Wrongful Death

Fact: Workplace fatalities claim more than 5,000 workers in the United States every year. 187 such deaths occurred in Georgia in 2021.

The death of a loved one can cause deep trauma to you and the rest of your surviving family. In addition to the significant emotional pain of loss and mourning facing those left behind, often they are confronted with financial implications as well, particularly if the deceased acted as the primary earner for their household. This is especially true in cases of accidental death.
In some cases these accidents are entirely preventable, and occur in part or in whole because of negligence on someone else’s part. Legally speaking, such events may be considered wrongful deaths when all of the following key characteristics are involved:

  • The death of a human being
  • Negligence or intent to cause harm
  • Monetary injury to the plaintiff
  • Surviving beneficiaries or dependents
  • Statute of limitations not yet

Every jurisdiction has its own laws governing wrongful death lawsuits. Your best chance to mount a successful case is consulting with a capable attorney knowledgeable in the specifics of applicable law in your area

Getting started preparing to file

If you believe your loved one suffered wrongful death and you decide to pursue legal action, we suggest the following sequence as a guide.

1. Document the circumstances: Gather as much information as possible about the circumstances surrounding the death, including names of those involved or of witnesses, dates, locations, and any other relevant details. Keep records of any medical treatments, hospitalizations, or other instances connected to the incident. Preserve any physical evidence that might be useful in a future legal case.

2. Obtain a copy of the death certificate: You can request this from the appropriate government agency. This document will serve as an official record of the cause and time of death.

3. Speak with witnesses: Compile their accounts of what they witnessed.

4. Notify the deceased’s insurance company: In doing so you can ascertain whether any insurance benefits apply to your case.

5. Seek legal advice from an experienced wrongful death attorney: Bring all the information, documents and potential evidence you have collected with you to the appointment. Choose an attorney with a proven track record in wrongful death cases and who makes you feel comfortable and confident.

One important bit of advice: Don’t provide any statements yourself

Avoid giving statements (written or verbal) to representatives from insurance company representatives, other attorneys or other parties potentially involved in the wrongful death claim. Ideally, to best protect your interests you would direct all inquiries to an attorney you’ve chosen.

We know that’s a lot. And while we admit we’re probably biased, we think Step 5 above – finding an experienced wrongful death attorney – might actually be your best first step.

Young woman and baby laughing with an elderly woman.

Do you really need an attorney to handle this?

In short, yes. Although time is important when pursuing a wrongful death claim, getting the details right is just as crucial. In the face of dealing with your grief and that of your family and friends, letting an attorney handle the case for you is one of the best decisions you can make. Here’s what to look for:

1. Experience and track record: How long has the attorney practiced law? How many wrongful death cases have they handled? What’s their win/loss ratio? We’ll stack our results up against anyone’s.

2. Reputation: Ask for references, read reviews, and check the attorney’s standing with the bar association. Again, ask anybody: we wear the white hats.

3. Fee transparency: Most wrongful death attorneys only charge you if they win your case (this is known as a “contingency basis”). Even so, make sure you grasp exactly how their fees will be calculated, and obtain an upfront detailing of all potential costs. Nobody likes costly surprises.

4. Communication: The attorney and their team should be available to answer your questions and keep you updated on your case regularly. That’s a point of pride with Litner + Deganian.

A skilled wrongful death attorney will manage the intricacies of the case, leaving you to focus on your emotional recovery. And when you pick the right attorney, you seriously increase your likelihood of receiving fair and just compensation for your loss.

Man and woman laughing, smiling.

A look at our process

We understand that every case is unique and different steps must be taken to ensure a successful outcome. That having been said, here’s a quick look at what you can expect from our team, regardless of the circumstances.

  • Diving into the applicable laws: We navigate the complexities of the legal process, ensuring that your case is built on a strong legal foundation. This includes taking charge of time-consuming paperwork, court filings, and procedural requirements.
  •  Gathering and presenting evidence: An experienced wrongful death attorney must be able to identify critical evidence and employ it effectively in a courtroom. We can also screen potential witnesses and encourage them to testify on your behalf.
  • Handling negotiations: A good wrongful death attorney needs to be capable and persistent when negotiating with opposing parties and insurance companies. That’s how we help secure a favorable settlement that compensates you for monetary and other damages.
  • Taking statutes and precedents into account: Since wrongful death claims are one of our specialties, we stay updated on relevant statutes and court decisions, ensuring that your case is aligned with the most current legal standards.

What makes our law firm stand out?

We prioritize clear and open communication because we strongly believe you should be informed and involved in the legal process. We work hard and negotiate harder. And we don’t assign cases to junior attorneys or outside contractors; instead, you get a team of knowledgeable, compassionate advocates who are genuinely committed to understanding your unique circumstances and fighting tirelessly to protect your rights.

At the end of the day, our main goal is for you to win. And whichever path we need to take to get there, we’re fully prepared to take the lead.

The proof is in the settlements

At Litner + Deganian, we’re known for successfully reaching even the most complex settlements. We’re prepared to do what’s best for youeven if that means turning down a settlement offer and taking the case straight to trial.

Additional reading