Unique Issues In Alabama Wrongful Death Cases
Losing a loved one is always difficult, and even more so when their death was preventable. Events such as auto accidents and medical errors can result in unnecessary and avoidable deaths, often as the result of misconduct of negligence on the part of another person or group of people. In cases of accidental death where the cause can be attributed to another’s negligence or wrongful conduct, the negligent party may be held accountable through filing a wrongful death suit.
The Birmingham wrongful death attorneys at Goldasich, Vick & Fulk have experience handling wrongful death cases, and can help guide you through the complex legal process. You deserve to be compensated for the harm you and your family have suffered.
Wrongful Death Defined
In Alabama, wrongful death is defined as a death caused by the “wrongful act, omission, or negligence” of another person. In wrongful death cases, a personal representative and/or administrator must be appointed to the decedent’s estate before any claim can be filed.
While only the personal representative of the decedent’s estate (or, if they have no will, their next of kin, such as their spouse or child) can file a wrongful death claim, any recovery will go to the decedent’s legal heirs.
Damages Are Punitive
When it comes to wrongful death cases, a unique feature in Alabama law is that unlike in most other states, any recovery in a wrongful death case is considered to be punitive, rather than compensatory, damages. In other words, any damages recovered are not linked to the decedent’s expenses or medical bills; rather, they are explicitly intended to serve as punishment to a negligent defendant.
It should be noted that while there is a cap on punitive damages in Alabama personal injury cases, the law explicitly states that the cap does not apply to wrongful death suits. If an experienced attorney can demonstrate a defendant’s negligence to a jury, that jury may award any amount they deem worthy (within reason).
Our Attorneys Are Here To Help
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another person, you deserve to seek justice and hold the responsible parties accountable. With that said, it is important to know that Alabama’s statute of limitations for wrongful death is two years from the date of death. The Birmingham wrongful death attorneys from Goldasich, Vick & Fulk are ready and willing to try and assist you with your case. Contact our office today at (205) 731-2566 to schedule a consultation.