What Types of Damages Are Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Case?

If your loved one was killed in an accident, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed right now. You’re angry at the person who did this to your family. You’re also sad because you’ve lost someone you loved. It can be very hard to deal with these emotions. It is almost out of the question to expect someone to take on legal action at the same time. A person can only take so much. Thankfully, our East Point wrongful death attorneys can handle the legal side of things for you. 

Over the years, we have helped dozens of clients who have lost a loved one to a tragic accident. Our goal is to do whatever we can to get your family justice. Ideally, we’ll be able to settle the case rather quickly. In wrongful death cases, there isn’t really a question of injury or causation. Unless there were very unique circumstances, the defendant will be hard pressed to claim that something other than their negligent actions caused the victim’s death. This means that it all comes down to a question of damages. 

Here, we’ll discuss the various types of damages you can demand in a wrongful death case. If you still have questions about your own case, or you’re wondering if you have a case, give us a call. We do offer new clients a free, initial consultation. You can meet with one of our East Point injury lawyers free of charge. 

Not Everybody Can Sue for Wrongful Death in Georgia

Before we discuss damages, it’s important that we explain how the wrongful death laws work in Georgia. Normally, when somebody is hurt in an accident, they can sue the other party for damages. In a wrongful death case, there is no victim because they’ve passed away. They can’t stand up for themselves and demand compensation for their injuries. But that doesn’t mean the defendant is off the hook. There are certain people related to the victim who can still sue for damages.

In Georgia, only the following people have standing to sue for wrongful death:

  • Decedent’s spouse
  • Children of victim if there is no surviving spouse
  • Victim’s children 
  • Next of kin
  • Personal representative of estate

If you don’t fall into one of these categories, you don’t have standing to sue for wrongful death. The only option you may have is asking the personal representative of the decedent’s estate to file suit on behalf of the family.

Your Family is Entitled to Compensation for the Loss of Your Loved One

If your loved one dies at the hands of another person, your family may be entitled to damages. There are two main types of damages in a wrongful death case. The first type involves damages for the full value of the decedent’s life. This includes things like lost wages and lost future earnings. Depending on how old the victim was when they passed, this could be a significant amount. 

Another type of damages you can demand is for the loss of companionship. Thanks to the defendant, you and your family will no longer get to spend time with your loved one. You can’t enjoy them during the holidays or give them a hug when you get good news. If you’re the spouse of the victim, you can also demand compensation for loss of consortium. Because of the accident, you will no longer get to enjoy the love of your spouse. The defendant needs to be held accountable for these losses. 

East Point wrongful death attorney

Your East Point Wrongful Death Attorney Will Also Demand Economic Damages

In addition to the damages listed above, you can also demand economic damages. This includes the money it costs to bury your loved one. The defendant will be liable for any funeral and burial expenses. They will also be responsible for any medical bills that are outstanding. 

When your loved one passed away, they likely were in a hospital or emergency room. There could be ambulance or hospital bills. There could even be thousands of dollars owed for surgery. The defendant should be responsible for all of these expenses. 

In addition, you can demand compensation on behalf of the victim for any pain and suffering they experienced prior to their death. While these may be hard to prove in theory, the defendant’s attorney would probably not risk looking cold and calculated by demanding specific proof for these damages. 

How Will the Settlement Proceeds Be Divided?

When your wrongful death case finally settles, you may wonder how the proceeds will be divided. The first thing you’ll have to do is pay your East Point wrongful death attorney their fee. Then, you’ll need to reimburse the firm any costs associated with your case. After that, you would need to pay any outstanding medical bills or other debts owed by your loved one. 

Once these things are taken care of, the monies will be divided the same way they would have been had your loved one passed away from natural causes. If there is a will, it will be honored. If there was no will, then the regular laws of intestacy in Georgia will be applied. 

Your East Point Injury Lawyer Can Answer Any Questions You May Have

If you recently lost a loved one due to a tragic accident, you’re not alone. Every year, thousands of people are killed due to the negligence of another party. Sometimes these cases involve motor vehicle accidents. Other times, the victim passes away due to medical malpractice. Regardless of the reason, our East Point wrongful death attorneys will do our best to get you the compensation you deserve.

While we’ve outlined the damages you can demand in a wrongful death case here, each case is unique. Depending on the facts surrounding your loved one’s death, your family may be entitled to some, or all of the damages discussed here. It’s hard to know for sure. Even after we’ve had a chance to thoroughly review your claim, there’s no way to know exactly what your claim is worth. However, we will make sure any settlement you accept is fair. 

Right now, you and your family need to focus on the loss of your loved one. You don’t need to be fighting with the insurance companies. Nor do you need the defendant’s lawyer reaching out to you with complete disregard for your loss. Let our East Point injury lawyers handle the legal side of things for you. And, since we offer all new clients a free, initial consultation, it costs nothing to meet with one of our seasoned experts.