Wrongful death actions are designed to provide the families of victims who have died as the result of some type of accident, with compensation. The compensation awarded in a wrongful death action is meant to recompense the families of victims for certain expenses incurred due to the death. It is also intended to replace the income and services lost as a result of the person’s death.
There are different types of financial damages available in a wrongful death case. How much money will be awarded, however, depends entirely on the facts of each individual case and the discretion of the judge and jury.
Before we get to the different types of damages allowed, it is important to keep a few things in mind.
First, not everyone is allowed to file a wrongful death action. The law in Georgia is very specific as to who is allowed to file a wrongful death suit.
Second, Georgia’s wrongful death statute allows for the recovery of both economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are things you can put a dollar amount on. These are things like funeral expenses, for example. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are damages that do not have an identifiable monetary amount. These are things like decedent’s pain and suffering.
Finally, bear in mind that a complete explanation of how damages are calculated is beyond the scope of this short blog post. So, for more information, please contact an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney.
Here are 3 different types of financial damages that may be recovered in a wrongful death/survival action in Georgia.
- Loss of support
In Georgia, the wrongful death statute specifies the recovery for the “full value of life.” The statute does not, however, detail what the economic portion of “the full value of life” is. As a result, it has been left to the courts to decide. According to caselaw, the “full value of life” has both an economic and non-economic component. One economic component to a person’s full value of life that can be recovered is his or her probable future earnings and services.
- Loss of consortium for loss of a spouse
When the person bringing the wrongful death case is a spouse of the decedent, damages may be recovered for loss of companionship as well as for mental pain and suffering.
- Decedent’s pain and suffering
Recovery for medical and funeral expenses incurred as a result of the death-causing incident must be filed in a separate, survival action brought by the executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate.
Among other expenses, a survival action allows for the recovery of the pain and suffering experienced by the decedent before his or her death.
Wrongful death actions are complex by nature, and each case has its own unique facts and circumstances. They frequently require expert evidence, and all cases need expert handling. If you have lost a loved one, it is important to seek the advice of experienced personal injury counsel right away.
Accident Attorneys in Georgia.
The personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, P.C., are here to help you. We serve clients in Atlanta, and in several counties throughout Georgia, including: Clayton County, Cobb County, Dekalb County, Douglas County, Fulton County, and Paulding County, among others. To find out how we can help you, call us at: 770-888-7707. Or contact us here.