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GEORGIA PERSONAL INJURY AND CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS

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Atlanta Police Brutality lawyer

Government officials have a duty to protect and reasonably prevent injury to anyone in custody. If their negligence or malicious intent leads to your loved one’s death, you may have grounds for a civil wrongful death claim. These cases may involve matters of both Georgia and federal law. Contact the attorneys at ChancoSchiffer P.C. today to schedule a free initial consultation.

What Is a Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death occurs when someone else’s action or inaction directly leads to the death of another. Georgia law has unique rules for who can file a wrongful death claim:

  • The spouse of the decedent is the first person who can file a wrongful death claim. He or she also represents the interests of any surviving minor children.
  • The surviving parents can also file a claim for wrongful death, if the decedent had no spouse or children, and;
  • The estate (and its administrator) can file a claim on behalf of any beneficiaries following a wrongful death.

Georgia law also recognizes particular damages following a wrongful death claim. The intent of a wrongful death claim is to compensate for the “full value of the life of the deceased.” This includes all economic damages and general damages that arise from your loved one’s death, including:

  • Loss in wages or benefits, including expected lifetime earning capacity, and;
  • Loss of companionship, care, and guidance.

Wrongful death claims also seek to provide compensation for the financial losses associated with your loved one’s death. This includes things like funeral and burial expenses, as well as any pain and suffering your loved one suffered prior to his or her death.

Wrongful Death in Custody: A Matter of Constitutional Rights

A death in police custody often represents a violation of your loved one’s civil rights. In particular, there are two laws that may apply to your wrongful death claim:

  • The Fourth Amendment – this amendment prohibits the use of unreasonable search and seizure. If your loved one’s death resulted from excessive force in custody, it is likely a violation of his or her Fourth Amendment Rights.
  • The Eighth Amendment – this bans the use of cruel and unusual punishment.

A prisoner has certain legal rights when he or she is in police custody – it doesn’t matter if he or she has been arrested, convicted, or faces a pending trial. Police officers, prison guards, and other officials have a responsibility to protect prisoners and their legal rights.

A municipality, for example, may even be responsible for damages that result if a prisoner becomes ill and does not receive medical treatment that would have led to a better outcome.

Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death

Each state has certain time limits, called the statute of limitations, for wrongful death and personal injury cases. In the state of Georgia, the time limit is two years from the date of the death. However, deaths in custody involve claims against the government, which can involve an even shorter time limit. It’s in your best interest to contact an attorney and review your legal options as soon as possible.

Your Georgia Wrongful Death Attorney

If you lost a loved one in police custody, you may be able to collect any damages that result under federal and state law. These cases require care, attention, and experience with both civil rights and personal injury law. The attorneys at ChancoSchiffer P.C. can help you hold the municipality or government officials responsible for your loved one’s death and prevent the same tragedy from happening to others. If you believe your loved one’s death resulted from police negligence or malicious intent, contact us today and schedule a free, confidential consultation with our firm.