Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyer

Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyer

Did you lose a loved one because of someone else’s negligent or reckless acts? Our wrongful death lawyers in Atlanta understand how difficult this situation can be and are here to support you however we can.

Our wrongful death attorneys in Atlanta will be there every step of the way, fighting for your rights and advocating on behalf of your loved one. We’ll do whatever it takes to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and secure the compensation you need to cover all financial and emotional losses. Contact us today to speak with a personal injury lawyer at Steinger, Greene & Feiner.

Understanding Wrongful Death in Atlanta

Wrongful death in Atlanta results from another party’s negligent, reckless, or intentional actions, such as negligent driving, defective products, or medical malpractice. Individuals, companies, or government entities can be held responsible if evidence shows their actions caused harm. A wrongful death attorney in Atlanta may pursue compensation from the liable party, even if criminal charges are filed separately. If the responsible party faces charges like DWI or DUI, a wrongful death lawyer can still help seek compensation.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death

Leading causes of wrongful death in Atalanta include the following:

  • Car wrecks
  • Tractor-trailer accidents
  • Motorcycle crashes
  • Slip and falls
  • Dog attacks
  • Defective products
  • Nursing home abuse

Georgia’s Wrongful Death Laws

Here’s an overview of three key laws surrounding wrongful death in Georgia:

Ga. Code § 9-3-33

“Except as otherwise provided in this article, actions for injuries to the person shall be brought within two years after the right of action accrues, except for injuries to the reputation, which shall be brought within one year after the right of action accrues, and except for actions for injuries to the person involving loss of consortium, which shall be brought within four years after the right of action accrues.”

Ga. Code § 9-3-93

“The time between the death of a person and the commencement of representation upon his estate or between the termination of one administration and the commencement of another shall not be counted against creditors of his estate, provided that such time does not exceed five years. At the expiration of the five years the limitation shall commence.”

Ga. Code § 51-4-2

(a) The surviving spouse or, if there is no surviving spouse, a child or children, either minor or sui juris, may recover for the homicide of the spouse or parent the full value of the life of the decedent, as shown by the evidence.


(1) If an action for wrongful death is brought by a surviving spouse under subsection (a) of this Code section and the surviving spouse dies pending the action, the action shall survive to the child or children of the decedent.

(2) If an action for wrongful death is brought by a child or children under subsection (a) of this Code section and one of the children dies pending the action, the action shall survive to the surviving child or children.

(3) If there is no surviving spouse and an action for wrongful death is brought by a minor child or minor children under subsection (a) of this Code section, the natural guardian, guardian, or next friend of any such minor child shall:

(A) Qualify as a conservator if necessary to receive payment of the settlement and shall thereafter hold and use the settlement for the benefit of the minor and shall be accountable for the same as provided in Code Section 29-3-1, and

(B) Obtain court approval of such settlement of such minor child or minor children as provided in Code Section 29-3-3.

(c) The surviving spouse may release the alleged wrongdoer without the concurrence of the child or children or any conservator, guardian, next friend, or other authorized representative thereof and without any order of court, provided that such spouse shall hold the consideration for such release subject to subsection (d) of this Code section and shall be accountable for same.


(1) Any amount recovered under subsection (a) of this Code section shall be equally divided, share and share alike, among the surviving spouse and the children per capita, and the descendants of children shall take per stirpes.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this subsection, the surviving spouse shall receive no less than one-third of such recovery as such spouse’s share. If there is no surviving spouse, the amount recovered under subsection (a) of this Code section shall be equally divided, share and share alike, among the children per capita, and the descendants of children shall take per stirpes.

(e) No recovery had under subsection (a) of this Code section shall be subject to any debt or liability of the decedent or of the decedent’s estate.

(f) In actions for recovery under this Code section, the fact that a child has been born out of wedlock shall be no bar to recovery.

Statute of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Georgia

The statute of limitations in Georgia for wrongful death claims is two years. This means the family of the decedent has two years from the date of the accident that caused the death to file a lawsuit against the defendant.

However, in cases involving factors like medical malpractice, the deadline for filing may be shorter. A wrongful death lawyer can help you determine these deadlines and file all necessary paperwork promptly.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Atlanta?

Surviving family members of the decedent can seek compensation on their behalf for the losses resulting from the death of their loved one. Any compensatory damages awarded are intended to benefit the victim’s spouse, children, parents, siblings, or next of kin. If no family members are willing or able to file a lawsuit, the executor of the estate or a court-appointed executive can do so.

The Role of an Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyer

A wrongful death lawyer will be there to support you from the beginning of your case to the very end. Here’s a breakdown of the primary ways in which your attorney will help your case go smoothly:

  • Navigating the legal process
  • Investigating the accident
  • Collecting and preserving evidence
  • Filing a lawsuit
  • Negotiating with insurance companies
  • Litigating the claim if necessary
  • Maintaining communication with the liable party and their insurance company
  • Provide regular updates regarding the status of your case

Still, have questions about the responsibilities of a wrongful death lawyer in Atlanta? Please contact us to speak with a licensed attorney about the services we offer every client.

Types of Damages in Wrongful Death Claims

Economic vs. Non-economic Damages

Two main types of damages can be awarded in a wrongful death claim: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are tangible, monetary losses such as lost wages, funeral costs, and medical expenses. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are intangible losses that can’t be calculated monetarily. These may include loss of care, emotional distress, and pain and pain and suffering.

If you lost a loved one due to someone else’s careless or reckless actions, you deserve justice. While compensation can’t change the past or bring back the person you lost, it can help relieve the financial burden caused by their death and help you move on.

