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Wrongful Death


Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyer

When a loved one is killed by someone else’s carelessness survivors may have mixed feelings about filing a lawsuit for that death. Certainly no amount of money can bring the departed loved one back. However, a monetary award is the only way that civil law has to recognize the value of the life, compensate for the death, and penalize the party at fault. In Georgia there are two separate claims that can be made for a death. 

First is a wrongful death claim for the full value of life which belongs to survivors designated by statute: spouse, children, parent, or heirs at law depending on the circumstances. 

Second, is what we call a survivor action which belongs to the estate, is brought by the executor or administer seeking compensation for the pain and suffering the person endured before death plus the medical and funeral expense. The family may choose to pursue both claims or only one of them depending on what makes the most sense under the circumstances. Now Georgia’s wrongful death act which dates back to before the Civil War is one of the most humane wrongful death laws in the country. 

Full value of the lifeThe Georgia wrongful death law measures the value of the life of the person who died with both economic and intangible aspects. The economic aspects, you look at what their lifetime income and benefits might have been and the value of their services. In deciding the intangible aspect of the full value of the life, the jury exercises its discretion as fair and impartial jurors to look to the quality of life, relationships, activities, and and more, and determine what the experience of living was worth to that person who died. 

If a family member has been killed through someone else’s negligence, give us a call. I hope we can help.
Client Reviews
"Goes above and beyond and is a mountain of knowledge on spine and brain injuries. He does his research and represents you with a level of excellence. Remains a friend after representing me." Dee M., Woodstock, GA
"I have collaborated with Mr. Shigley on several initiatives within Georgia’s Judiciary over the past few years and found him to be a persistent and attentive individual. Ken has taken great pride in his involvement with the projects that I have worked on and he is good at influencing success. Despite his hectic schedule, Ken has always made time to discuss, research and review ideas for the best way to accomplish goals. I look forward to a continued working relationship in this and future roles." Jorge B., CIO, Judicial Council of Georgia
"After having to have a hole drilled in an automobile part at a machine shop 10 years ago, I told my uncle I could have done that. My uncle replied, "You are doing this once these guys do it every day" That simply means if you don't know where to turn, get help and get an expert. Ken was that help when I was severely injured during a fatal accident. Ken and his team at Shigley Law are experts, and are here to help you during your crisis. Ken will be there during the injury, recovery, and trial. He and his firm will work hard to see that you are represented fairly!" Jeremy R.
"Ken is a very kind man. He has a wealth of knowledge and is going above and beyond to help us while representing our case." Candy F., spouse of catastrophic injury client, Plains, GA
"I know Ken as trial lawyer of highest standards. Ken is knowledgeable and innovative and that translates to success in the courtroom. He is outgoing, compassionate and personable which makes him a pleasure to work with in any setting." Eric B., Attorney, Canton, GA