Calculating Damages in an Atlanta Wrongful Death Case

If you have suffered the loss of someone you love, an experienced wrongful death attorney is helpful in many ways. Benefits could include the experience with similar wrongful death cases, past settlements that have resulted, the ability to look at all of the intangible factors in that person’s life, and the ability to quantify that for a jury, or for the other side in a settlement situation to maximize the amount of recovery. Calculating damages in your Atlanta wrongful death case does not have to be challenging and is extremely important. Let an attorney help you.

Evaluating Compensation Needed for Non-Economic Losses

Some of the different factors that are looked at when evaluating non-economic losses are the age of the deceased. That is important because projections are made as to how much longer that person would have lived. Obviously, the compensation given for the wrongful death of an 82-year-old person is going to be different than that of a 22-year-old person’s life. That is not to say that one is better than the other, but one had longer to live than the other. That is one factor that is looked at.

Another factor that is looked at is how much that person enjoyed their life, what the quality of their life was:

  • The things that surround that person,
  • Who they were married to,
  • What their children were like,
  • What their relationships in their lives were like,
  • What kind of work they did, and
  • Their income.

If the person was working, the reality is that a high-income person’s life is going to be valued differently, not because of the intangible, but just because of the loss of income. If a victim had a high paying job, then that income could be quantified and valued as compensable.

Factors that Determine the Worth of Future Income

Loss of future income is determined by how many working years the person had left. A jury is not going to be inclined to compensate a victim’s surviving heirs if the victim was in the later stages of life. Jurors would have to have somebody who is still in their working years and have working years left to offer. Sometimes, one could show evidence from witnesses or people who knew the deceased person an say that the person was planning on working for another 10 years before he or she retired. That could be offered into evidence.

Obviously how much that person was earning is a factor to consider. Through the use of experts, such as economists, attorneys could project out how much that person would have earned, including increases to their wage over time as one would expect. An expert economist could help quantify that for a jury and for purposes of any settlement.

The Value of an Expert When Quantifying Loss

If an individual makes $15.00 an hour and was to pass away tomorrow, a rough calculation of how many hours that person typically worked at $15.00 an hour would be the base loss of income. But there are projections that could be made for how much more that person would have made through his or her life.

An expert economist can look at somebody’s career projection and say that person was advancing through his or her company and understanding the type of work that he or she was doing. It would have been reasonable to assume that this person would have advanced another “X” number of levels through his or her career based on education and work history. Because of that, economists could calculate in the salary of what that person typically earned in that position three career advancements up.

A seasoned economist looks at somebody’s background and education and project, with a reasonable sense of accuracy, what future earnings would have looked like. That is exceptionally important when calculating somebody’s lost wages and what that means to a family.

Ascribing a Value to the Loss of Companionship

The value of the loss of companionship is ultimately left up to the enlightened conscience of a jury. There is no formula that is used for it. If it concerns a deceased husband and wife, then the nature of the relationship between the two is looked at. Attorneys look at how she helped the husband, the nature of how close that relationship was, what type of work they did together around the house, and what kind of moments they shared.

For children of the person who died, it is the nature of that parent-child relationship and what kind of moments that they would have had that one could envision: the normal moments that happen throughout a life. If a child dies very young in the father’s life, then that father misses out on things such as seeing those first steps, the first bike ride, or the first day of school; certain moments and milestones that that person lost by virtue of their death are presented to juries for compensation. Those are some of the factors that are looked at.

The Importance of Thoughtful Calculations

It is important to have a thoughtful analysis of the value of loss of companionship because it could be easy for an inexperienced lawyer who does not handle a lot of wrongful death cases to undervalue that component of it. It is the most significant loss to understand, the day-to-day factors that go into companionship, and the real value of that.

A person’s day-to-day experiences and relationships with other people are extremely important; they make the person. An individual would want to have a calculation of that loss, that truly notes the significance and the value of it, and that does not undersell it.

Reach Out to a Compassionate Attorney Today

The untimely and wrongful death of a friend or loved one is something no one should have to experience. However, these unfortunate accidents do not have to leave you without the compensation you need for your most personal losses. However, calculating damages in an Atlanta wrongful death case is challenging. Instead of relying on best-guesses, let a team of cleint-centered attorneys work with you. Attorneys could utilize an in-house medical professional to analyze the losses you have experienced and then present that information in court with cutting-edge presentation technology. Attorneys are ready to speak directly to you after hours and review your case for free. Call today.