The loss of a loved one is probably one of the toughest things that anyone ever has to emotionally go through, but when the loss of a loved one occurs due to the carelessness or recklessness of another the toughest imaginable obstacle to overcome becomes even more difficult. In addition to the unimaginable emotional toll from losing a loved one, financial difficulties mount and are left upon the surviving family members to overcome.
Wrongful death cases can arise from many different incidents; however an alarming number of deaths occur on our highways. According to a recent survey from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): In 2012, 33,561 people were killed in the estimated 5,615,000 police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes; 2,362,000 people were injured; and 3,950,000 crashes resulted in property damage only. Compared to 2011, this is a 3.3-percent increase in the number of fatalities, and a 5.2-percent increase in the number of police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes, a 6.5-percent increase in the number of people injured, and a 4.6-percent increase in crashes resulting in property damage. An average of 92 people died each day in motor vehicle crashes in 2012 — one every 16 minutes.
The law of the State of Georgia allows the decedent’s life to be valued through their eyes and allows juries to see what meant the most to the person who has lost his or her life, which allows the jury to see the world through the eyes of the person who has tragically left this earth. Helping a stranger across the street, saying hello to a long lost friend and hugging their children after a long day of work are acts that some of us take for granted but when one is killed by the wrongful acts of another they have been robbed of every moment that would have remained in their life and every smile that would have come across their face. Their memory needs to be honored and although it is a difficult task to place a monetary value on the deceased’s life, it is necessary to honor them and mandated by the law. If a baseball player can receive hundreds of millions of dollars for playing a game and a piece of art can be purchased for tens of millions of dollars, it should be no surprise that when placing the value on the remainder of one’s life that the instances in life which are so treasured such as seeing family members on a holiday or kissing a loved one or even giving gifts on a birthday and basking in the warmth of the recipient’s smile should hold a value much higher than a painting or the cost of hitting more home runs in a ball game. Life is precious and those whose lives have been robbed from them deserve the verdicts and case results to reflect that.