Wrongful Death Truck Accident Lawyers in Georgia
The unexpected and tragic death of a spouse, child, parent, sibling, or other loved one is devastating. No one in their wildest imagination could believe the heartache, grief, depression, anger, stress, and worry the death of a family member will cause those left behind. The profound sense of loss is nothing less than earth shattering. All of the memories, hopes and dreams, happy moments, are dashed in the blink of an eye. Rather, the good times and life’s sweetest moments are replaced by bitterness and a sense of injustice. No sum of money could ever replace a loved one. Holding those accountable for the death of a family member, and the suffering the deceased’s family must endure, may provide a sense of closure and a modicum of peace knowing that justice was served.
In Georgia, wrongful death actions are governed by statute. Georgia Code §§51-4-1 to 51-4-6 provides the exclusive remedies for family members who have lost a spouse, parent, child, sibling, or next of kin. The statute allows the spouse or children to recover the value of the whole life of the deceased spouse or parent. The surviving spouse and the children share any financial recovery they receive from the person who killed their loved one. Additionally, Georgia Code §19-7-1 allows the parents of a deceased child to recover for the loss of the whole life of their child.
If a person does not have a spouse or child living at the time or his or her death, then the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can bring a wrongful death claim. The personal representative holds any recovery for the next of kin of the deceased. The deceased’s next of kin may recover compensation for the value of the full life of the decedent in addition to recovering compensation for the funeral, medical, and other expenses.
The value of a whole life is impossible to imagine. Every life is invaluable. However, the statute endeavors to assign a value to a person’s life to help their loved one obtain the financial compensation they might have received had the person not been killed in an accident.The amount of recovery depends on how long the person might be expected to live in conjunction with the earning capacity of the person without accommodation for expenses a person might incur during their lifetime. Earning capacity can be proved by showing the educational level, the type of work, and the potential for increasing their salary. This is just one method of measuring damages. The life of a housewife killed in a tractor-trailer crash certainly has value, as does a child’s life who was killed before the child had a chance to grow up and become employed.
In Georgia, the law allows life expectancy to be calculated by considering the person’s age at death and taking into account the health of the deceased, the habits of the person such as whether they smoked or drank alcohol to excess, and the person’s living habits. Mortality tables created by actuaries can assist in determining the reasonable life expectancy of the deceased had they not been killed in a wreck.
A surviving spouse is entitled to recover for loss of consortium. Loss of consortium is the amount of compensation to which the surviving spouse can recover for their loss of society, companionship, and all of the intangible benefits of marriage.
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