Under Alabama law, there is a cause of action for recovery against individuals or business entities for negligent actions that result in the death of a person. Wrongful death lawsuits are based upon special statutes which attempt to provide justice to the families of injury victims who have died as the result of the wrongful acts of another. Wrongful death can be the result of many circumstances, such as:
• Fatal Car Crashes
• Drunk Driving Fatalities
• Commercial Truck (i.e. 18-Wheeler, Tractor Trailer) Accidents
• Prescription Drug and Medical Device Injuries
• Medical Malpractice
• Construction Accidents
• Premises Liability
• Accidental Drowning and Falls
• Workplace Accidents
• Railroad Accidents
• Defective Designs of Products or Vehicles
Alabama’s wrongful death statute is unique in that the only damages that may be recovered for wrongful death are punitive damages. These damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from similar conduct in the future. Under Alabama law, compensatory damages, which include damages such as pain and suffering, medical expenses, loss of income and mental anguish, are not recoverable in a wrongful death cause of action; however, it is possible to recover these damages if a lawsuit is filed prior to the death of the victim.
A wrongful death lawsuit generally must be filed within two years from the date of the death of the deceased. Wrongful death claims must be brought by the decedent’s personal representative unless the death involves a minor child in which case the custodial parent can bring the lawsuit. A representative may be named as such under the deceased's last will and testament. In the event, the decedent did not have a will, an administrator can be appointed by the probate court of the decedent’s county of residence.
When a loved one is in any catastrophic accident, especially one which ultimately leads to death, it is an unfortunate and incomprehensible situation to face, and family members generally do not have such legal matters in mind. These provisions of Alabama law can make it challenging to obtain a verdict in a wrongful death case, and it is for these reasons that it is critical to seek out an experienced Alabama wrongful death attorney to assist you in pursuing such a claim.
If you have recently suffered the loss of a loved one as a result of another’s wrongful actions, contact the lawyers at Johnson, Paseur & Medley, LLC, to assist you in this difficult time. We do not charge you for the initial consultation, and you will not be charged at all, unless we recover monies for you.
Get the damages you deserve in your wrongful death case by calling our team today.