If you are looking for a wrongful death lawyer, you want a lawyer with experience, someone you can trust. Lee Wallace has handled wrongful death lawsuits for more than twenty years, in states all over the country. She understands that these cases are about much more than the law – they are about the death of someone you loved very much.
Georgia tort law recognizes the abject tragedy when someone is killed needlessly and wrongfully. Georgia law cannot undo the tragedy, but it does allow the family or the estate of the person to recover the “full value of the life of the decedent without deducting for any of the necessary or personal expenses of the decedent had he lived.” O.C.G.A. § 51-4-1. The full value includes
If you have a loved one who was killed wrongfully, contact us at The Wallace Law Firm, LLC, today. Find out what your legal rights are in the face of the heartbreak you have just experienced.
At The Wallace Law Firm, L.L.C., we recognize that the Georgia wrongful death law has a very important purpose. When a family is left behind, the family can be in dire economic straits because it has lost a breadwinner or a parent who has provided important services to the family, that the family will now have to pay to get. Even when the person who was killed does not leave behind a family, the law recognizes that every person in our society has value.
WHAT IS WRONGFUL DEATH UNDER GEORGIA LAW?
Georgia law refers to a wrongful death as a “homicide”, which we tend to associate with murder. However, under the law, “wrongful death” means “cases in which the death of a human being results from a crime, from criminal or other negligence, or from property which has been defectively manufactured, whether or not as the result of negligence.” O.C.G.A. § 51-4-1.
WHO CAN BRING A SUIT FOR WRONGFUL DEATH?
Under Georgia law, a spouse can bring a wrongful death lawsuit when her husband or his wife is wrongfully killed. If the spouse is not living, the children of the decedent can bring the lawsuit. O.C.G.A. § 51-4-2. Sometimes the person killed does not have a spouse or children living. In that case, the administrator or the executor of his estate can bring the wrongful death case. O.C.G.A. § 51-4-5. Parents are entitled to bring a wrongful death suit for the death of their child. O.C.G.A. §§ 51-4-4 and 19-7-1.
WHAT ARE THE DAMAGES FOR A WRONGFUL DEATH UNDER GEORGIA LAW?
According to the Georgia Court of Appeals, the “full value of the life of the deceased,” is “the gross sum that the deceased would have earned to the end of his life, had he not been killed, reduced to its present cash value. Pollard v. Boatwright, 57 Ga. App. 565 (Ga. Ct. App. 1938). In setting this value, the law allows a jury to consider these factors about the decedent:
- His age at the time of his death;
- His health;
- His habits;
- The amount of money he was earning;
- His life expectancy;
- Employment facts, such as the probable loss of employment, voluntarily absences from work, “dullness in business”, reduction of his wages, increasing infirmities of age, with a corresponding diminution of earning capacity; and
- Other factors “which may contribute to illustration of the gross earnings of a lifetime.”
Pollard v. Boatwright, 57 Ga. App. 565, 568 (Ga. Ct. App. 1938).
If you have lost a family member, contact us at The Wallace Law Firm, L.L.C. We consider it a privilege to be able to help families during such difficult times.