The death of a loved one is one of the most painful and confusing moments in one’s life. If their passing was due to the negligence of another, it can make this time even more difficult to process. It can be hard to realize in the midst of grief if the loss of your loved one is eligible to receive compensation. Although we understand that no amount of money can replace your loss, working with a wrongful death attorney can help bring clarity and justice to the situation. If you are on the fence on if a wrongful death attorney could benefit your case, refer to the guidance below.
1. Understanding Wrongful Death
The first item to understand when considering whether you should pursue legal action due to the passing of a loved one is the legality behind wrongful death. In the state of Alabama under code 6-5-410, wrongful death is described as a death that was caused by the “wrongful act, omission, or negligence” of another person. The personal representative of the deceased can bring about a wrongful death suit only if the death could have been a personal injury claim if the deceased had survived. In other words, you can look at a wrongful death case as a personal injury case, whereas the victim is no longer able to fight for their own compensation so you must step in on their behalf. Wrongful death claims can also be filed in the civil court of Alabama even if the accused was not criminally charged for the case. There is a time limit, as the case must be filed within two years after the date of the death
2. Types of Cases
Now that you have grasped the legality behind wrongful death, it is time to determine if your case falls under wrongful acts, omission or negligence. There are varying circumstances we have encountered which have been eligible for a wrongful death case. Motor vehicle accidents are a common case ranging from motorcycles to buses, as well as drunk driving. Medical malpractices such as misdiagnosis, treatment errors, and failure to diagnose could also be eligible for compensation. Other types of wrongful death cases that have been filed range from construction accidents, plane crashes, house fires and more. If you have any doubts or questions on whether your specific situation falls under these categories, contacting an attorney would be a beneficial option.
3. Recovery Amounts
When considering the amount of compensation you could receive on behalf of your loved one, it is important to reference your state’s law on the subject. Alabama possesses a fairly unique law in regards to how recovery amounts are determined. Here, amounts are decided not based on the life of the estate of the deceased, but rather on the amount of damage done by the defendant. The law is structured this way to prevent future incidents happening of this kind by rightfully punishing the one who committed the act. The wealth of the defendant can be factored into how much is recovered to assure the crime won’t be committed again. In order to guarantee you are receiving the maximum amount of award possible, it is advised to hire a wrongful death attorney.
4. How an Attorney Will Benefit You
During this process of grieving, starting a legal battle may be the last thing on your mind. A wrongful death attorney is there to lift that weight off your shoulders. There is a great deal of paperwork involved in any legal process that requires strict attention to detail and deadlines. By hiring an attorney, they will handle the whole process freeing up time for you to be with loved ones. A wrongful death attorney will also obtain the appropriate defendant for your case, ensuring that the correct individual or organization at fault is brought to justice. With the wrongful death laws in Alabama being some of the most complex, an attorney will also provide guidance to assure you are educated and informed throughout the entire process.