We are fortunate to live in America; for in America, all life is valued. This is particularly true in Georgia.
There are two basic categories of claims.
The first is for the “the full value of the life of the decedent as shown by the evidence” O.C.G.A. § 51-4-1 et seq. This allows recovery for the economic value of a life, i.e. lifetime lost earnings. Yet, more importantly, this also allows recovery for lost enjoyment of life. i.e. what was missed or would be missed by the loved one? Seeing your children grow up? Getting married? Eating your favorite dessert? All of these factors are evaluated by the jury.
The second includes recovery for the pain and suffering experienced in between the time of the wrongdoing and death. (i.e. a person who is hit in a DUI case, and who lingers in pain for 3 months before eventually dying. This second category also allows recovery of the unnecessary medical expenses and funeral expenses.
Of course, nothing will bring back the loved one. However, a recovery can (1) hold the defendant accountable; (2) reduce the amount of financial suffering of the family.