The types of damages that can be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit fall into three main categories as outlined in Georgia law: “full value of the life of” the individual who was wrongfully killed, “funeral, medical, and other necessary expenses” that relate directly the to the injury and death, and the “pain and suffering” that the deceased experience between the time that he or she was injured at the time of his or her death.
Although these claims are all simultaneous in the same lawsuit, they can only be awarded to specific parties. For example, only an authorized family member can be awarded the full value of the life of the deceased, while only the estate can be awarded the funeral and medical expenses. Calculating these amounts is not an exact science, relying heavily on jury and judge interpretation.
The full value of life of an individual includes concrete facts, such as the amount of money per year he or she made and what level of income they had. Other facts are harder to quantify, such as the experience of being a parent and the joy of engaging in hobbies. All are worth a monetary value, however, which is decided on by a jury.
An Atlanta wrongful death attorney may be able to provide more information about filing this type of lawsuit.