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Gwinnett County Wrongful Death Attorney Shane Smith Explains How to Value a Wrongful Death Claim

How Do Georgia Courts Value a Loved One’s North Metro Wrongful Death Claim?

Losing a loved one because of the negligence or recklessness of another legal person, whether it be a drunk driver, a convicted murderer or a business that failed to provide your loved one with a safe working environment is the last thing you want to happen. However, when it does happen and you have established responsibility through police and/or accident reports and you think you have a case, the next thing is to make sure in order to obtain justice for your loved one is to have the Gwinnett County death claim. While obtaining a monetary award on your deceased family member’s behalf will never bring them back, it will give you closure and get justice on their behalf.

Speaking with a Gwinnett County wrongful death attorney from the Law Offices of Shane Smith will enable you to make sure your Georgia wrongful death claim recovers the maximum allowed by law so you can obtain closure for the loss of your loved one.

How is Your Suwanee Wrongful Death Claim Calculated?

Economic Damages

The most important and primary component of a Georgia wrongful death claim is referred to as the “economic component.” This refers to the projected value of your deceased loved one’s projected future earnings or services that are able to be economically valued. Essentially, if your loved one could have earned wages and income or provided services that can be valued, these can be calculated into your Gwinnett County wrongful death claim. Normally, this includes potential lifetime lost wages if your loved one worked for a company or the income from your loved one’s own business through passive and direct income and any goodwill the company may be worth. However and whatever is calculated here is calculated to the present value.

In addition to what your loved one may have earned, your Georgia wrongful death claim is also calculated by income received from pensions, retirement plan payouts, and similar sources of income. If your loved one has received social security disability benefits, this can often be considered income and therefore may be included in this portion of calculating the total claim amount for your loved one.

Non-Economic Damages

As the name implies, non-economic benefits are those beyond what the deceased person’s current and future earning capacities may be. These damages are more subjective and are evaluated by a jury during a potential Georgia wrongful death claim. Examples of non-economic damages include the loss of the ability for your loved one to live life itself and loss of the enjoyment of activities of the deceased family member’s life. According to the 2002 case Brock v. Wedincamp, all of these non-economic damages are measured from the perspective of the deceased, not the surviving family members. Since a jury has a much greater role in awarding non-economic damages it is imperative to have the right Georgia wrongful death attorney representing you during a wrongful death claim.

Understanding how damages in a wrongful death claim in Georgia are calculated can be complicated. Since everyone’s Gwinnett County wrongful death circumstances are unique from the cause to the at-fault parties to the damages, it is essential to make sure that you have an experience Gwinnett County wrongful death attorney. The Law Offices of Shane Smith has many lawyers that are experienced in evaluating potential claims, building and filing cases and maximizing damages in Georgia wrongful death claims. Call our offices at (888) 927-6955 for your free consultation to obtain justice and closure for your loved one.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia