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 team is here to help you with your case.
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.
Identifying a Wrongful Death
When does a loved one’s death qualify as a wrongful death case? 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.
For a free legal consultation with a Wrongful Death lawyer serving Birmingham, call (205) 380-4158
Three Common Causes of Wrongful Deaths
Birmingham, AL, wrongful death lawyers identify three types of personal injury accidents as the primary causes behind wrongful deaths. These accidents include:
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Car accident fatalities are common in the state of Alabama. In fact, with a crash fatality rate of 13.7 per 100,000 people, Alabamians are twice as likely to die in motor vehicle accidents compared to the average American.
94% of car accidents stem from driver errors. Common examples include speeding, texting, and drunk driving. If your family member died due to the negligence of another driver, you may have grounds for a wrongful death claim.
Product defects can happen during the design, manufacturing, or distribution of a good.
There may be grounds for a wrongful death claim if a consumer used a product for its intended purpose but died as a result of a defect in the product, a lack of reasonable instructions, or absence of warnings.
Product liability is a complex area of personal injury law. Just because your family member died while using a product does not necessarily mean that you are entitled to damages. If you believe that you may have a case, discuss your legal options with a Birmingham wrongful death lawyer.
According to a Johns Hopkins University study, medical errors cause more than 250,000 deaths per year in the United States. Medical malpractice takes many forms. Common examples include:
- Surgical errors
- Birth injuries
- Medication prescription and dosage errors
It is important to remember that ineffective treatment does not necessarily mean that a healthcare worker was negligent. A personal injury lawyer can evaluate your case to determine if you have grounds for a wrongful death claim.
Requesting Compensation for a Wrongful Death
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 our team.
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. In some cases, someone appoints an executor in their will. If no executor is outlined, then 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. A Birmingham, AL, wrongful death lawyer can help 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.
If you can prove wrongful death through these factors, your family may be able to secure a settlement or court judgment in your favor. You don’t have to handle the complicated legal process alone. Discuss your case with an experienced attorney from our firm.
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. We can answer your questions, discuss possible outcomes of your case, and keep you informed throughout the process.
We Can Gather Evidence on Your Behalf
While you and your loved ones grieve, our team can investigate your case. More specifically, we can gather evidence of negligence on your behalf. At the same time, we can begin to build your complaint and identify the party that may be liable for your loved one’s losses.
As we build your case, we will update you regularly. You can control your level of engagement with your case depending on your availability and emotional state.
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. When we stand alongside you, we can prevent an insurance provider from trying to intimidate you out of a comprehensive settlement.
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 can take them to court. There, you can present evidence of your loved one’s losses before a judge and jury. These parties can subsequently assess your claim for value and choose to award you the compensation you deserve.
That said, it’s unlikely for a wrongful death case to make it to trial. Most parties remain open to negotiation prior to and even during the trial process. If your case does go to trial, though, we can fight for you.
Our Law Firm Works on a Contingency
Our firm handles these responsibilities on a contingency-fee-basis. This means you pay us nothing up-front for our services. 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, AL, wrongful death lawyers can outline the legal deadlines and timeframes for your case when you call.
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. Contact us 24/7 to consult with our Birmingham, AL, wrongful death attorneys from Morris Bart & Associates, LLC.
Questions?Call (205) 380-4158
to find a Morris Bart office near you.