Scholle Law Hero Banner
Top 100 Trial Lawyers
Avvo Ratong 10.0
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
AV Preeminent - Martindale-Hubbel
GTLA Member 2018

Georgia Wrongful Death Definitions (O.C.G.A. § 51-4-1)

Lawyer Commentary. This Georgia statute provides two wrongful death-related definitions, “full value of the life of the decedent, as shown by the evidence” and “homicide”. As an Atlanta area wrongful death lawyer, I know that the interpretation of these definitions is very important.

The definition of the “full value of the life of the decedent, as shown by the evidence” can have serious implications for the amount that can be recovered for the loss of a loved one due to the negligence or extreme recklessness of another party (person, business entity or government entity). If construed strictly, this definition does not give much direction on how a jury should determine what the full value of the life of the decedent is worth. Due to this, interpreting Georgia case law is required to ensure the families of the decedent, or the estate, are properly compensated for the loss of their loved one.

The definition of “homicide” is a general definition for the death of a person due to crime, negligence or extreme recklessness. Strict construction of this definition will be sufficient in a wrongful death case, without requiring case law interpretation. This definition encompasses death resulting from the negligent, reckless (extremely careless) or intentional acts of another such as in:

See the full text below: Section 51-4-1 Definitions of ‘Full Value of the Life of the Decedent’; ‘Homicide’

As used in this chapter, the term:

(1) 'Full value of the life of the decedent, as shown by the evidence' means 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.

(2) 'Homicide' includes all 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.

Client Reviews
I have had a great experience with Scholle Law. Since day one I was treated like family and everyone was very professional. Cherie
Charles Scholle is trustworthy. He is a man of his word. He has a heart of compassion, which is needed during a time of hardship and trauma. Joseph
My experience with Scholle Law was very positive. The people I dealt with were very forthcoming with information. They were always available when I had questions. They worked hard for me. Tabatha
Scholle Law was great. Staff was excellent, above and beyond - always! Enjoyed working together, I always felt informed. Michele
I was hit by a tractor trailer and Scholle Law was fantastic about finding me treatment. They were readily available with any questions, concerns and worked in my best interests. I have referred friends and family. Ten Stars for communication, responsiveness, quality of service and value! Five is not enough!! Sarah