How Do You Determine Future Damages in a Georgia Wrongful Death Case?

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A young woman meets with her attorney to discuss future damges in a wrongful death case.

If, in the regrettable event, the intentional or negligent actions of another lead to the death of a family member, certain family members of the deceased may be entitled to significant financial compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit. According to Georgia law, in a wrongful death claim, the child or spouse of the decedent may recover “the value of the life of the decedent as shown by evidence.” This financial value may include both economic and non-economic damages. However, in many cases, a significant portion of recovered compensation will consist of future lost wages.

Have you experienced the loss of a loved one due to the negligence of another? Contact Ali Awad, ‘the CEO Lawyer,’ and his team of experienced personal injury attorneys at the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm by calling  (833) 254-2923 or contacting us online to receive your free and confidential case evaluation. Attorney Ali Awad, ‘the CEO Lawyer,’ established the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm and quickly turned it into one of the fastest-growing law firms in the country. If we take your case, you won’t pay anything until we win.

What is a Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is the death of another person caused by negligence. Wrongful death claims do not discriminate between cases where an individual was killed instantly or succumbed to their injuries sometime after the accident. When someone dies due to the negligent actions of another party, a wrongful death claim is appropriate. A wrongful death claim will be filed on behalf of the estate or next of kin of the decedent, typically as the decedent’s spouse or child. Damages available will depend on state law, but they may include:

  •   Funeral expenses
  •   Loss of wages and benefits
  •   Loss of parental care and guidance
  •   Loss of companionship
  •   Medical expenses prior to death
  •   Pain and suffering experienced by the decedent prior to death
  •   Emotional distress suffered by the family of the decedent as a result of the death

Loss of Wages & Benefits

In a wrongful death claim, a petitioner may be awarded compensation equivalent to all the wages the decedent would have earned over their expected lifetime had they not been killed. This may include salary, wages, and the value of the descendant’s other benefits, such as pensions, investment returns, employee benefits, and more.

What if the Deceased was Unemployed?

If the decedent was unemployed at the time of death, the wrongful death claim plaintiff might still receive compensation for future lost wages. Juries are permitted to consider the employment capacity of the decedent (age, health, work history, education) to make a determination when considering an award for lost wages damages. Therefore, damages may be awarded in cases where the deceased was disabled, a student, a child, or incarcerated at the time of death. Furthermore, juries can take into account whether or not the defendant would likely have received a promotion or advanced their career to reflect a more accurate lost wages monetary amount.

What if the Deceased was a Child?

Although it is difficult to accurately gauge what type of earnings a child may have made over the course of a lifetime, juries may consider evidence that generally suggests what the earning power of the child may have been. For example, statistics and current employment trends of people similarly situated may be used to demonstrate earning potential.

What About Stay-at-Home Spouses?

A homemaker, or spouse who stays home to take care of the children, is recognized by Georgia law as providing important services that have an economic value. Therefore, in a wrongful death claim, children or spouses may recover the monetary value of the household, childcare, and other services (including elderly and disabled care) that the decedent would have provided during their life.

It is essential to know your rights. If a loved one has been killed due to the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation for financial hardship caused by the negligent party’s actions. Sadly, in 2020, in the U.S. alone, unintentional accidents were the fourth leading cause of the death of U.S. citizens.

Wrongful Death Damages

Damages in wrongful death claims may be classified as either economic, non-economic, or punitive damages. Economic damages are all expenses associated with the decedent’s death that have a distinct financial value. Non-economic damages are intangible losses that can be difficult to appoint a monetary figure to, especially as the value of a loved one can never be adequately compensated.

Economic Damages

Economic damages include all the costs associated with the decedent’s death that can be compensated with money. Economic damages may include:

  •   Lost wages
  •   Benefits of the decedent, including medical coverage and pension plans
  •   Goods and services that would have been provided by the deceased
  •   Funeral expenses
  •   Medical expenses
  •   Attorneys fees

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages include all of the non-tangible damages that do not have a specific dollar amount. Non-economic damages can include:

  •   Loss of care
  •   Loss of training
  •   Loss of nurturing or guidance
  •   Mental suffering
  •   Physical pain
  •   Loss of love
  •   Loss of companionship

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are reserved for cases where the liable party’s actions were especially egregious or displayed a high degree of recklessness. Punitive damages are designed to punish the responsible party to deter similar behavior that could result in a similar tragedy. Punitive damages will vary widely depending on the nature of the offense and the jurisdiction governing the case.

What Are the Time Limits to File a Claim?

It is essential to note that there is a legal deadline, known as a statute of limitations, dictating the length of time in which a person may be able to file a claim. These deadlines will vary from state to state. In the state of Georgia, the statute of limitations is two years from the time of the descendant’s death to file a claim. However, this time limit may be shortened in certain circumstances, such as when the defendant is a government entity. It is best to speak with an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney as soon as possible following the accident to discuss your claim’s unique circumstances.

Monetary Damages Factors

While it is extremely difficult to place a monetary value on the life of a loved one, it is necessary when determining proper compensation for parties seeking compensation for a wrongful death suit. Multiple factors will be considered when calculating monetary damages in a wrongful death lawsuit, including:

  •   The age of the decedent
  •   The earning potential of the decedent
  •   The education and training possessed by the decedent
  •   The health of the defendant prior to death
  •   The age and circumstances of any dependents of the deceased
  •   The total value of lost benefits
  •   Medical expenses of the deceased
  •   Funeral expenses

Experienced Georgia Wrongful Death Attorney

Wrongful death lawsuits are often complex cases that are best left to an experienced attorney with extensive knowledge of Georgia law. If you have lost a loved one due to another’s negligence, you will benefit from having an experienced attorney fight for your right to just compensation. Call Ali Awad, ‘the CEO Lawyer,’ and his experienced team of personal injury wrongful death attorneys today to receive a free, no-obligation consultation. We can assist you with exploring your legal options and avenues to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm by calling (833) 254-2923 or contacting us online. If we take your case, you won’t pay anything until we win.

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Frequently Asked Questions

After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!

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Help Negotiating with Insurance Carriers

To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.

Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?

The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.

Georgia's Personal Injury & Accident Firm

Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.

What to Expect From Your Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney?

During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process. Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today. We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.

Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.