The death of a family member in an accident is tragic and unexpected. While at first you will likely be focused on the great loss to your family, you may then begin to think about who is responsible for your loved one’s death and how the law can hold them accountable. Wrongful death laws allow surviving family members of a deceased victim of wrongful death to seek justice against the party that caused their death.
How do You Know If You Have a Wrongful Death Case?
Losing a loved one unexpectedly is shocking and painful for any family. When their death occurs in preventable circumstances and due to the actions of another party, the pain of their loss can also bring about anger and frustration against the parties responsible. Wrongful death is any death of an individual that happens due to the negligent or intentional actions of another person or entity.
If your loved one is a victim of a wrongful death, the party responsible for the loss of their life may also be liable to you for your loss and damages. There is nothing that can bring back your loved one and the purpose of a wrongful death claim or a lawsuit is not to reimburse you for their loss. Rather, a wrongful death action is a means to provide the family of a wrongful death victim with peace of mind and security for their future as they attempt to move forward from this tragedy.
For a free legal consultation with a Wrongful Death lawyer serving Huntsville, call (256) 666-3010
What Family Members Can Seek Compensation After the Death of a Loved One in Huntsville, AL?
A wrongful death action is not open for any family member to claim damages after the death of a loved one. In Alabama, only a personal representative of the estate of a deceased wrongful death victim can pursue compensation from the wrongdoers under the law. Surviving family members must ask the personal representative that is appointed through a will or, if no will is available, appointed for the purposes of legal action to proceed with the case.
There can be only one wrongful death action brought on behalf of a wrongful death victim. With the help of an attorney, they will work with the personal representative of the loved one to pursue damages and compensation that will, in turn, go to the appropriate heirs if and when compensation is awarded in the case. If you are unsure who is eligible to serve as a personal representative, consult with your wrongful death lawyer to discuss how to proceed in your case.
Is Litigation a Family’s Only Recourse After the Wrongful Death of a Family Member?
No. While a lawsuit is an option for recovery, the first attempts at recovery for a wrongful death will more commonly occur through an insurance claim. Many wrongful deaths happen in circumstances in which a defendant or entity has insurance coverage available for liability purposes. In most situations where the fault of the loved one’s death is apparent and lies in another party, there is a higher chance the case will resolve in a settlement for compensation outside of court.
However, if there is any dispute as to the validity of a claim including fault for the death, it may be necessary for a wrongful death attorney in Huntsville to file a lawsuit for recovery of losses due to the wrongful death of the victim. A lawsuit can take more time than a settlement, but it may be the only option for compensation for a family’s losses in some cases.
Compensation a Family Member Can be Eligible for in a Huntsville AL Wrongful Death Case
Wrongful death cases in Alabama are unique in comparison to most wrongful death scenarios in other states. Alabama law allows for the recovery of only one type of damage in a wrongful death case. Punitive damages are the only allowable recovery of compensation for the family after the wrongful death of a loved one through a court in Alabama.
The laws of Alabama allow for compensation against a defendant as a form of punishment for causing the preventable death of an individual but do not allow a family to recover other compensatory losses such as economic and non-economic damages in wrongful death cases.
The Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Cases in Huntsville, AL
Alabama’s statute of limitations for wrongful death actions is two years from the date a wrongful death occurs. If a family does not begin a lawsuit within this period, they will not be able to recover any compensation for the loss of their loved one in a wrongful death accident in most cases.
How a Huntsville Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help the Family of a Wrongful Death Victim
Wrongful death cases are difficult but not impossible in the state of Alabama. It is unlikely a family will be able to succeed in seeking compensation against a defendant without an attorney for a wrongful death case. Alabama’s laws as to who may bring forth a wrongful death action and the type of compensation you can be eligible for are complex and require legal knowledge and experience to ensure the process goes forward in the appropriate manner.
A Hunstville wrongful death lawyer will evaluate your case and prepare for legal action by gathering the evidence and information necessary to prove the fault of the defendant and why they should be punished for the avoidable death of your loved one. An attorney will work with you to get the justice for your loved one your family deserves.
Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Huntsville Today
If your loved one dies because of the negligence or intentional acts of another party, you may be eligible for certain compensation under the law. Contact a Hunstville AL wrongful death lawyer to schedule a free case consultation where you can discuss how to proceed in your case and what compensation you may be able to receive against the parties responsible for your loved one’s passing.
Questions?Call (256) 666-3010
to find a Morris Bart office near you.