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Understanding damages in a Georgia wrongful death claim

On Behalf of | May 20, 2023 | Personal Injury

Losing a loved one because someone was negligent is overwhelming and difficult to deal with. In Georgia, the law allows for the filing of a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for the loss. This process can provide financial relief during a difficult time.

In a wrongful death claim, “damages” refer to the monetary compensation that the court can award. Learn about the types of damages you can request in a wrongful death claim.

Economic damages

Economic damages aim to compensate for the tangible financial losses resulting from the death. These can include the deceased’s lost wages and benefits, medical expenses related to the final illness or injury and funeral and burial costs.

Non-economic damages

Non-economic damages compensate for the intangible losses experienced. These can include the loss of companionship, emotional distress and the pain and suffering of the deceased prior to death.

Punitive damages

In some cases, you may also receive punitive damages in a wrongful death claim. Unlike economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages do not aim to compensate the claimant for a loss. Instead, they aim to punish the wrongdoer for particularly reckless or malicious behavior and to deter similar conduct in the future.

The full value of the life of the deceased

In Georgia, a unique aspect of wrongful death damages is the concept of the “full value of the life of the deceased.” This includes both economic and non-economic factors. It considers the deceased’s earning potential as well as the intangible elements, such as the loss of enjoyment of life.

It is important to understand the types of damages that you can request in a wrongful death suit. While no amount of money can truly compensate for the loss of a loved one, these damages can provide significant financial support and a sense of justice during a challenging time.