What damages may be awarded in a wrongful death case? Video Transcript

Dec 20, 2023

In a wrongful death case, damages are awarded based on the unique perspective of the deceased regarding the value of their own life. Georgia stands out as one of the states considering wrongful death damages in this distinct manner. The damages include the estate claim, covering funeral expenses and estate liabilities, and the wrongful death claim, which represents the deceased’s self-assessed value of their life.

Georgia employs the standard of the “enlightened conscience of the jury” to determine an appropriate number for wrongful death damages. Essentially, this means that the jury decides what they believe is a fair representation of how the person valued their life. Consequently, verdicts may vary widely based on the jury’s interpretation of the individual’s life value.

Different cases, such as those involving the elderly robbed of their final years or young mothers dying in childbirth, demand distinct assessments of the person’s life value. The attorney, having handled cases spanning from wrongful death of children to individuals in their 90s, emphasizes the importance of presenting a comprehensive view of the person’s life. By helping the jury connect with the full person, the goal is to convey who the individual was and what they lost if their life was unnecessarily taken.