A woman was recently killed when her vehicle was struck by a box truck in Douglasville. The accident occurred on the evening of August 10th at the intersection of Wenona Street and Bill Arp Road. A witness tried to help the driver but she unfortunately died shortly thereafter. As of the writing of this post, no further information has been released.
The car accident attorneys at Slappey & Sadd help those who have been injured in truck accidents and helps families who have lost loved ones. We work with our clients to hold negligent drivers and trucking companies accountable. If you’re suffering as a result of a truck accident and don’t know where to turn, we can help – call us at 404-255-6677 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
What Happens When Someone Dies in an Accident
In most personal injury cases, we’re working with clients who have been seriously injured. We represent the injured person, who can make decisions on their own behalf. They provide us with legal authority to make claims on their behalf, negotiate and accept settlement offers, and proceed with lawsuits in their names.
The situation becomes more complicated if the person we would represent is killed in the accident. Who has legal authority to pursue a claim, if any, against the negligent trucking parties? If someone has that right, what compensation are they entitled to?
Wrongful Death Claims in Georgia
Under Georgia law, the deceased’s family members can sue the at-fault party for the “full value of the life of the decedent.” However, exactly who can pursue the claim depends on who died and who survives the victim:
- If the decedent was a spouse or parent, the right to pursue a claim goes to the surviving spouse. If there is no surviving spouse, the right to pursue a claim goes to the surviving children.
- If the decedent was a child, the right to pursue a claim goes to the surviving parents.
Simply being related to the decedent does not give you the right to pursue a claim. Furthermore, once the claim has been decided, it cuts off the potential rights of other parties. For example, if the surviving spouse releases the other driver from liability for the death of a spouse, their children cannot pursue a claim against them.
The Value of a Wrongful Death Claim
The “full value of the life of the decedent” is defined as “the full value of the life of the decedent without deducting for any of the necessary or personal expenses of the decedent had he lived.” Georgia courts have recognized that the “full value” of the decedent’s life can include the following:
- Total employment income over their lifetime, including expected income
- Retirement benefits and investment income
- The value of whatever care they may provide to their family
- Lost companionship
The full value will then be adjusted according to what an average person’s expenses would be under similar circumstances.
Slappey & Sadd – Atlanta Wrongful Death and Truck Accident Attorneys
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident or think you may have a wrongful death claim, we can help you understand your options. Established in 1992, the personal injury lawyers at Slappey & Sadd work with clients across the state of Georgia, including Douglas County. We have the experience you need to get the compensation you deserve, whether for your own injuries or as a result of the death of a loved one. If you’d like to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation, call us at 404-255-6677 or send us an email to learn more about how we can help you.