If you lost a loved one in a fatal collision, you need legal help immediately.
Our fatal car crash attorneys can help your family get justice and find closure.
Fatal car crashes come in all shapes and sizes, and many possible factors can be to blame. These tragic incidents can involve multiple vehicles (such as a chain reaction accident) or single-vehicle crash when a driver falls asleep at the wheel or drives drunk and hits a telephone pole or tree. Regardless of why or how the crash happened, one thing is always true: collisions that result in loss of life are tragic.
We understand that it’s very difficult for surviving family members to come to terms with a fatal car crash. In the aftermath of your loss, you may be struggling to cope with your grief and understand the new “normal.” The last thing you probably want to think about is getting involved in a messy legal battle. Unfortunately, Georgia’s statute of limitations places a strict deadline on how long you have to file a wrongful death claim to recover damages from a fatal car crash.
At Scholle Law, we empathize with what you’re going through right now and we want to help ease your anxiety and worry about your financial future. Our Atlanta wrongful death attorneys have extensive experience in fatal accident cases and will work hard on your behalf to find justice for you and your loved ones.
A “wrongful death” is a death caused by the negligent, reckless (extreme carelessness) or intentional actions of another person or business.
Wrongful death claims differ from homicide or murder in a number of ways. First, a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action, not a criminal charge. Second, the purpose of a wrongful death claim is to recover financial damages on behalf of the surviving family, not to punish. Third, the burden of proof in a wrongful death action is a “preponderance of the evidence” — not “beyond a reasonable doubt” as in a criminal case.
Should I contact a Georgia fatal car crash attorney near me?
Georgia law permits only certain close relatives of a deceased person to bring a lawsuit for wrongful death. These cases can be challenging due to having to explore sensitive issues such as the pain and suffering the decedent may have experienced prior to passing away, as well as the decedent’s lifetime loss of income.
Scholle Law’s experience in probate and estate administration sets us apart with our ability to handle wrongful death cases on behalf of grieving family members.
Charles Scholle is an Atlanta-based attorney with decades of experience representing families who lost a loved one in a fatal car crash. He has earned the highest ratings for his legal practice and the respect of his peers. His team of attorneys and legal professionals have the knowledge and compassion to handle these sensitive and complex cases.
At Scholle Law, we have the experience and expertise to guide families and loved ones through the legal and financial impact of a fatal crash. For over 20 years, our Atlanta lawyers have helped accident victims and their families secure the monetary compensation to which they are entitled. Our compassionate team supports families dealing with wrongful death, serious accidents and catastrophic injuries by helping clients secure the best possible financial recovery under very difficult circumstances.
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
Fatal car crash statistics
There were 33,654 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States reported in 2018. That’s more than the entire population of Duluth killed in traffic collisions every year. Globally, nearly 1.25 million people die in road crashes each year, an average of 3,287 deaths per day. Here in Georgia, over 1,400 people died in fatal crashes in 2018 alone.
Men are more likely to be involved in fatal drunk driving crashes than women. In 2018, statistics showed that 21 percent of men were inebriated during a fatal crash (compared to 14 percent of women). In Georgia, 66 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths in 2018 occurred in urban areas, and 34 percent of deaths occurred in rural areas.
Drivers are the most at risk for suffering a fatal injury in a serious crash. If you are a passenger in a car involved in a fatal crash, you’re more likely to survive. The highest fatality rate is among those between the ages of 21 and 24. Young children under 5 years of age have the lowest fatality rate.
Common causes of fatal car wrecks
Some deadly collisions are the result of driver error or recklessness, such as speeding or distracted driving. Other fatal crashes are the result of large vehicles, such as semi-trucks or large SUVs, colliding with smaller vehicles, motorcycles, bicyclists or pedestrians.
Drunk driving is single-handedly the biggest cause of fatal motor vehicle accidents, responsible for nearly a third of total traffic fatalities. Other major contributors to fatal crashes include:
While drunk driving continues to be a serious problem, it’s possible that distracted driving will at some point equal or surpass impaired driving as the #1 factor in traffic fatalities. Texting while driving is quickly becoming a significant factor in motor vehicle accidents, many of which are fatal.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit for a fatal car crash?
When a person has been fatally wounded in a car crash, certain loved ones such as a surviving spouse and other eligible family members may bring a wrongful death action against the at-fault driver on behalf of their loved one who is no longer able to pursue an injury claim themselves.
In Georgia, only specific people can file a wrongful death claim following a fatal crash. These eligible people include:
- The spouse of the deceased. If married, the husband or wife of the person killed in a fatal crash can bring a claim for themselves and any children (under the age of 18) of the deceased. Regardless of how many children the deceased had, their spouse is guaranteed at least one-third of the full financial recovery granted by the wrongful death claim.
- The parents of the deceased. If the deceased doesn’t have a spouse or any children, then his or her parents can file a wrongful death action for the loss of their child.
- An estate representative. If the deceased’s spouse, children or parents do not file a wrongful death claim, or if the deceased has none of these living relations, then a designated representative of their estate can file a claim. Any damages awarded will go to the deceased’s estate and be distributed to their surviving next-of-kin.
What compensation can you receive for a fatal wreck (types of damages)?
To calculate all of the financial damages you may be entitled to upon filing a wrongful death claim, first you must understand that there are a couple of ways such claims can be filed in Georgia.
First, and most common, is a wrongful death claim filed by the deceased person’s spouse or surviving loved ones (or on their behalf by a designated representative). Damages for this type of claim focus on accounting for the full value of the deceased individual’s life and can include financial compensation for both tangible and intangible losses like:
- Lost wages (including income and benefits)
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of care
- Loss of child support
Second, a wrongful death claim can be filed on behalf of the deceased person’s estate. These types of “estate claims” seek to help a spouse and family recover from the financial losses connected to their loved one’s death. These damages can include:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial costs
- Pain and suffering (experienced by the deceased before they died)