Measuring Damages In Wrongful Death Cases

As every individual is unique, so is the challenge faced by a trial attorney in trying to address a jury on the issue of the proper measurement of damages in the wrongful death case of any individual. All individuals are different. They come from different backgrounds and they are different ages, sexes, races, nationalities and religious beliefs. Whoever the unfortunate victim in a wrongful death case may be, the challenge is coming up with the best assessment of addressing damages when trying to obtain compensation for the loss of the full value of the life of the decedent. While all wrongful death cases involve the death of an innocent victim caused by the negligence of a third party, nonetheless, the measure of damages in all such cases is completely different depending upon the unique circumstances involved. As an example, there is a considerable difference in the measurement of damages of a young person verses an older person because the measurement for damages is the full value of the life of the decedent. Someone who has lived to 80 years of age and may only have a life expectancy of 5 years has a different loss than does a decedent who is only 20 years of age and loses 60 to 65 years of their life.
In Georgia there is a unique measurement used to establish the full value of the life of a decedent. The measurement is from the standpoint of the decedent, not the grieving family or heirs-at-law. What did the decedent lose when his life was prematurely cut short? Obviously, they lost the companionship of their loved ones, loss of their life interests, the loss of their relationships, the loss of their professional pursuits, etc. By definition, all such loses are unique to the particulars of the decedent.
In future blogs we will address how we go about trying to obtain fair compensation for the full value of a life of the decedent whether they be young or old, black or white, male of female. There are challenges when addressing the proper measurement of money damages in these cases because damages are arrived upon by a jury based upon their “enlightened consciousness” as to what fair compensation would be for the full value of the life of the decedent. There are many different approaches to discuss monetary damages which we will review in future entries on this subject.

Published on:

Comments are closed.

Contact Information