A wrongful death claim isn’t just about compensation, but also justice.
If you lost a loved one because of someone else’s recklessness, find out how wrongful death attorney Charles Scholle can help.
In 2018, 86 people were killed in fatal traffic accidents in Gwinnett and Hall counties alone. Many of these tragic collisions were caused by speeding and alcohol, most frequently along the I-985, I-85 and 316 corridors.
Across the entire state of Georgia, more than 1,500 people lost their lives in traffic crashes in 2018. While sobering, these statistics are only a fraction of the thousands of Georgians who die as a result of negligence each year—and the spouses, kids and families that are left to pick up the pieces.
Nothing can compare to the hardships that each family must endure.
Charles Scholle on helping victim’s family members
No amount of money can replace the loss of life—whether it’s caused by negligence or while driving on Peachtree Industrial Road, Lanier Parkway, Suwanee Dam Road or another busy street in the area. But the unfortunate reality is that grieving families often don’t have enough time to process their loss before bills start piling up. What’s more, if the loved one you lost was the primary earner of the family, then you may be facing significant financial pressure during this already difficult and stressful time.
If your loved one’s untimely and sudden death was due to negligence, then you may be able to recover some monetary compensation under Georgia’s Wrongful Death Act. By contacting Scholle Law to learn more about your legal rights and options, we can help you become financially whole again and also ensure that the precious life lost receives some measure of justice. With our Buford injury attorneys by your side, the negligent person can be held responsible, and you and your family can get the assistance you need and the justice you deserve.
Your first consultation is FREE, and we charge you nothing unless we’re able to secure financial recovery for you and your family. No recovery, no fee — it’s that simple.
If your injuries prevent you from visiting any of our office locations, then we can schedule a time for a legal representative to travel to your home or other location to meet with you or your family.
Types of wrongful death damages (compensation) available
Often, the death of a loved one leaves more than just emotional damage. The negligent or intentional actions of others may have led to charges for emergency services or extensive hospital stays before your loved one passed away. Medical bills for personal injuries like spinal cord injury or brain injury can rack up in the thousands over just a few weeks or months.
In addition to the burden of funeral and burial expenses, the loss of income and financial support can continue to hurt your family by destroying your financial stability. You may even be at risk of losing your home, filing bankruptcy or not being able to pay for your children’s education.
It is for these reasons that the measure of damages for a Georgia wrongful death claim is the full value of the life of the deceased, including economic damages such as projected life income, as well as intangible damages like pain and suffering.
Yes. In Georgia, the time limit for filing a wrongful death case is typically 2 years from the date of death, per O.C.G.A § 9-3-33. However, there are special circumstances that could make that timeline shorter or longer.
For example, lawsuits involving government agencies may have shorter deadlines (as soon as 6 months), whereas loss of consortium claims may be filed up to 4 years after the death. If the case involves a criminal investigation, as in the case of drunk driving, then the civil statute of limitations may be paused (or “tolled”) until the criminal case is concluded.
As you can see, determining when the clock starts ticking on your wrongful death case can be complicated. Consult an experienced lawyer for answers regarding your specific case.
Who can sue for wrongful death in Buford, GA?
Since the person who paid the ultimate price due to the negligence or intentional act of another is unable to file a personal injury claim themselves, certain living representatives may file a wrongful death claim on their behalf.
In Georgia, eligible wrongful death claimants include:
- Spouse of the deceased. The spouse of the deceased individual has the top authority to file a wrongful death lawsuit, even on the behalf of minor children. However, the spouse is entitled to receive no less than one-third of the total compensation, regardless of the number of children.
- Children of the deceased. If there is no surviving spouse, then the surviving children of the deceased may bring a claim. This includes step-children and adopted children.
- Surviving parents or guardians of the deceased. If there is no surviving spouse or children, then the parents of the deceased may file a claim.
- A designated representative of the deceased’s estate. If there is no surviving spouse, children or parents, then a designated representative of the deceased’s estate can file a claim. Awarded damages will be distributed to the next-of-kin.
Common causes of wrongful death
A “wrongful death” is any death that is the result of negligence, malicious conduct or an intentional act of either a person or business. These tragic cases can arise from many different types of circumstances and scenarios. The most common wrongful death claims in Buford arise from:
How Scholle Law secured $2 million for a struggling family after a fatal car accident
How can we be so confident that we can help you and your family recover? Because we’ve done it before…
For instance, after receiving a call from a family seeking assistance after a devastating car wreck, we were able to secure a $2,000,000 settlement through tenacious advocacy.
