Experiencing the loss of a cherished spouse, child, or parent due to the negligence of another is profoundly devastating. While we understand that no amount of legal action can replace your loved one, our wrongful death attorney in Huntsville, AL, is committed to assisting you in holding the responsible party accountable for their actions and seeking compensation for your loved one's estate.
In Alabama, wrongful death is legally defined as the result of a person or corporation causing the death of another individual through a "wrongful act, omission, or negligence." Essentially, a wrongful death claim is applicable in situations where the deceased could have pursued a personal injury claim had they survived.
Common causes of wrongful death encompass:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
- Workplace accidents
A wrongful death claim can also be pursued in cases of intentional harm. Notably, these lawsuits fall under civil court jurisdiction, allowing you to initiate a claim even if criminal charges were not filed or if the responsible party was acquitted.
According to Alabama law, the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit rests with the executor of the deceased's estate, rather than the surviving family members alone. However, the executor can act on behalf of the family, and the law does not prohibit a family member from serving as the executor.
Alabama's legal landscape is distinct in that it does not permit compensatory damages in wrongful death lawsuits. This includes compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, lost income, emotional distress, and loss of companionship. Instead, punitive damages, intended to penalize the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior, are allowed. The amount of punitive damages is contingent on the level of negligence, as determined by the court.
These damages are not considered part of the estate but are directed to the estate, bypassing the deceased's will or trust. They are distributed in accordance with Alabama's intestacy laws, governing estate division when there is no will.
To be eligible for damages, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the individual's death. However, deadlines may vary, especially if the claim involves a city or county. Acting promptly enhances the likelihood of a successful claim, making it advisable to consult with a seasoned wrongful death attorney soon after the loss.
If your loved one's demise resulted from another party's negligence, leaving you grappling with financial challenges and a sense of injustice, DeFatta Law Firm is here to help. Our compassionate team understands the difficulties you face and is dedicated to managing the legal aspects, allowing you to focus on moving forward. Trust us to navigate the complexities of your case and work tirelessly to secure the compensation your family rightfully deserves in the wake of your loved one's wrongful death.