Wrongful death claims occur when someone is killed due to another person's negligence or misconduct. Sadly, negligence is all too common in today's society. More than 190,000 people die each year as a result of someone else's careless acts.
Losing a loved one is a painful experience, especially if it comes without warning and could have been easily prevented. No amount of money can bring your loved one back to life, but Alabama does allow the victim’s surviving loved ones to seek compensation through a wrongful death action.
If your loved one was neglected in any of these ways below, you may be entitled to a wrongful death compensation:
- Medical Malpractice
- Fatal Car Accident
- Fatal Truck Accident
- Product Liability Cases
- Deaths from Premises Accidents
- Criminal Actions
- Workplace injuries causing death
Who Can File?
To be eligible to file a wrongful death claim, the decedent's death must have been caused by the negligent or willful conduct of another person or entity. Unlike other states, Alabama does not allow family members of a deceased person to file a wrongful death claim. Instead, Alabama restricts the ability to file these claims to the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. If the deceased person does not have a will, things become tricky.
For those with a will, a personal representative has already been named within that document. For those without, a personal representative will be appointed by the court after giving notice to all heirs and beneficiaries. This process usually takes a few weeks, but if any complications arise, it can prolong several months.
Process of Filing a Claim
Time is of the essence during the process of filing a wrongful death claim. Alabama’s statute of limitations sets a time limit for wrongful death claims. These claims must be filed within two years of the date of death.
Because this process has many moving parts and a quick turnaround time, it is wise for the personal representative to consider a wrongful death suit before it is too late. If you miss the deadline, you will be unable to recover compensation for the death of a loved one.
The process of filing a wrongful death claim can be stressful, especially when you just lost a loved one unexpectedly. To seek more information about the complicated process or speak to an experienced attorney, call Barfoot & Schoettker for a free consultation today.
Damages in an Alabama Wrongful Death Case
Alabama handles wrongful death cases differently than other states. Almost all states allow surviving family members to recover damages for economic losses such as funeral expenses, medical bills and loss of income.
The Alabama wrongful death law only allows for punitive damages, which has the sole purpose of punishing the defendant and helping to deter them from similar actions in the future. To obtain punitive damages, you must prove that the actions of the defendant were the cause of death and that they should be punished through monetary award.
Is it Worth Filing a Claim?
Losing a loved one is a very stressful time and the last thing you want to think about is dealing with a lawsuit. Our lawyers are here to remove the stress involved so that you can focus on dealing with the grief associated with the loss you suffered. If you have lost someone dear to you because of someone else’s careless actions, seek justice.
Barfoot & Schoetter want to help you get your life back to normal. Our lawyers have represented, in two separate house fires, the death of a loved one; One involving the death of a small child and the other involving the death of a young man. In each of these matters, we were fortunate to obtain confidential awards for our clients. We do not charge any fees or costs unless and until we win your case. We never settle your wrongful death case without your authorization. If a wrongful death has occurred to a loved one, you need to speak with a lawyer at Barfoot & Schoettker to understand the type of compensation available to you under the law. Contact us at (334) 834-3444.