The fatal wreck involved our client’s teenage daughter (the driver), who survived, and his spouse (the front-seat passenger), who died. The allegations in the police report indicated that the daughter failed to yield to oncoming traffic as she entered a busy intersection. As she crossed the intersection, a commercial van collided directly into the passenger side of the vehicle. Our client’s spouse was pronounced dead at the scene.
Eyewitnesses reported that our client’s daughter was the at-fault driver and had entered the intersection in such a manner that created a sudden and unavoidable hazard. On top of this, the police report indicated that the commercial van driver had not violated any traffic regulation.
To further our own investigation, our office made a formal Open Records Act Request to the county and all responding law enforcement and emergency personnel agencies. While we received a substantial amount of records and other information, they all seemed to indicate that our client’s daughter was, indeed, at fault.
Our client, the surviving spouse and father of the alleged at-fault teenage driver, had just suffered a horrific life event and was trying to cope with his own loss while simultaneously helping his daughter cope with her loss—one that was particularly difficult given the gravity of guilt she felt in believing that she was largely responsible for the death of her mother.
We decided to continue our investigation and worked to turn over every stone and gather every piece of available evidence. After digging further, it was revealed that the commercial van driver was speeding and perhaps driving while distracted. Our own investigation also showed that the speed limit was incorrectly listed in the crash reports as 55 miles per hour when the true speed limit was actually 45 miles per hour.
An analysis of the commercial van’s black box data showed that the van was traveling at 55 to 56 miles per hour at the time of impact. Not only was the driver speeding, but this was clearly way too fast for this particular intersection.
The black box data also revealed that the driver’s first attempt to brake occurred less than a fraction of a second before impact. This strongly suggested that the commercial driver was distracted and not paying attention to the road.
This newly uncovered evidence dramatically changed the liability equation.
Our firm was able to successfully argue that a jury would find the commercial driver as being primarily at fault for this wreck and the ensuing death of our client’s wife. This provided much needed emotional relief to our client and his daughter; it also alleviated much of the painful guilt she had been carrying.
While no amount of money can truly compensate our clients for the losses they suffer, the resolutions we are able to facilitate can help bring the family emotional peace and closure while providing for their financial future and security. We bring this ethic to every case and use our extensive experience to achieve the best possible resolution for every client.
You don’t have to handle this alone — let Scholle Law help
Since wrongful death is a tragedy that could have been prevented, Georgia law provides that family members have the legal right to seek compensation. If someone you love has died unexpectedly due to the careless actions or malicious conduct of another person, it can be difficult to confront the person or people responsible for the loss. Allow Charles Scholle and his skilled legal team the opportunity to help you through the legal process so that you can focus on getting your family through this trying time.
We’ve recovered for our clients
$4,300,000 We secured this sizeable verdict in a Fulton County case against a bar for over-serving a patron. Our client was the family of a young woman who was killed after she was hit by multiple vehicles on Interstate 285 in Atlanta.
$2,025,000 We negotiated a fair settlement for the family of a woman who was killed in a collision with a commercial driver.
$1,550,000 The family of a motorcyclist came to us after their loved one was fatally injured by an automobile driver who failed to yield. We were able to help secure their financial future.
$250,000 We represented the family of a prison inmate who died as a result of failure to provide medical care.
$244,000 When a beloved mother was killed in an auto accident, we went to bat for her family, securing maximum recovery from the insurance company.
$101,000 Decedent died in a drug overdose during a party and the homeowner didn’t call authorities for help. We were able to secure a settlement based on duty of the homeowner to help one whom he knows is in grave danger based upon the theory that the homeowner supplied the drugs.
Local resources for Buford, GA residents
Local legal resources
Buford Police Department
(Gwinnett County Police North Precinct)
2735 Mall of Georgia Blvd
Buford, GA 30519
(678) 442-5002 (non-emergency)
Buford City Schools
2500 Sawnee Ave
Buford, GA 30518
Gwinnett County Public Library
(Buford-Sugar Hill Branch)
2100 Buford Hwy NE
Buford, GA 30518
Gwinnett Chamber Of Commerce
6500 Sugarloaf Pkwy
Duluth, GA 30097
Gwinnett Medical Center
1000 Medical Center Blvd
Northside Hospital Gwinnett
1000 Medical Center Blvd
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
“…Every week, I experience a client who’s dealing with the worst time that they’ve ever had to experience. They’re injured. They can’t pay their medical expenses. They don’t know when they’re going to be able to work again.”
“…I always like the underdog. I always like representing the little guy. I don’t want to represent the corporation or the insurance company.”
“…We like to have a personal relation with our clients…because that helps us be better lawyers…and serve their interests.”
Contact us to speak with a lawyer about your accident.We’re available 24/7 and your first consultation is free.
Call 866-972-5287 or send us a message online