Although difficult to contemplate, unfortunately, there may come a time when the unthinkable happens. Your relative or loved one may die as a result of personal injuries. The injuries could have occurred in a car crash, through medical malpractice, in an accidental drowning, fire, or any other tragic event.
Your loved one may have died instantly, or after weeks or months of pain and suffering. As the deceased person’s next of kin, you are left to pick up the pieces and somehow attempt to return to a normal life. Coping after the death of a loved one is very difficult. In addition to the crushing emotional pain and devastation, you may be facing worrisome financial difficulties. When a loved one dies, hospital and medical bills pile up. If your loved one was the main source of income for your family, you are probably trying to figure out how you will support yourself and your family in the future.
Although pointing fingers and calling in attorneys may be the farthest thing from your mind, it is something you must consider. If your loved one has 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.
You may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of your loved one. However, Alabama laws pertaining to wrongful death can be confusing and difficult to navigate. 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 we achieve justice for you and your family. If your loved one has died, it will probably take a long time to heal the emotional wounds brought on by the death. During that time of healing, 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 loved one died in a workplace accident in Tennessee or Florida, the laws of that state will apply to the case. If your loved one’s death occurred in the state of Alabama, then the wrongful death laws of this state will apply. The Alabama laws concerning wrongful death cases are different than most other states. You will need an attorney with experience in Alabama wrongful death laws to help you sort through them. 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 the”wrongful act, omission or negligence” of another person. Wrongful deaths often occur when there has been a car accident, medical malpractice, manufacturer’s product liability,workplace accident, and in many other situations. In most states, survivors who bring a wrongful death lawsuit are allowed to recover money damages for things such as medical expenses, funeral expenses and emotional pain and suffering. The wrongful death laws in the State of Alabama are different, and they can be a bit tricky.
The first difference in Alabama law is who can legally sue for wrongful death. 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.
Another big difference is the types of damages that a person can recover in a wrongful death lawsuit.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 that person and 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. Depending on the facts of your individual case, a punitive damage award can often far exceed an award for only compensatory damages.
There is, however, one exception to the rule that you can collect only punitive damages in a wrongful death action. If your loved one dies while his existing personal injury lawsuit is pending, the lawsuit can continue. The lawsuit will proceed on behalf of the deceased’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 compensatory damages in the event of a wrongful death. If you haven’t filed a personal injury claim yet and your loved one dies, then the only claim you can file is a wrongful death claim for punitive damages.
Statute of Limitations Limits Time to File Lawsuit
The amount of time a person has to file a lawsuit for wrongful damages is governed by what’s called the Statute of Limitations. Generally speaking, a person has two years from the date of the death to file a wrongful death lawsuit in the State of Alabama. However, many factors can affect the time in which to file a lawsuit in any given case. It is important that you consult with yourattorneyas soon as possible after your loved one has died.The attorneys at Farris, Riley & Pitt are trained to start an investigation immediately into the death of your loved one. Gathering the facts and evidence of the case as close as possible to the time the event occurred is crucial to a good outcome in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Many people incorrectly think that a wrongful death lawsuit must be tied to a criminal investigation. Under Alabama law, a person can be found liable for wrongful death for negligent behavior. There does not need to be a criminal prosecution. Also, even if the person was prosecuted for a crime and acquitted (found not guilty), you can still bring a wrongful death lawsuit against them.
Contact Us to Determine If You Have a Claim for Wrongful Death
If your loved one has 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, fully investigate the facts of your claim, and vigorously pursue the justice that you and your family 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 loved one. We will assist you through this terrible time in your life with compassion and dignity and most importantly with legal knowledge and experience. You can call us at 205-324-1212 or toll-free at 1-888-580-5176. You can reach our top-notch legal staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling our toll-free lawyer assistance line at 1-888-937-7534.