How do you establish the value of a Georgia wrongful death claim?

| Apr 22, 2020 | Wrongful Death |

When someone causes a car crash that claimed the life of your loved one, it is normal to want justice. In some situations, Georgia state prosecutors can bring charges against people who cause fatal collisions, especially if they were in violation of state law at the time of the crash. Drag racing or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol are examples of situations where a driver could face criminal consequences for their poor decisions.

However, if the state of Georgia does not prosecute or even if they do, your family may desire a more direct form of justice. Bringing a wrongful death claim against the person or business whose actions or negligence directly contributed to your loved one’s death can be a way for your family to secure justice after an untimely and tragic loss. 

How do you put a price on the loss of someone you love?

There is nothing easy about losing someone you love, but trying to put a financial price on their presence in your life can be one of the most difficult things you do while adjusting to your new normal. You can’t just set an arbitrary figure that you feel represents your emotional attachment to your loved one and file a lawsuit requesting that amount. Instead, you need to demonstrate the impact of your loss to the courts in order to validate the amount of compensation that you claim.

Typically, you have the right to seek two kinds of compensation in Georgia. You can seek “the full value of life,” which includes the practical and invisible contributions of your deceased loved one to your family. You can also make a claim related to the pain and suffering of your loved one prior to their death.

Gathering information will help you determine a reasonable value

Verifiable, tangible financial losses after a sudden death will include the cost of medical care for your loved one, funeral and burial expenses, lost wages and loss of household support.

If your loved one took care of the children every day when you were at work, that arguably saved your family thousands of dollars a month. You simply have to determine how much it would cost to pay someone else to do that same work. Requesting compensation for the loss of support and companionship of your loved one is more intangible, but it is possible to place a reasonable value on it.

Finally, compensation for pain and suffering that your loved one experienced will directly relate to what right to bring a claim they would have had if they had survived. The worse the injury and the pain they endured, the more compensation you could request. Once you determine the approximate value of your claim, you can then decide whether you want to take action.