Voted Best Personal Injury Law Firm By Georgia Lawyers
Macon Wrongful Death Attorney
I called Matt after several people recommended him. He was very kind and did a very good job on my son’s case. We are very thankful for the work he did. Most importantly, he was never hard to reach and answered every question we had while going through the process. Matt is the only attorney I will ever call in the future.
My husband is a cyclist that did not fair well against an SUV recently. Matt and his team took phenomenal care of us, allowing us not to stress out (too much) about the little things. Matt and his team handled everything with professionalism. We know we made the right call.
So glad I hired this firm after my rearend car accident. Matt embodies the skill set and values I was looking for. He treats every case like a mini war, and was a zealous advocate on my behalf. And he did so in the most competent and skillful manner. He listened, was empathetic and understood my legal and nonlegal problems.
My 85-year old mom was in a motor vehicle accident with an uninsured motorist. His love, thoroughness and commitment to her case helped us through this accident and her cancer treatment. She underwent successful lobectomy and chemotherapy and is doing exceptionally well. We are immensely grateful.
It was important to me to get the maximum money I could for my broken neck and arm. After getting jerked around for months by State Farm, I interviewed several firms and chose Mr. Wetherington. I’m glad I did. He forced the insurance company to pay twenty times their last offer to me.
It is an honor to share my experience with Mr. Wetherington. He was able to get answers about what happened in my son’s wreck that other attorney’s were not able to do. I am so thankful for the work that he did and he was very thorough in his explanation of why the vehicle had a “defect.”
My case did not settle. The person that hit me only had minimal policy limits. Fortunately, I had my own insurance, which should have provided more money. My insurance company, Allstate, treated me like garbage. We had to sue them and go all the way to trial, which we won.
- Jane Doe
Matt Wetherington is the attorney who is suing the booting companies. We need to do everything we can as a community to help him succeed. God bless you, Mr. Wetherington!
The best! Great people and always friendly.
Losing a loved one in an accident is a traumatic event. Many family members struggle to pick up the pieces, and they are probably worried about their futures. At the Wetherington Law Firm, P.C., we have helped many people who have lost a family member bring wrongful death lawsuits for accidental or intentional death.
This is a unique type of lawsuit that only certain family members can benefit from. To learn more, contact our firm to schedule a consultation with a Macon wrongful death lawyer.
Defining a Wrongful Death
Georgia Code § 51-4-1 identifies a wrongful death as one caused by crime, negligence, or defective property. This law encompasses both intentional criminal acts, like homicide, but also accidents caused by negligence.
We have brought wrongful death claims for deaths caused by:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Premises liability accidents
- Dog attacks
- Product liability
- Medical malpractice
We have used a variety of evidence to show negligence or fault. For example, if your loved one was killed in a trucking accident, we might visit the scene of the crash. Eyewitnesses can testify as to what happened, and we might secure electronic records from the truck. Based on what we find, we might argue the trucker was negligent because he drove too fast or for too long.
Similarly, if a defective product caused the death, we can inspect it with the help of an expert. We will look for the defect which caused your loved one’s fatal injuries.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
This is a civil lawsuit filed in civil court for monetary damages. For that reason, the prosecutor does not file the lawsuit, even if your loved one died in an intentional attack.
Instead, a close family member will need to file the suit. Georgia law gives priority to the following:
- Surviving spouse
- Surviving children or grandchildren if there is no spouse
- Surviving parents if there is no spouse or child/grandchild
- Estate administrator or executor, if none of the above survive
Under this scheme, if a spouse survives the deceased, only the spouse can file the lawsuit. If you have questions about filing, consult a Macon wrongful death attorney.
Calculating Damages for a Wrongful Death
Because this is a civil suit, a court will order the defendant to pay money damages if they are liable for your loved one’s death. The standard is proof by a preponderance of the evidence—meaning, that it is more likely than not that the defendant caused your loved one’s death. That’s a lower standard than proof beyond a reasonable doubt (which is the criminal standard).
Damages compensate victims for their losses. In Georgia, you can seek damages for the “full value” of your loved one’s life, which might include:
- Lost wages and benefits
- Lost services the deceased performed
- Lost companionship, care, and counsel
A Macon wrongful death lawyer can help you calculate these losses. For example, lost wages and benefits are fairly easy to add up. We look at how much your loved one made at death, plus their age and education. We can then calculate a reasonable amount they likely would have made had they lived.
Lost services are similar. If your wife did all the cooking and cleaning, you need to hire someone to perform those services. We can use the market rate to calculate the value.
Loss of companionship and care, however, is different. No amount of money can ever replace the love of a spouse, parent, or child. Still, we use our experience to estimate how much you might receive. If your case goes to trial, a jury will use their common sense to assign a value.
You have a limited amount of time to file this lawsuit. Under Ga. Code § 9-3-33, you get two years from your loved one’s death to file. If your wife was killed immediately in a car accident on July 1, 2022, then you must file before July 1, 2024.
The clock is stopped (or “tolled”) in some situations:
- If your loved one’s estate hasn’t been probated yet, then the clock can be tolled for up to 5 years.
- If your loved one was killed in a crime, then the clock doesn’t start until the criminal case is completed. It can be tolled for up to 6 years.
Contact Our Macon Wrongful Death Attorney
Wrongful death cases are complicated. During this difficult time, you need a reliable, compassionate attorney in your corner to guide you through the claims process. Let us help. Macon personal injury lawyer Matt Wetherington at the Wetherington Law Firm can quickly analyze your case and begin gathering essential evidence if you contact us today.