Wrongful Death cases can be very complicated and require a thorough investigation.
You need an experienced attorney to guide you through the many twists and turns of wrongful death litigation.
Pending wrongful death case example: Forsyth County
Client’s husband was driving south on Georgia 400 before sunrise with his daughter and her boyfriend and was involved in a tragic collision when he switched from the left hand land to the right lane and made contact with a large dump truck. He was killed in the wreck and his daughter was seriously injured. The initial report by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office found Client’s husband to be at fault. Client (surviving spouse) and their daughter came to hire attorney Parker McFarland to assert their claims for personal injuries (medical bills and pain and suffering) and the wrongful death (full value of life; pain and suffering prior to death; funeral expenses, etc.) of Client’s husband. A subsequent investigation by an expert witness retained by attorney Parker McFarland and additional investigation by the sheriff’s office showed that the dump truck was traveling below the posted speed limit at 30 MPH.
Also, a close examination of the dump truck by the accident reconstruction specialists showed that there was a serious problem with lack of lighting on the dump truck: (1) none of the lights on the left side of the dump truck were functioning, (2) the front left headlight was blown, (3) the rear lights were covered with concrete dust and hard to see, (4) there was creative wiring in the dump truck fusing the high beam lights with the low beam lights, and (5) the alternator appeared to be malfunctioning – all of which made the dump truck practically invisible.
Presented with this new information about the dump truck accident, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office issued a criminal arrest warrant for the driver of the dump truck and charged him with homicide by vehicle in the second degree, impeding the flow of traffic, defective or no headlights, defective or no tail lights, defective brakes, and unsafe vehicle or equipment for left side marker lights not being visible. This criminal case is currently pending in Forsyth County State Court.
Then, the automobile insurance company filed a declaratory judgment action seeking to exclude coverage for the dump truck because it was used for a business purpose. Attorney Parker McFarland responded to the declaratory judgment action and asserted a counterclaim and cross-claims for the wrongful death of Client’s husband and personal injuries to his daughter against the auto insurance company, the driver of the dump truck, the employer of the dump truck driver, and the named insured under the commercial policy. The case has been very litigious and many motions and pleadings have been filed by both sides.
The complexity of wrongful death litigation cannot be understated. Make sure your wrongful death lawyer is equipped to guide you through probating the estate of the deceased, properly investigating the circumstances of the collision including the hiring of expert witnesses, asserting your claim(s) for wrongful death, and litigating a declaratory judgment action that may be filed by the auto insurance company in an attempt to avoid making a large payout.