Damages in a Georgia wrongful death claim are calculated as if the victim had survived; the court calculates damages as losses sustained by the victim. Though the wrongful death claim is filed by surviving family, the court views the family as the victim's representatives. Clayton County wrongful death attorney Shane Smith represents families who have lost loved ones in auto accidents, truck accidents and DUI accidents.
In Georgia, wrongful death damages calculations are made based on economic and non-economic components. The economic value is somewhat straightforward as actuarial charts can be used to calculate the decedent's life expectancy which can be multiplied by projected career earnings. Calculations are more precise when someone has an established career and multi-year earnings; it is more speculative when a child with no work experience was killed. Even so, economists can speculate based on parental educations and a child's age.
Survivors can also seek "non-economic" damages. These are measured from the standpoint of the decedent, not the survivors. In other words, a jury considers the companionship and life experiences the decedent lost when he died. These are intangible qualities and actuarial tables are used to estimate life expectancy and intangible values.
You should hire an experienced Clayton County wrongful death attorney if you will file a lawsuit on behalf of a family member who died due to another's negligence. Call the Law Offices of Shane Smith for a free consultation.