Losing a loved one is always difficult. But when their death was caused by someone’s negligent actions, your grief may be compounded with feelings of anger and frustration. Fortunately, Alabama allows family members of those killed in acts of wrongful death to hold the responsible parties accountable. Our compassionate team can help you through this misfortune.
At Morris Bart & Associates, LLC, we assist families in Alabama when another party’s actions have deadly consequences. We understand the delicate nature of your situation. A wrongful death lawyer in Birmingham can be the shoulder you lean on to get through this painful time.
What Qualifies as Wrongful Death?
After your loved one’s death, you may be wondering if it qualifies as a wrongful death case. Wrongful death can occur in many ways. According to Alabama Code § 6-5-410, whenever an individual or organization’s negligence causes someone else’s death, the surviving family members may have an actionable wrongful death case.
One way to think of a wrongful death case is a personal injury incident where the victim dies from their injuries. Common causes of wrongful death include:
- Traffic accidents: When a negligent driver breaks traffic laws and causes a deadly collision.
- Medical malpractice: When a healthcare provider performs below a reasonable standard of care and causes the patient’s death. This can include a surgical accident, prescribing the wrong medications, or other negligent medical acts.
- Defective products: If a manufacturer knowingly releases a product that causes a customer to lose their life, like a faulty airbag, they may be liable in a wrongful death case.
- Slip and fall: When a property manager ignores a hazard in their store, apartment, office building, parking lot, or other space that leads to a fall and the victim’s death.
Our wrongful death attorneys can discuss the possible outcomes of your case and give you advice on the next steps with a free case consultation.
For a free legal consultation with a Wrongful Death lawyer serving Birmingham, call (205) 380-4158
What Compensation Can I Get in a Wrongful Death Case?
The exact compensation available in your family’s wrongful death case will depend on several factors. Unlike many other states, Alabama law does not allow surviving family members to recover expenses directly related to their loved one’s death, such as funeral costs, medical bills, and loss of protection.
Rather, the damages in an Alabama wrongful death claim are strictly punitive. This means the compensation your family may receive is commensurate with how badly the courts decide the responsible party behaved.
This can be a frustrating rule for families seeking wrongful death compensation. To get answers about what punitive damages may be available in your case, you may want to consult with a wrongful death attorney in Birmingham.
Birmingham Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me (205) 380-4158
Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in Alabama?
In Alabama, only the personal representative, or executor, of the deceased person’s estate can file a lawsuit for wrongful death. Sometimes, someone appoints an executor in their will. In the case that there is no executor outlined, someone appointed by an Alabama probate court will assign a personal representative.
If you have been designated as the representative of your loved one’s estate, you have a great deal of work set out for you. An Alabama wrongful death lawyer can help you with the responsibilities that come along with your case.
While you deal with grief and the weight of your loved one’s death, we can make sure they get justice and their estate gets the compensation it deserves.
Is Wrongful Death Hard to Prove?
To win your wrongful death case, you have to prove that the at-fault party was partially or entirely responsible for your loved one’s death. Their passing must be the result of negligence or recklessness. An attorney can help you establish:
Duty of Care
Your loved one was owed a duty of care. This usually refers to a reasonable expectation of safety and may vary depending on the situation. For example, other drivers have a responsibility to drive carefully and obey the rules of the road. Similarly, property owners have a duty of care to ensure their premises are safe from hazards.
Breach of Duty of Care
After you ascertain a duty of care for your case, you next need to show how another party breached their duty of care. If a driver was speeding or texting at the time of a collision, this would put others at risk. Your case will need to demonstrate how another party acted negligently and caused your loved one’s passing.
Your wrongful death lawsuit has to exhibit how another party’s negligence directly caused your loved one’s demise. If your loved one was injured in a car wreck, you have to prove that the accident resulted in fatal injuries. In this instance, you would not qualify for a wrongful death lawsuit if your family member died because of unrelated causes.
If you can prove wrongful death through these factors, your family may be able to secure a settlement or court judgment in your favor. This may sound complicated but you don’t have to do it all alone.
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How a Birmingham Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help Your Family
When you hire a Birmingham wrongful death attorney to represent your family’s case, we will handle building a strong claim that is based on the evidence. While we work, your family can take time to grieve and regroup. We can answer your questions, discuss possible outcomes of your case, and keep you informed throughout the process
We Can Prove Wrongful Death Through Negligence
Our lawyers will gather evidence of wrongful death, with a focus on evidence that demonstrates the other party’s negligence. Proving negligence is essential to show that your loved one’s death was caused by someone else.
We will also hire medical professionals, accident reconstruction specialists, or other experts to make statements in defense of your family’s rights. With the help of an attorney, you will have solid evidence to back up your claim.
We Can Negotiate With the Insurance Company
Your personal injury lawyer will negotiate directly with the defendant’s insurance company on your behalf so that you can get the settlement you deserve.
If Your Wrongful Death Claim Goes to Trial
If the defendant’s insurance company is not willing to make you a fair and reasonable offer based on the evidence we provide, we will take them to court. This is unlikely, but if you do go to trial, we will fight for you.
Our Law Firm Works on a Contingency
Our firm can handle these responsibilities on a contingency-fee-basis. This means you pay us nothing up-front to retain our services and put us to work. We only collect payment after you receive a settlement or award in court.
How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
According to Alabama Code § 6-2-38, the statute of limitations in a wrongful death case is two years. This means, in most cases, that you only have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of their estate. If this deadline passes, you may lose your legal right to compensation.
There may be other legal deadlines in your case. We recommend contacting a law firm as soon as possible when considering a legal death action. Our Birmingham wrongful death lawyers can outline the legal deadlines and timeframes for your case when you call for a free consultation.
Consult With a Wrongful Death Attorney in Birmingham Today
We believe that preventable deaths are unacceptable, and that negligent parties that cause them should be held accountable. A wrongful death claim can provide compensation for your family. Additionally, any punitive damages imposed on the defendant can help end negligent behavior and prevent future deaths.
Do not let negligent parties get away with wrongful death unpunished. Consultation calls with our personal injury lawyers are free, and you can get answers about your case immediately. Call us 24/7 to consult with our Birmingham wrongful death attorneys from Morris Bart & Associates, LLC.
Questions?Call (205) 380-4158
to find a Morris Bart office near you.