Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death Attorney in Athens

Helping Clients Seek Fair Compensation After Suffering a Loss

The loss of a loved one is a difficult and highly emotional experience, but it is even more trying when the accident was caused by another party’s recklessness or negligence. In addition to the unimaginable emotional toll from losing a loved one, financial difficulties mount and are left upon the surviving family members to overcome. At The Law Office of Joshua W. Branch, LLC, our dedicated Athens wrongful death lawyer has the skill and experience necessary to help you navigate these challenging legal matters.

Call us at (706) 760-9220 to schedule a free initial consultation. We are committed to helping our clients recover the resources they need to move forward.

Georgia's Wrongful Death Statute Explained

Under O.C.G.A. § 51-4, if a person is killed by the wrongful act of another person or company, then the decedent's surviving family may file a wrongful death claim against the responsible parties in pursuit of damages equal to "the full value of the life of the decedent.

Georgia's wrongful death statute specifies the following rules:

  • Wrongful death lawsuits must generally be filed within two years of the decedent's death, with certain exceptions.
  • Surviving spouses are given priority for wrongful death claims, followed by surviving children. If the decedent had no spouse or children, this right would instead be given to their parents or guardians.
  • The "full value of life" includes both tangible losses (such as lost money they would have earned) and intangible losses (such as relationships with family and reasons for living).
  • The deceased's family may also bring a claim on behalf of their estate for damages related to pain and suffering, medical bills incurred before death, funeral expenses, and other items.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Georgia?

The right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia passes according to the following hierarchy:

  • Spouses
  • Children (if there is no surviving spouse)
  • Parents or guardians (if there is no surviving spouse or children)

The surviving spouse is entitled to no less than one-third of the total awarded compensation, with the remaining award being shared among the decedent's children. If the wrongful death claim is filed by representatives of the estate, all awarded damages will be held in the estate and properly distributed.

Common Wrongful Death Accidents

Wrongful death cases can arise from many different incidents; however an alarming number of deaths occur on our highways. According to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there were 34,247 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2017, resulting in 37,133 total fatalities. This is equal to 11.4 deaths per 100,000 people, or 1.16 deaths per 100 million miles traveled. 1,440 of these fatal crashes were from Georgia alone, with 56% of drivers killed having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. 67% of fatal crashes in Georgia in 2017 occurred in urban areas, with the remaining 37% occurring in rural areas.

Other common causes of wrongful death in Georgia include:

Compensation for Surviving Family Members

Surviving family members of the deceased may be entitled to recover compensation for:

  • Final medical expenses incurred related to the accident
  • Loss of future income
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Pain and suffering of the decedent prior to their passing
  • Loss of consortium (companionship)

The exact value of your claim and types of damages available will vary depending on the specific facts of your case. Our firm is intimately familiar with the complexities, demands, and personal pressures of wrongful death litigation in Georgia and can use this knowledge to help your family seek maximum compensation for your loss.

Committed to Your Best Interests

The law of the State of Georgia allows the decedent’s life to be valued through their eyes. It allows juries to see what meant the most to the person who has lost his or her life, helping them see the world through the eyes of the person who has tragically left this earth. Their memory needs to be honored and although it is a difficult task to place a monetary value on the deceased’s life, it is necessary to honor them and mandated by the law. Life is precious and those whose lives have been robbed from them deserve the verdicts and case results to reflect that.

At The Law Office of Joshua W. Branch, LLC, we understand the heartache you are experiencing. Call our wrongful death lawyer in Athens today at (706) 760-9220 to learn more about how we can help you through this process.

Hear from Our Clients

  • There will never be enough words to describe how thankful I am for all you’ve done.

    “Thank you again for all the hard work and dedication. I pray that God will bless you abundantly this holiday season. I pray that God will bless you.”

    - Danielle, Personal Injury Client
  • Josh came through for me and completed what I was thinking was impossible.

    “Thank you!”

    - Gwen, Personal Injury Client
  • Thanks so much for all your efforts, care, and attention.

    “Thanks so much for all your efforts, care, and attention.”

    - C.C., Personal Injury Client
  • Thank you for all you have done for me!

    “May God Bless you and your staff for a job well done.”

    - Lizzie, Personal Injury Client
  • What do I say to the most amazing attorney I’ve ever known. You have been more than an attorney. You have been a friend, and a very good listener.

    “Thank you so much for the compassion and time spent with you through my recovery.”

    - Veda, Personal Injury Client
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Millions of Dollars Recovered

for Our Clients
  • $650,000 JB Client v. Negligent Driver

    A collision between a negligent driver and our client resulted in serious injuries for our client.

  • $650,000 JB Client v. Pizza Delivery Franchisee

    A collision between a texting pizza delivery driver which caused the death of our client's spouse.

  • $605,000 JB Client v. Home Health Care Company

    A horrible and tragic event occurred while the mother of our clients was under the care of her home health care company.

  • $580,000 Trucking Case: Confidential Parties

    Client sustained a fractured acetabulum when he collided into a tractor-trailer that left its trailer in the roadway.

  • $550,000 JB Client vs. Negligent Individual Driver

    The client sustained severe injuries and then had additional complications.

  • $525,000 JB client v. Georgia Medical Transportation, Inc.

    Client was not properly secured while in transit and was thrown out of his wheelchair and sustained orthopedic fractures.

  • $350,000 JB Client v. Tractor-Trailer

    Client ran into the back of an illegally parked tractor-trailer.

  • $350,000 JB client v. Shanna M. Jackson; Superior Court of Walton Co.

    Automobile collision case wherein the client who had to undergo a cervical fusion procedure.

  • $330,000 JB client v. Thomas Shirley; Superior Court of Rabun Co.

    Automobile collision case tried to verdict in Rabun County for a client who had to undergo a cervical fusion surgery.

  • $325,000 Severe Car Wreck with a Surgical Component
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Why Hire Us

  • Personalized Approach

    We pride ourselves on providing personalized client care with tailored solutions.

  • Reputation for Excellence

    We are proud of our legacy of positive client testimonials and recognition in our community.

  • Commitment to Clients

    Our passion for helping clients recover from personal injuries is the core focus of our firm.

  • Fearless Advocacy

    We are not afraid to go to trial and we will fight to get the best possible result for our clients.

Take Your First Step Towards Justice

The Law Office of Joshua W. Branch, LLC has successfully helped thousands of injured victims receive the justice they deserve.