Life is the most valuable gift any of us have. The unexpected death of a loved one is always a tragedy. Sometimes a tragic death is someone else’s fault. When that happens, the law in Georgia, and elsewhere, allows families to hold the wrongdoer responsible for their loved one’s death through wrongful death claims. Wrongful death law allows the spouse, children, or parents of the victim to receive compensation on behalf of the victim.
Frequently Asked Questions
Under Georgia law, an individual can sue a wrongdoer for their loved one’s death. If the person who died was legally married, the surviving spouse can bring a wrongful death claim. If the person who died had no surviving spouse, then the victim’s children can bring the claim. And if the person who died had no surviving children, then the victim’s parents can bring the wrongful death claim. The person who brings the claim may not be the only person who receives the recovery obtained. If a person leaves a spouse and children behind, for example, then the spouse and children will split the recovery according to proportions set out in the Georgia Code. Contact us to understand more about how wrongful death recoveries work.
Wrongful death claims are generally like personal injury claims. One difference, however, is in the measure of damages. In Georgia, the damages in wrongful death cases are the “full value of the life of the decedent.” While life is priceless, and no amount of money is sufficient to restore a life, Georgia courts have defined the “full value” of a person’s life as having both an economic component and a noneconomic component.
Noneconomic damages are the true measure of a wrongful death claim and include all those “intangible” aspects that make life worth living. It is the value that the deceased person would place on his or her own life that was lost.
Economic damages include:
- The loss of income the victim would have earned over the course of a normal lifetime;
- The loss of benefits, such as pension plans or medical coverage; and
- The value of services the victim provided (like cooking, picking up a child from daycare, or home maintenance).
Through a claim on behalf of the decedent’s estate, loved ones can also recover punitive damages, which are awarded to punish, penalize, or deter the wrongdoer for especially bad conduct. Cannella Snyder lawyers have considerable experience establishing wrongful death damages.
If you are reading this webpage, you are likely suffering grief, heartache, and immense loss. Our hearts go out to you. We understand that the sudden death of a loved one affects everyone differently. We know that your lost loved one was special to you and others, and we strive to get to know them through your memories and descriptions. We also understand your desire to seek justice for your loved one’s death. That’s why we work tirelessly on your behalf to hold the wrongdoer responsible and to maximize your recovery for the loss of your previous family member one. We know that money cannot bring your loved one back. At Cannella Snyder, we use wrongful death claims to compensate those left behind, to hold those responsible accountable for their actions, and to push them to change their behavior going forward so that they do not injure or kill anyone else.
All Cannella Snyder’s wrongful death cases are handled on a contingency basis. That means you pay nothing out of pocket to retain the firm or for expenses incurred during the case. We get paid only if there is a recovery. If there is, we receive a percentage of the recovery and recoup the expenses we paid. At Cannella Snyder, there are no upfront costs or consultation fees. And if there is no recovery, you owe the firm nothing.