Although difficult to contemplate, unfortunately, there may come a time when the unthinkable happens. Your child may die as a result of personal injuries. The injuries could have occurred in a car crash, an accidental drowning, a fire, or any other tragic event.
Your child may have died instantly. Or, he may die after weeks or months of hospitalization. As a surviving parent, you are left to pick up the pieces and somehow attempt to return to a normal life. Coping after the death of a child is very difficult. You are naturally suffering from crushing emotional pain and devastation. You may also have financial difficulties brought on by expensive medical bills or weeks and months of missed wages.
Although pointing fingers and calling in attorneys may be the farthest thing from your mind, it is something you must consider. If your child died as a result of someone’s negligence, that person should be held accountable. Seeking justice and compensation for wrongful death may provide you with some measure of comfort—both emotionally and financially.
At Farris, Riley & Pitt, we have experience guiding our clients through these incredibly difficult times. With many years of combined experience in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, our goal is to take the pressure off of you and place it in our capable hands. We will determine if you have a valid claim for wrongful death and vigorously pursue the claim until justice is served. In the case of a wrongful death, there is no way to become whole again as your child is not returning. You can, however, seek damages that can help make the situation easier for you as survivors of a terrible event. Our attorneys at Farris, Riley & Pitt will calmly and compassionately guide you through the process.
Wrongful Death Laws in Alabama Are Different Than Most Other States
In the case of a wrongful death, the law of the state where the death occurred is applied to the lawsuit. Therefore, if your child died in a car accident in Tennessee or Florida, those State’s laws will apply to the case. If your child’s death occurred in the state of Alabama, then the wrongful death laws of this state will apply. Alabama laws are different than most other states and require an attorney with experience in Alabama wrongful death laws. The attorneys at Farris, Riley & Pitt have helped clients recover millions of dollars in wrongful death cases brought under the laws of the State of Alabama.
The State of Alabama defines wrongful death as a death caused by a “wrongful act, omission or negligence” of another person. Wrongful deaths often occur in the context of a drunk driving accident, medical malpractice, manufacturer’s product liability, workplace accident, and many other situations. In most states, survivors of individuals killed as a result of wrongful death are allowed to seek compensation for expenses, such as medical expenses, funeral expenses and emotional pain and suffering. Who can seek wrongful death compensation and for how much is governed by individual state laws. In the State of Alabama, the laws on wrongful death are different than most other state’s laws, and they can be a bit tricky. The following are common questions and answers regarding Alabama’s wrongful death law and how it can affect your chances of future compensation.
Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in Alabama?
Under the wrongful death law of the State of Alabama, only the personal representative of the estate of the deceased individual can pursue a lawsuit for wrongful death. However, in the case of the death of a minor child, the custodial parents may sue for wrongful death.
What Types of Damages Are Allowable?
Only punitive damages are allowed in a wrongful death lawsuit in Alabama. Punitive damages are damages that are intended to punish the negligent party for their actions and to prevent others from repeating the behavior in the future. They are not the type of damages meant to compensate survivors for medical bills, lost wages or pain and suffering, known as compensatory damages. Restricting the types of damages for wrongful death to punitive damages is a way Alabama wrongful death law differs from most if not all other states. Depending on the facts of your individual case, a punitive damage award can often far exceed an award for only compensatory damages.
How Long Do You Have to File a Lawsuit?
Generally speaking, a person has two years from the date of the death to file a wrongful death lawsuit in the State of Alabama. The Statue of Limitations governs the period. The time period is governed by a law called the Statute of Limitations.However, many factors can affect the time in which to file a lawsuit in any given case. It is important that you consult with an attorney experienced in wrongful death law as soon as possible after your loved one has died. Your attorney will want to start immediately investigating the facts of your case and gathering evidence. It is important to do so as soon after the event as possible.
Does There Have to Be a Criminal Prosecution to Prove Wrongful Death?
No. Under Alabama law, a person can be found liable for wrongful death for negligent behavior. There doesn’t need to be a criminal prosecution. Also, even if the person was criminally prosecuted and then acquitted (found not guilty), you can still bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the person.
How Does a Wrongful Death Claim Effect an Existing Personal Injury Lawsuit?
If your child dies while his existing personal injury lawsuit is pending, the lawsuit can continue. The lawsuit will proceed on behalf of the child’s personal representative or custodial parents, and your attorney can add a claim for wrongful death to the existing lawsuit.This situation is one of the few instances where someone can collect damages other than punitive damages in the event of a wrongful death. If you haven’t filed a personal injury claim yet and your child dies, then the only claim you can file is a wrongful death claim.
Contact Us to Determine If You Have a Claim for Wrongful Death of a Child
If your child died as a result of someone’s negligent or willful conduct, you would no doubt want to seek compensation and justice for the death.Because of its many intricacies, it is crucial that you consult an attorney knowledgeable in Alabama state wrongful death laws. Your attorney will help you seek damages for the horrible event that has befallen your family. The attorneys at Farris, Riley & Pitt are extremely qualified to help with this matter. We will determine if you are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit, navigate the intricacies involved in filing a lawsuit, and get you and your family the justice you deserve.
Call today to speak with an attorney at Farris, Riley & Pitt. We will evaluate your case free of charge and determine whether you have a claim for the wrongful death of your child. Let us help you through this terrible time in your life with compassion and dignity. You can call us at 205-324-1212 or toll-free at 1-888-580-5176. You can reach our knowledgeable legal staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling our toll-free lawyer assistance line at 1-888-937-7534.