Birmingham Wrongful Death Attorney
Sometimes loved ones die unexpectedly. In other instances, their deaths can be caused by a traumatic accident, negligence, or someone else’s wrongful conduct. Such circumstances are often wrongful deaths often caused by another person or company who are ultimately responsible. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil claim initiated by a family member or appointed representative for the deceased person to recover damages and losses. A wrongful death lawsuit does not assert criminal charges, although a person or entity can face separate criminal charges arising out of the same incident. If your loved one has passed away due to someone else’s negligence or misconduct, a Birmingham wrongful death attorney can help you with bringing a legal claim to hold the negligent party responsible.
Causes of Wrongful Death
Wrongful deaths are tragic and can result from numerous circumstances, including the following:
- Automobile accidents
- Tractor-trailer collisions
- Workplace accidents
- Medical negligence
- Defective product use
- Dangerous drugs
- Criminal conduct
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Alabama?
Not everyone can bring a wrongful death lawsuit when their loved one dies. This is highly dependent on state law, and in most states, the deceased person’s surviving spouse, children, or parents can typically file a lawsuit. Alabama’s wrongful death law can be read in Alabama Code §6-5-410. In most circumstances, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate is able to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Alabama. Often before their death, a person may create a will that appoints someone to act as executor or personal representative. If there is no will, Alabama probate courts may appoint an executor or personal representative and that person can then file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Wrongful death lawsuits may be initiated whether or not there is an underlying criminal case involved. For example, if your loved one died due to a drunk driving accident and the driver is subject to a criminal case, there may be a concurrent civil lawsuit as well.
If you have particular questions regarding Alabama’s wrongful death statute, call us at Goldasich Vick, & Fulk, and we are glad to help.
Damages in Wrongful Death Cases in Alabama
In many states, families are allowed to recover compensation for various damages when a loved one dies. However, in Alabama, the personal representative or party who brings a wrongful death case may only seek punitive damages in the wrongful death lawsuit. Punitive damages are conduct based damages intended to punish the wrongdoing party and to prevent certain conduct from occurring in the future.
Because Alabama wrongful death lawsuits are compensated by punitive damages, each case requires analysis of the circumstances and manner of death, as well as allegations of potential negligence. In particular, this requires analysis by a wrongful death law firm like Goldasich Vick, & Fulk, to review the situation and assess the available claims and damages.
It is also important to be aware that in Alabama, wrongful death damages recovered are not subject to the payment of the debts or liabilities of the testator or intestate but must be distributed according to the statute of distributions. In most instances, this will result in the deceased’s surviving spouse or children receiving some form of recovery. However, depending on the circumstances, other surviving family members might receive a share of wrongful death proceeds.
Contact a Birmingham Wrongful Death Attorney Today
Dealing with the sudden death or tragedy of a loved one can be a devastating experience. It can be difficult to assess your legal rights while going through the grieving process. If you have any suspicion that your loved one’s death was caused by the wrongful conduct of another party, the Birmingham wrongful death attorneys at Goldasich, Vick & Fulk can guide you through this difficult time. We can help rectify the negligence or misconduct of another party and file a wrongful death lawsuit for the damages caused. Call (205) 731-2566 today and schedule a free consultation.