Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorneys

We put compassion into action for you.

devastated.

We watch our clients suffer because they lost their loved ones due to someone else’s drunk driving, medical malpractice, criminal wrongdoing, or other negligent act that left the whole family victims of wrongful death. We can only imagine how difficult your life is right now. Grief is the hardest of human emotions.

“We’re sorry for your loss” is an understatement. Heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, disbelief, and anger are entirely expected. In fact, we expect anyone who endures such a significant loss to be exactly where they are. It’s not like there’s a right way to grieve. There’s just your way. Well-intentioned people are likely to express that they wish there was something more they could do. And while that sentiment may express care, we know that nothing will rewind time and bring back your loved one. Our deepest sympathies go out to you.

But there is something we can do.

As Atlanta wrongful death attorneys, Issa & Castro can help you navigate the myriad of emotional, financial, and legal issues that arise after your family member dies. We’ve seen how the emotional anguish and financial upheaval can overwhelm surviving family members—they’ve told us it feels like they’re in the ocean during high tide…and the waves keep crashing on top of them without a break, so they can’t come up for air, and there’s no end in sight.

While we can’t change what happened, we can fight for your loved one’s honor by filing an Atlanta wrongful death suit to hold the responsible parties accountable and restore balance to the scales of justice.

We’ve been asked before,
“How does money make it better?”

Let’s be honest: money is in no way a substitute for your loved one’s presence. We, too, wish you weren’t going through this loss. In that regard, money doesn’t make anything better. But there are some ways that money can help.

 

Grief is a traumatic experience. And trauma affects every single part of our clients’ lives—from relationships to careers to finances, nothing is ever the same after their loved one is the victim of someone else’s negligence. We’ve seen all this and more happen as trauma takes hold of the survivors:

To answer the question, money makes it better in two ways:

As Atlanta wrongful death lawyers, we believe you should be made whole. And we’ll put our litigation experience and skill to work to that end. You don’t have to do this alone.

we're ready to fight for you

Call Today

OK, help me understand.
What is wrongful death?

Wrongful death is the term given when a person dies because of the misconduct or negligence of another. Georgia law affords the family of the victim to file a lawsuit when their loved one has died as the result of:

Wrongful death falls under civil law, which has a different standard than criminal law. In a criminal case, you’ve probably heard that the state or federal government has to establish guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt”—a high bar that protects the accused. In civil law, wrongful death lawsuit lawyers in Atlanta (and throughout GA) only have to demonstrate the defendant’s liability “by a preponderance of the evidence.” That means it’s more likely than not that the defendant is responsible for your loved one’s death.

Keep in mind: It’s totally possible that your loved one’s untimely death could result in the responsible party facing both criminal and civil charges.

So the person who killed my loved one doesn’t have to be guilty of a crime for me to file a wrongful death lawsuit?

Wrongful death lawsuits are civil proceedings, which means they have nothing to do with criminal law. Whether or not the responsible party has committed or been charged with a crime is not relevant to a civil case.

 

Why does this matter?

 

Because a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought before, during, or after a criminal case against the person or entity responsible for your loved one’s death. Civil and criminal cases involving the same event are different proceedings and have nothing to do with one another. Even if the responsible party is found innocent during a criminal trial, that does not affect your civil wrongful death case.

 

Basically, even if the responsible party escapes criminal consequences, they can still face civil repercussions for the death they caused. In the wrongful death case, the defendant will be responsible for damages, financial compensation paid to the surviving family members. In wrongful death cases, there isn’t any jail or prison time, fines paid to the state of Georgia, probation, or other penalties.

You’ve mentioned family filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Who’s eligible to hire a wrongful death attorney?

Georgia law is pretty clear on this one. The people who can file a lawsuit on their loved one’s behalf are, in the following order:

Under Georgia law, no other family member (siblings, grandparents, cousins, etc.) are able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

If you have questions about the law around these types of cases, Issa & Castro, wrongful death attorneys in Atlanta can help you understand who can and when to bring a lawsuit.

what kind of damages are available to us as the survivors?

So Georgia has pretty specific laws about damages in wrongful death cases. We’ll talk about things generally here, but if you have details you’d like to discuss, your best bet is to call Issa & Castro, experienced wrongful death lawyers in Atlanta. Here’s what you can keep in mind:

 

All damages relate directly to your loved one’s injury and death. Any damages suffered by the surviving family members due to the death of their spouse, child, or parent are not considered relevant or compensable. Under Georgia law, three categories of damages can be sought in a lawsuit for wrongful death:

.01

The full value of your loved one’s life as shown by the evidence

.02

Funeral, medical, and other necessary expenses that resulted from your loved one’s injuries and death

.03

Medical expenses, your loved one’s pain and suffering, and other damages between their injury and death

When we initiate a lawsuit, the claim for the full value of your loved one’s life is the primary cause of action. That claim can only be brought by an eligible family member—surviving spouse, children, or parents, as we talked about a moment ago. The Estate of the deceased may seek to recover funeral, medical, and other necessary expenses resulting from injury and death. If your loved one suffered injuries that didn’t immediately cause death, the Estate can bring a “survival action” to recover damages during the period between the injury and the subsequent death. PHEW!