Punitive Damages

In special circumstances, a judge may award punitive damages, also called exemplary damages. While punitive damages still provide victims with financial compensation for their losses, their main objective is to punish wrongdoers for particularly egregious actions and prevent them from engaging in such behavior in the future.

But keep in mind that punitive damages are not awarded often. This is primarily because the plaintiff must prove willful negligence on the part of the defendant, which involves the defendant being aware of their actions and the potential impact they may have on others.

How Damages Are Calculated and Distributed Among Family Members

Under Georgia law, the compensation is typically divided equally among the surviving family members. However, the surviving spouse of the decedent is entitled to a minimum of one-third of the total compensation, regardless of the number of surviving children.

In cases involving estate claims, distribution follows the terms of the victim’s will. In the absence of a will, Georgia law dictates the distribution. Consulting a wrongful death lawyer will help provide clarity on how compensation will be divided in your cause.

Selecting the Right Wrongful Death Lawyer in Atlanta

The outcome of your wrongful death case depends largely on the attorney you select to handle it. This individual is the one who investigates the incident, gathers evidence, determines liability, and calculates potential compensation. Their skills, experience, and legal approach can be the difference between a successful outcome and an unsuccessful one.

Here are three qualifications to consider when selecting a wrongful death lawyer in Atlanta:

  • Expertise: Look for a lawyer who specializes in wrongful death cases. While any personal injury attorney could handle your case, one with expertise in this particular case type will be more likely to achieve the outcome you want. Wrongful death cases involve complexities that other personal injury cases do not, and a wrongful death lawyer has the knowledge and skills required to meet any challenge that arises.
  • Experience: The lawyer you choose should also have years of experience representing wrongful death cases in the Atlanta area. The more experience they have, the more confident they’ll be when consulting experts, gathering evidence, determining liability, and negotiating with insurance companies.
  • Clear Communication: A skilled lawyer will communicate clearly and regularly with their clients in a way that’s convenient for them—whether it be in person, over the phone, or through email. Your lawyer should make themselves available to you to provide the peace of mind you need.

Hear From Satisfied Clients

“Right from the beginning of contacting Steinger, Greene & Feiner every step of the legal process was and is swift, accurate, and concise. No time was or has been wasted as they have commenced steadily through the process of gathering information and making contact with me regarding all aspects of my case.” – Steve Gonzalez

“Went above and beyond. Life-changing experience. Worked with another lawyer and they were inept. These guys were with me all the way and got me the max I deserve. Outstanding caring people. I can’t thank them enough.” – Joe Davis

“I love how they treat me as a client!! When I call they answer, if they’re not available they reach back out. They are straightforward if you have a case they let you know, if you don’t they let you know that as well. The lawyers here don’t beat around the bush. I will continue to do business with them in the near future!!! Anytime I think of a law firm to represent me it will be them. As for my lawyers and the paralegals who have assisted me in my case became more like family!! I love how they want to see you do good outside of just being their client and I love that about them.” – Nicole Vucinac

“I had a fantastic experience with Steinger, Greene & Feiner Injury Law Firm. From the moment I reached out to them, they were incredibly responsive and attentive. They took the time to listen to my concerns and were quick to accept my case. The entire team showed a high level of professionalism and expertise throughout the process. I felt supported and well-informed at every step. I couldn’t be happier with their service, and I highly recommend them to anyone in need of legal assistance. Thank you, Steinger, Greene & Feiner!” – Toni Scott

“My two major team players Christina McDonald and Mia Sansur were so compassionate, professional detailed, and patient. I would highly recommend Steinger Green and Finer without a doubt. You’re not just a case number but a person to them.” – Andrea Glanville

FAQs about Wrongful Death Cases

1. What is the difference between wrongful death and survival action?

In the case of a wrongful death lawsuit, surviving family members can claim compensation on behalf of their loved one for the financial and emotional toll the death had on them. The death must be caused by the negligence or recklessness of another person.

A survival action lawsuit involves surviving family members claiming compensation the deceased would have received if they had lived.

2. How do you prove wrongful death?

The plaintiff bears the burden of proof, meaning they must prove the defendant’s actions caused their loved one’s death. Four criteria must be met to establish negligence in a wrongful death case:

  • Duty of care: The defendant owes the decedent a duty of care (i.e. to act in a way that won’t cause harm to them).
  • Breach: The defendant violates this duty of care by acting negligently or recklessly.
  • Causation: The defendant’s negligent or reckless acts result in the death of the plaintiff’s loved one.
  • Damages: The death results in financial and emotional losses for the surviving family members.

When you have a wrongful death lawyer to help with your case, you don’t have to worry about proving the defendant’s actions caused the untimely death of your loved one. Your lawyer will investigate the incident to establish negligence and calculate your damages in full.

3. How long does a wrongful death lawsuit take?

The time it takes to resolve a wrongful death case depends on its complexities. Some are resolved in a matter of months while others take years to reach a conclusion. The case length depends on factors such as how much compensation the plaintiff is seeking, how skilled their lawyer is, and how cooperative the other party is. Your lawyer will help walk you through each step of the case so you know what to expect and can take the necessary steps to accelerate the process.

4. Does insurance cover wrongful death?

Yes—to an extent. The plaintiff should first turn to the defendant’s insurance company for compensatory damages. But if the defendant only carries Georgia’s minimum insurance limit of $25,000, the surviving family members will likely have to look elsewhere for compensation because that amount  will only cover a fraction of their expenses. In this case, the plaintiff can seek compensation from their deceased loved one’s insurance company, depending on what their policy could provide.

Speak With an Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyer Today

While no amount of compensation will make up for your losses, it can help you feel a sense of justice for your loved one and move forward. When you want to achieve a favorable outcome, Steinger, Grenee & Feiner is the name you can trust. Contact us today to get started with a free case evaluation.