If you have lost a family member because of the negligent, reckless or wrongful actions of another person, your family can file a Georgia wrongful death civil lawsuit seeking financial compensation from the responsible party.
Wrongful death damages are intended to compensate a family for expenses related to the death and their personal loss as well as to punish the responsible party. An Atlanta wrongful death attorney can help determine the amount of compensation your family is eligible to receive.
There are two types of wrongful death damages:
1. Compensatory damages
2. Punitive damages
Compensatory damages refer to money intended as compensation. This money is intended to repay a victim's family for the costs of medical care, funeral and burial, time missed from work, property damage and any other expenses the family incurred as a direct result of the accident or even that caused the wrongful death.
Compensatory damages can also be awarded for services and income that the loved one would have contributed to the family had the deceased family member survived. These damages may include:
- Payment for the work income the victim would have earned had they survived
- Compensation for benefits such as health insurance that was provided by the deceased
- Compensation for the services the loved one provided to the household, including child care, household work, yard work, and other chores
- Damages for the loss of companionship or parental guidance
Punitive damages are monetary damages that are paid to the family of the deceased and are meant solely to punish the person who caused the death and discourage similar wrongful acts in the future.
A judge or jury has the discretion to determine the amount of punitive damages that are awarded. In Georgia, punitive damages are capped at $250,000 unless the person intended to harm the deceased.
Monetary compensation cannot begin to replace your loved one or to make up for the death. But, it can ease the financial strain on your family; It can ensure that children are financially provided for in the absence of a parent and it can help you get accountability.
To learn more, contact Shane Smith Law and ask to schedule a free Confidential consultation with an Atlanta wrongful death attorney.