Serious Injury & Death
SERIOUS INJURY & DEATH LAWYER
We understand how important this is.
You only have one life. When a life is seriously changed or ended, the legal system gives you one chance to do something about it.
Wrongful Death Lawyer
When someone else’s negligence or misconduct causes serious injury or death, the consequences reach far beyond the person who has been harmed. Families and relationships are affected. With serious injuries, family members and friends must rearrange their own lives to care for the injured person. With death, friends and family members who used to depend on the person are left with nowhere to turn.
No lawsuit can undo a serious injury or bring a person back to life. But the law does allow victims to recover money from the party who caused the harm. That can help—a monetary recovery can pay for professional assistance in caring for a seriously injured person or provide financial support for those who depended on a person who died.
Death cases are not easy. They’re not easy on the surviving relatives and they’re not easy for attorneys to handle. While many lawyers claim to handle death cases, few really know the law. Attorneys at Butler Tobin have spoken at legal seminars and written in legal publications about the subject. The jury’s verdict in a wrongful death case should reflect the “full value of the life” that was lost, and that “full value” should be measured from the point of view of the person who died. O.C.G.A. § 51-4-2(a); Brock v. Wedincamp, 235 Ga. App. 275, 280 (2002). Further, a wrongful death suit is intended to keep the wrongful conduct from happening again because, as Georgia’s courts have determined, the statute “is itself punitive.” Ford Motor Co. v. Stubblefield, 171 Ga. App. 331, 340 (1984). In that sense, a civil suit can give purpose to tragedy—it can deter the defendant from hurting someone else. For an education on the statute of limitations for a wrongful death case (O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33), and to learn more about Georgia’s laws dealing with wrongful death cases, read our injury blog.
The jury that heard this wrongful death argument returned a verdict of $150 million.
Serious injuries and deaths can arise in:
Serious Injury Lawyer
Serious injury cases present their own challenges. After a serious injury, a financial recovery can provide for the injured person’s family. In addition to an injured person’s medical bills, Georgia law establishes that she should be compensated for the way her life has been changed—sometimes called “quality of life.” Randall Memorial Mortuary, Inc. v. O’Quinn, 202 Ga. App. 541, 543 (1992). Further, the law permits a seriously injured person’s family members to be compensated for the way their own lives have changed—often termed their “loss of consortium.” Thompson v. Allstate Ins. Co., 285 Ga. 24, 26-27 (2009). An attorney must know these details.
No matter how serious an injury or how heartbreaking a death, our legal system provides only one chance to file a civil lawsuit—which is why it’s important to hire the right attorney. Speak directly to the attorney who will be handling your case. Make sure that the attorney, not just a staff person, understands how the tragedy has changed your life and your family. Insist that the attorney explain both the strengths and weaknesses of your case to you.
At Butler Tobin, we understand that our clients only have one chance. Our job is to make it count.
Juries like to know what our clients have been through. At Butler Tobin, we ask our clients’ doctors to provide testimony explaining what they did and why. In this video clip from a deposition taken for use at trial, our client’s spine surgeon explained the lower back surgery (called an anterior lumber interbody fusion, or ALIF) to the jury.
Malcom Smith, an eighteen-year old college student and professional dancer, was riding in the back seat of a friend’s car when another driver made an illegal left turn. The car smashed into the car Malcom was riding in, paralyzing him from the waist down. We took the case and prepared for trial. We were ready. On the Saturday night before a trial specially set for Tuesday, the defendants gave in and agreed to a confidential settlement that will provide funds to Malcom for the rest of his life. The amount exceeded the defendant’s policy limits by a substantial amount.
Back surgeries are always serious. At Butler Tobin, we meet with our clients’ doctors and take video depositions, which is when our clients’ doctors testify about the injuries. Once the defendants and insurance companies see those depositions, our clients frequently receive settlements. If the case does not settle at that point, then we have a video deposition that we can play for the jury at trial.
Death Cases: What Duties Are Owed and to Whom
For-Trial Deposition of Spine Doctor in Paralysis Case [Client Name Redacted]