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 members, 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.
It is essential for a Georgia wrongful death attorney to meticulously prepare for defense arguments that will attempt to blame the victim. The defense will likely use one or a combination of the following defenses:
- The victim contributed to his death by not taking safety precautions such as wearing a seat belt or not having a child safety seat properly installed;
- The victim's vehicle was not properly maintained, thus contributing to the accident and the victim's death;
- The at-fault driver was not the only cause of the accident (or other parties—named in the suit or not—or outside influences contributed to the accident, thus minimizing or negating the defendant's fault;
- The victim did not receive adequate medical treatment that could have saved his life.
An experienced wrongful death attorney will acquire accident evidence and documentation to present a compelling case. This will include:
- Police accident reports;
- Medical records;
- Accident scene photographs;
- Eyewitness testimony.
Georgia juries in wrongful death claims may consider the victim's life, age, health, business situation, activities and other facts relevant to the case. Jurors may also consider the victim's expected earnings during the duration of his working lifetime, his medical benefits or retirement/pension that would have been accrued, any expected inheritance he had not yet received and the victim's physical or mental suffering endured prior to death as a direct result of his injuries.
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 at (770) 487-8999 for a free consultation.