia filed a wrongful death case against a hospital in Tennessee. The man’s father died in hospice care following a collapse and treatment at the named hospital. Failure to properly diagnose the cause of the collapse and delay in treatment are listed as reasons for the death, all of which were preventable situations. The man was covered by Medicare, and this is listed as a reason for the failure to provide proper care. An investigation allegedly found threats to the health and safety of any individual to seek treatment at the hospital named in the wrongful death case.
All of these situations outline scenarios where families lost loved ones, usually due to neglect or problems that should have been addressed before any deaths occurred. Many were situations where the issues could have been addressed in a timely manner. A wrongful death lawyer can help the family deal with the aftermath of an unexpected loss and determine the best way to approach filing a wrongful death suit. The choice to work with a wrongful death attorney means you are prepared to see the matter through court proceedings to gain closure and some form of justice for your loved one, who did not deserve to be neglected or to deal with the pain that ultimately led to an avoidable death.
Sudden death, particularly in a situation that no one could predict, is difficult to process. When the death is associated with everyday activities, a result of a facility that should be trustworthy and watching out for residents, or due to negligence or outright disregard for human life by another individual, that death is more difficult to accept. A wrongful death lawyer can help you determine if legal action should be taken to seek justice for your loved one.
Clayton Cain has a law office. He offers experienced legal counsel to anyone who may be considering a wrongful death lawsuit. As a wrongful death lawyer, Cain provides information and assistance on the procedures and necessary deadlines of the case. Cain Injury Law is ready to fight for you and your loved ones after suffering a terrible loss. Get the fighter you need by hiring the aggressive lawyers at Cain Injury Law. Hiring a wrongful death attorney like Cain provides the benefit of experience and knowledge of the process that other attorneys can not provide.
Cain handles cases for individuals. He assists with wrongful death cases that include the following scenarios (among others):
- Pedestrian accidents
- Vehicle accidents, including cars, trucks, airplanes, boats, and bicycles
- Medical malpractice cases
- Product liability (injury from a consumer product that was defective)
- Premises liability
- Drunk driving or accidents due to drug use
- Elder abuse
- Injury at work
- Injuries to a child
- Traumatic personal injury; including brain trauma, impaired physical movement, burns, loss of limb and spinal injuries
Understanding Wrongful Death as Defined in Georgia State Laws
Georgia State Law defines “Wrongful Death” as a death caused by the negligent, criminal, intentional, or reckless behavior of another individual. Nolo.com also indicates that a wrongful death suit in Georgia has two different types of wrongful death claims. The first is the “full value of the life of the deceased,” which includes loss of companionship to those left behind and intangible benefits those individuals provided to loved ones. It also includes wages and benefits that person could potentially have earned.
The second type of claim is to remedy financial losses as they relate to the death of the individual. For example, medical expenses, funeral expenses, and the pain and suffering of the family members that was caused by the wrongful and unexpected death of their loved ones are all covered under this claim.
This type of claim is filed on behalf of the estate of the deceased individual. The claim can be filed up to seven years after the death of the individual if the estate is not probated.
In general, wrongful death suits should be filed within two years after the death of the individual. This is per Georgia’s statute of limitations for a wrongful death case. However, if there is a criminal case related to the death, the statute of limitations is suspended until the criminal case is resolved. This means that the “clock” on the two-year statute of limitations begins running again on the day that the criminal case is completed. Family members still have some time to prepare and make decisions related to the case before filing, even if the criminal case dragged out for several years.
Determining Who Will File and How Money Is Divided into Wrongful Death Cases
According to Georgia state law, in the event of death, the surviving spouse can file an action for wrongful death. The children can file if there is not a surviving spouse to file the wrongful death suit.
Meanwhile, all money received as a result of the action will be shared between the spouse and surviving children. How the money is shared depends on the number of surviving children. For example, with three or more surviving children, the spouse gets one-third of the money received, and the children equally share the remainder of the money.
In an interesting sub-section, it is noted that the spouse can choose to release the guilty party from responsibility for causing the death, and this can be done without approval from the surviving children. Working with a wrongful death attorney helps the family to understand the various legal statutes and subsections that may be confusing in situations where everyone is highly emotional.
A wrongful death lawyer can help the family determine if they feel there is enough evidence to file a wrongful death suit. The lawyer can also help determine how to pursue legal action, who needs to file depending on who is surviving the lost loved one, and helps to make sure deadlines are met during the filing and court proceedings.
Five Common Types of Wrongful Death Cases that Are Filed in Georgia
Hiring a wrongful death lawyer is important to ensure the proper handling of a wrongful death case. Below are five different types of wrongful death cases that are regularly filed in the state of Georgia
- Medical Malpractice: Medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, and others in the field are expected to handle crises and save lives. Failing to act when necessary or negligence in the face of injury or medical issues can lead to death. When that occurs, legal action can be taken. If there are questions or concerns, the best approach is to get in touch with a wrongful death lawyer.
- Motor Vehicle Accidents: Defects in the vehicle that lead to crash and death or negligent driving by another party that causes death, are both common reasons to file wrongful death cases related to motor vehicles.
- Work Place Accidents: Construction and health care are common fields where accidental injury and death can occur. Using faulty equipment, reacting poorly due to insufficient training, working in an unsafe environment, or not knowing the correct safety procedures are all situations that can lead to death in the workplace. These are all grounds for wrongful death cases.
- Nursing Home Abuse: If there is suspicion of neglect or abuse that led to the death of a loved one in a nursing home, it is very wise to contact a wrongful death lawyer. These cases can be emotionally exhausting and difficult to process. Legal counsel is essential for handling the entire process appropriately.
- Defective Product Liability: Products are sold to be used for a specific purpose. If the product is used for that purpose and ends up causing the death of the user, it is necessary to pursue legal action against that company. Responsibility must be taken.
Work Place Injury Statistics: What You Need to Know
Each year, numerous situations are reported to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, or OSHA. Upon receiving reports of unsafe work conditions or other violations, OSHA sends in representatives to investigate. In 2015, OSHA statistics reported the following:
- 4,836 workers were killed on the job. This breaks down to 93 a week or roughly 13 workers each day who were killed.
- Construction is a field where accidents occur often and injury can lead to death. In 2015, 937 deaths occurred in construction. Of those, 364 were due to falls, 90 were a result of being struck by an object, 81 were electrocutions, and 67 were a result of individuals getting caught between objects or otherwise stuck and were killed before a rescue could be made.
OSHA also keeps track of the number of inspections completed at job sites and the most common standard violations that are recorded. In 2016, 31,948 federal inspections were completed, and 43,105 state plan inspections were completed. During those inspections, the top 10 standards violations found were:
- Fall protection, subsection: construction
- Hazard communication standard, subsection: general industry
- Scaffolding, general requirements, subsection: construction
- Respiratory protection, subsection: general industry
- Control of hazardous energy, subsection: general industry
- Powered industrial trucks, subsection: general industry
- Ladders, subsection: construction
- Machinery and Machine Guarding, subsection: general requirements
- Electrical, wiring methods, components, and equipment, subsection: general industry
- Electrical systems design, general requirements, subsection: general industry
Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney in Georgia Today!
A wrongful death lawyer can help you pursue cases where OSHA violations occurred, where inspections were done, and nothing was addressed, or clear violations of OSHA standards occurred and led to the death of your loved one.
Cain is a wrongful death lawyer who can help the family gain closure in one of the most traumatic events they have had to face. Let the aggressive team at Cain Injury Law fight for you today! Contact us today for a wrongful death case consultation!