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Gauging the value of a human life

How do you put a price on a human life? Just asking the question is hard for many. However, in the aftermath of a tragic death, especially if that loss was preventable, the question is bound to come up. And if you happen to be among those who suffered the loss, putting things in the context of money is about the only way to seek and obtain compensation.

What sparks this post is a spate of recent deadly disasters involving high-rise buildings. In London, the 24-story Grenfell Tower went up in flames killing at least 80 residents. That happened in June. As of earlier this month, reports say many victims remain unidentified. Meanwhile, last month in Hawaii, three people died in a blaze in a high-rise apartment building built in 1971. Fire officials say a sprinkler system would have saved lives, but like many older structures, it lacks such measures.

Such a disaster might not seem to be a matter of great concern here in Carrollton and the West Georgia area. There aren't many tall buildings decorating the skyline. Still, considering that the community dates its incorporation back to 1829 and that most houses are renter occupied, it seems worth asking whether building codes are adequate and whether all residences in the community are in compliance.

If they are not, and if someone suffers loss because of neglect on the part of a property owner, victims owe it to themselves to consult with an experienced attorney to learn what rights they have and how to protect them.

Sadly, losses occur on almost daily basis due car accidents. All too frequently lives are lost due the negligence of others. While the disasters in London and Hawaii seems worlds away, motor vehicle losses and deaths occur frequently and close to home. 

In the wake of the London and Hawaii fires, some are launching efforts to get older buildings across the country retrofitted with sprinkler systems. Not surprisingly, many owners object, citing the required expense. But as one Hawaii lawmaker notes, somehow apartment owners and managers need to be made to see that the value human life outweighs such concerns.

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Van Pelt and Dufour Law Firm
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Carrollton, GA 30117

Phone: 770-884-6854
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