Archive for the ‘Wrongful Death’ Category

Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death

Posted on: September 18th, 2017 by James Haug

doctor or surgeon upset, holding his head. patient in the backgroundCriminal cases are often filed when a wrongful death occurs, leading people to wonder if they can file a civil case. The answer is yes. A criminal case does not negate the right of a victim’s family to seek compensation for the death. In some cases, a civil case is easier to prove than a criminal case, which requires much more evidence.

For example, Trayvon Martin’s killer was prosecuted in Florida and acquitted in 2013. Martin’s family then filed a civil lawsuit and settled the case, receiving more than a million dollars in damages.

When a family files a wrongful death lawsuit, they are seeing to recover compensation for their loss. In most cases, the suit is filed by the surviving spouse or children. In some states, grandparents and other family members are also permitted to file a civil lawsuit. While state laws may vary, there are commonalities, including the causes of wrongful death.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death

Across the country, there are certain types of accidents that are typically seen more often in wrongful death filings. These are, in no particular order:

1. Automobile Accidents

One of the most common causes of a wrongful death is vehicle collisions. Wrongful deaths in these cases may be attributed to drunk driving, road construction and aggressive drivers. When this type of accident occurs, the family of the victim may choose to file a civil suit against the at-fault driver.

2. Truck Accidents

In some instances, an accident involving a semi-truck is due to the negligence or error of the truck driver. When this occurs, the victim’s family may have the right to be compensated. Damages awarded may cover medical bills incurred before the victim’s passing, a loss of earnings that the victim would have brought to the family, and burial expenses.

3. Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle accidents occur daily across the nation. In some cases, these accidents are the fault of the bicycle rider’s inattention. In other cases, the accidents are caused by a distracted driver or a driver who broke some traffic law. If the latter is the case, a wrongful death suit may be filed.

4. Medical Malpractice

When a person visits a healthcare provider, they have the right to assume that they will be diagnosed and treated appropriately. When a medical professional fails to perform with an accepted standard of care, medical malpractice may occur. In the most serious of instances, the patient loses their life and a family loses a loved member. Medical malpractice may take the form of a missed diagnosis, a failure to supply proper treatment or even a prescription mistake.

5. Product Liability

When a consumer purchases a product and uses it correctly, they do so with the assumption that the product will work as intended. When a product fails and a person loses their life as a result, a wrongful death is said to have occurred. Whether the death was due to a defective products or a failure to warn of a hazard, the family has the right to compensation.

6. Workplace Accidents

Every employer has a duty to keep their workplace free of hazards that may cause injury or death to employees. When a death is the result of an unsafe workplace, the surviving family members have a legal right to file suit. The death may have been due to improper training, failing machines or any number of hazards that would cause a judge to award the family compensatory damages.

7. Crime

When a person chooses to commit a crime, they may be risking the life of another. For example, a person may choose to drive while intoxicated and crash into an innocent motorist. Or, they could commit an armed robbery, and end up killing a victim. This person could be charged criminally, and they may also face a civil lawsuit filed by the victim’s family.

A wrongful death lawsuit may stem from any number of accidents, errors or intentional acts. If you have experienced the death of a loved one in Atlanta and believe that someone else is to blame, you may be entitled to compensation.

Medical bills, funeral and burial expenses and a loss of livelihood may all stem from the wrongful death of a family member. Your family does not have to suffer financially due to a death. You have the legal right to seek compensation for the death of your family member. Call our office today to speak with a member of our experienced team. We will review the details of the incident and advise you of your options. We will stand by you in court and fight to ensure that your rights are protected.

Labor Day and DUIs in Atlanta

Posted on: August 22nd, 2017 by James Haug

Organic Fresh Italian Soda with Green MintIt seems as though summer just started, but Labor Day is almost upon us. The holiday signifies the official end of summer, even though the weather may not agree. For many families, Labor Day either means back to school or that the new school year is in full swing. It means a three-day weekend and a chance for one last barbecue with friends and loved ones. It may even mean one last trip to the local pool or beach.

Unfortunately, Labor Day also means a weekend of drinking for many adults. It is one of the deadliest holidays for drivers. Rather than drinking and staying put, far too many people decide to drive themselves home after the holiday festivities. Statistics show that one person is killed in a drunk driving crash on Labor Day weekend every 34 minutes.

Law enforcement officials across Georgia are aware of the statistics, and partygoers can expect local LEOs to be out in full force for the holiday weekend. In fact, police are already out in higher numbers, keeping a watchful eye for anyone who may be operating their vehicle while impaired. Thanks to these targeted enforcements, drunk driving related deaths decrease, on average, by 20 percent.

MADD has put together a list of tips for anyone interested in having a safe Labor Day party. Here are some of those tips with a few additions of our own.

1. RSVP

As part of a guest’s RSVP, have them outline their plan for a safe way home. They may choose to hand over their keys and camp out on your couch. Maybe they will call Uber. Perhaps they will take advantage of public transportation. No matter what the plan is, the mere fact that your guests are asked to come up with one will help to ensure they don’t drink and drive.

2. Choose the Right Snacks

It can be tempting to grab a few bags of chips and pretzels to set out for your guests, but you would be better off avoiding these kinds of treats. Salty snacks will make your guests thirsty and ultimately drink more. Opt for snacks that won’t make your guests reach for their bottle. Things like fresh fruits and vegetables and even cheese can be a better choice.

3. Offer Mocktails

The Internet is a great source for amazing mocktail recipes. Your guests won’t even realize they aren’t drinking alcohol. You can also offer an assortment of sodas and sparkling waters for your guests. Remember that even though you are having a party, not everyone will want to drink alcohol. Also keep in mind that anyone who has chosen or been volunteered to act as a designated driver will still want something to quench their thirst.

4. Don’t Push

Hosting a party means that you are in charge of making sure people have a good time, not that people get stumbling drunk. Don’t push drinks on anyone. If someone wants an adult beverage, great. If they don’t, perfect. If someone is drinking and they cut themselves off, don’t try to talk them into drinking more.

5. Know When to Say No

By saying “no,” we mean telling someone they can’t leave your home. It’s important to understand that if you know someone is drunk and allow them to leave your home behind the wheel of a car, you could also be held liable if they cause a wreck. Don’t let anyone leave your party drunk if they plan on driving themselves. Grab their keys, pull a few blankets out of the linen closet and toss them a pillow.

6. Keep Them Busy

Chances are you will be planning a few activities to keep your guests busy, so make sure you plan some that will keep them occupied for more than a few minutes. The better a time your guests are having, the less likely they are to stand around and drink. Come up with activities that don’t involve alcohol at all and will engage everyone.

7. Know Your Limits

You aren’t going to be able to keep an eye on your guests if you are too drunk. Watch how many adult beverages you are consuming. If you and your partner are throwing the party, one of you acting as the sober party is always the best idea. When someone stays sober, they are better able to ensure that all the guests are safe.

Partying on Labor Day doesn’t have to mean that someone gets arrested or in an accident. Follow the tips above to help make sure everyone gets home safely, whether it is directly after the party or in the morning.

If your loved one has been killed in a drunk driving accident, you have rights. Call our Atlanta wrongful death attorneys today to learn more about the types of compensation you may be entitled to.