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Common Accidents That Give Rise to Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Losing a loved one in an accident or because of somebody else’s wrongdoing is devastating. Our Atlanta wrongful death lawyers know that it can feel crippling to realize that your loved one’s death could have been prevented and that another party is to blame. While a wrongful death lawsuit cannot bring your loved one back, it can allow you to hold the at-fault party accountable and to seek financial compensation for the immense losses both you and your loved one have experienced.

When you are considering the possibility of a wrongful death lawsuit in Atlanta, it can be difficult to understand whether the specific kind of accident or situation that led to your loved one’s death can give rise to a wrongful death case. Generally speaking, as our wrongful death lawyers in Atlanta can explain, most types of cases that would have given rise to a personal injury lawsuit (had the deceased person survived their injuries) can give rise to a wrongful death lawsuit.

The following are common types of accidents and situations that can give rise to wrongful death lawsuits in Georgia.

Motor Vehicle Collisions

When another party is liable for a motor vehicle crash that results in another person’s death, it may be possible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against that liable party. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), data from 2021 motor vehicle accidents suggests that more people were killed in traffic collisions in 2021 than they have been since 2005. Indeed, the NHTSA reports that nearly 43,000 people were killed in collisions, a number that was a 10.5 percent increase from the high fatality rate reported in 2020. 

Motor vehicle crashes — including car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents — can have many different causes, and various parties may be liable. Most often, traffic collisions result from driver error or negligence, which can include distracted driving, drunk or drugged driving, aggressive driving, or fatigued driving. When a person who causes an accident is driving for work, the employer may be liable in some circumstances. You also could be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the maker of a defective vehicle part that caused a collision, or against a mechanic who negligently serviced a vehicle.

Product Liability Cases

Any time a consumer product causes a fatal injury, it may be possible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Product liability cases, including wrongful death claims arising out of product defects, can hold the designer, manufacturer, or retailer or marketer of the defective product accountable.

Just like in a product liability lawsuit that causes a nonfatal injury, a wrongful death lawsuit arising out of a fatal injury caused by a product defect can involve one of three types of defects:

  • Design defect where there is a defect in the design of the product, and the product will thus be defective no matter how carefully it is designed;
  • Manufacturing defect where there is a defect that occurs while the product (or one of its parts) is being made, which means that there is nothing wrong with the design of the product itself but rather something wrong with how it was made or assembled; and
  • Marketing defect or “failure to warn,” where the product has been marketed in such a way that it failed to inform consumers about known hazards associated with use of the product or hazards linked to foreseeable uses of the product.

Premises Liability and Negligent Security

Many types of premises liability accidents and injuries can give rise to a wrongful death claim. If you lost a loved one in a fall caused by a hazard on another party’s property, or in an act of violence that occurred due to negligent security on someone else’s premises, you should find out about filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Dog Bites

Dog bites can range widely in terms of their severity. In serious dog attacks — which often involve young children — a person may die from their injuries. In these cases, it is important to talk with an Atlanta dog bite injury lawyer about filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia.

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim Versus a Personal Injury Case

As you can see from the above types of accidents and cases that can give rise to wrongful death cases, it is usually true that any type of injury that would have given rise to a personal injury lawsuit if the person had survived can give rise to a wrongful death lawsuit. Indeed, wrongful death law is designed to allow another party to step into the shoes of the deceased in order to hold the at-fault party accountable (since the deceased person cannot file a claim themselves) and to seek monetary damages from the at-fault party. 

Wrongful death lawsuits can be filed under Georgia law when another party’s negligence results in a person’s death, when a defective product causes a person’s death, or when another party’s intentional act results in another person’s death. Multiple parties may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim in Georgia, beginning with the surviving spouse of the deceased. When there is no surviving spouse, the deceased’s surviving child, surviving parent, or executor of the estate may be eligible to file a claim.

Contact an Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorney

Do you have questions about whether you have a valid wrongful death case? If you lost a loved one and you believe another party could be liable, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. One of our experienced Atlanta wrongful death attorneys can talk with you today to learn more about your situation and advise you about moving forward with a wrongful death lawsuit. While it can be difficult to think about the possibility of a lawsuit in the aftermath of a loved one’s death, we want to emphasize that the statute of limitations for most wrongful death lawsuits in Georgia is only two years from the date of the deceased’s death. As such, it is important to get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible to begin working on your case. Contact Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys online or call us at (404) 529-3476 for more information.