Few people like litigation, particularly when they may also be dealing with the death of a loved one. However, our elected representatives have provided Georgians with a progressive wrongful death statute that aims to reduce unnecessary deaths through making those responsible pay the full value of the deceased’s life. When wrongdoers are held accountable for their actions, incentives are created for them and others similarly situated to take appropriate precautions to protect life. A competent wrongful death attorney can minimize the inconvenience to grieving family members of pursuing a wrongful death claim, while making sure that the aims of justice, fairness, and Georgia law are realized.
A person bringing a wrongful death claim can realistically expect to spend time talking with attorneys, gathering information and evidence from the deceased’s personal life, and possibly attending legal proceedings such as depositions, hearings, and trial. Filing suit against the responsible parties is often necessary to bring about a meaningful resolution to the claim. The length of the process depends largely on the cooperation of the responsible parties. Ideally, all parties agree on what a reasonable jury verdict would be prior to trial and a settlement is reached. If a settlement cannot be had, then the case must go to trial. Trials can vary in length, but they generally do not last more than a few days.
The right attorney is really the key to a smooth process for settling the wrongful death claim. An attorney should provide up-front, realistic advice on the merits and complexity of the case, as well as what a likely jury verdict would be if litigated. Realistic expectations about the entire process from the start are the basis for a successful outcome.