 

Is it any wonder lawyers say “it depends” all the time?

we're ready to fight for you

Call Today

Y’all, this is a lot to take in. How does Georgia determine the full value of a life?

Believe it or not, there’s little guidance from the law on how to measure or determine the full value of a life. The courts have set precedents and developed guidelines followed by followed by judges, lawyers, and juries in presenting evidence and awarding damages in wrongful death cases. Over time, Georgia appellate courts have decided that the full value of a life has two components:

If you’re thinking “Say what?” at this point, you’re not alone. Because we’re just scratching the surface of how complicated these cases are. When you consult with an Atlanta wrongful death attorney, they should explain all of this as it applies to your case. If you decide to meet with us, we’ll make sure you understand all of your rights under the law so you can make the decision that’s right for your family.

I still don’t understand how an Atlanta wrongful death lawyer can help me figure out what my loved one’s life was worth. Tell me more.

Let’s start with the economic component. We look at the income your loved one would have earned had they not been killed. We don’t have to deduct taxes or any other expenses like housing, food, or clothing. We’ll include salary or wages and benefits like pensions, return on investments, rental income, or profit from a business.

 

Now, if your loved one was self-employed or if their income came from business ownership we have to do more math because ONLY the profit can be used to determine the economic component. That means we do have to deduct business expenses to get to the pre-tax income actually earned by your loved one. That’s what we can recover in a wrongful death case.

 

But! Because we’re calculating future earnings, we have to “discount” them to present value. The state of Georgia uses 5% as the discount rate in wrongful death cases.

 

And don’t stress – if your loved one wasn’t employed (children, students, disabled, incarcerated, or a homemaker) or was just starting their career and hadn’t reached their full earning potential, guidelines and information exist for us to determine what your case is worth.

 

OK, now let’s get to the non-economic component. So here we’re looking at muddier waters… If we had a list of “intangible elements” it would make things clearer, but these are totally subjective and hard to assign values to. We’re looking here at all the things your loved one and family will miss out on because of their death. Think about the joys of marriage and raising children; friendships missed out on; hobbies and interests that weren’t pursued; the satisfaction of a great career; and all the other areas of life that we take pleasure in. How do you put a price on that? Well, you can’t. And in Georgia, they don’t limit the non-economic damages a jury may award (unless we’re talking medical malpractice).

This is complicated. Why wouldn’t you hire a wrongful death attorney in Atlanta?

Sometimes people think we’re too far away – they’re in south Georgia, while we’re in north Georgia. Zoom makes it easy for us to connect, and we’ve been in nearly every courtroom in Georgia. At last count, we only had four counties left to hit the whole state. So we’re accessible, even if we’re not right down the street.

 

Other times people who live OTP (outside the perimeter) think we only handle cases ITP (inside the perimeter). While we are wrongful death lawyers in Atlanta, Georgia, we do cover the whole state—so that means we go outside the perimeter!

 

And finally, sometimes folks don’t want to trust their case to someone they don’t know, who didn’t know their loved one. They’d rather their family lawyer take the case so their loved one’s story is told well. We get it. The struggle for lawyers who don’t specialize in personal injury, and more specifically wrongful death, comes when it’s time to prepare for trial. Having not appeared in court often, they may be reluctant to be as aggressive as necessary to honor your loved one’s memory. We’re in court every single day. We look at every case as if it could go to trial, and we prepare our cases accordingly.

Y’all, this is a lot to take in. How does Georgia determine the full value of a life?

Believe it or not, there’s little guidance from the law on how to measure or determine the full value of a life. The courts have set precedents and developed guidelines followed by followed by judges, lawyers, and juries in presenting evidence and awarding damages in wrongful death cases. Over time, Georgia appellate courts have decided that the full value of a life has two components:

If you’re thinking “Say what?” at this point, you’re not alone. Because we’re just scratching the surface of how complicated these cases are. When you consult with an Atlanta wrongful death attorney, they should explain all of this as it applies to your case. If you decide to meet with us, we’ll make sure you understand all of your rights under the law so you can make the decision that’s right for your family.

How do i hire a wrongful death attorney?

When you meet with any lawyer, pay attention to your gut. How do you feel about being involved with this person for a long period of time? These cases tend to take several months to more than a year to resolve, so you’ll want to hire someone who can relate to you, put you at ease, and support your healing.

 

We are so sorry you’ve lost your loved one. No one should suffer the loss of their spouse, child, or parent due to the negligence or deliberate harm of another. And while we can’t erase the past, we will walk alongside you while you face today.

 

At Issa & Castro, our case evaluations are always complimentary. Give us a call or text 770-LAWSUIT to schedule yours. We work on a contingency basis, so you don’t pay any fees or expenses unless and until we win.

don’t wait any longer

We're Ready To Fight For You

Scroll to Top