The statute of limitations for wrongful death in Alabama is generally two years under the state’s wrongful death law. This is the same period assigned to wrongful death cases under Ala. Code § 6-2-38. In many ways, wrongful death claims are a sort of extension of a personal injury claim.
When a victim of a negligence accident could recover compensation through a claim or lawsuit but passes away before they begin the process, their family can continue with a wrongful death action or act in their stead to hold the at-fault party accountable.
Understanding the Timeline for Compensation in an Alabama Wrongful Death Claim
Under the Alabama wrongful death law, Ala. Code § 6-5-410, you generally only have two years to begin a lawsuit based on your loved one’s injury accident and subsequent death. Missing this deadline could mean being barred from taking any further legal action in the case.
The countdown generally begins with the day your loved one passes away. As opposed to a personal injury case when the clock starts running the day the accident occurs. In some cases, victims can survive days or even weeks after an incident before succumbing to their injuries.
There may be other deadlines that apply depending on the circumstances of your case. It would be within your best interest to discuss this with an attorney.
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What Damages Are Available in an Alabama Wrongful Death Case?
Alabama wrongful death compensation differs significantly from that recoverable in nearby states. This is because Alabama allows for the recovery of only punitive damages in these cases.
You do not need to prove your family’s expenses and losses for a wrongful death claim in Alabama. Instead of being compensatory, it is punitive. This means it is based on the level of negligence shown by the liable party, not the victim’s damages.
You will need to have strong evidence to show the at-fault party acted negligently and caused your loved one’s injuries and death. Any additional evidence documenting their carelessness, recklessness, or other bad behavior could strengthen your case. For example, a drunk driving case might recover more compensation than one caused by a driver who ran a stop sign.
Who Qualifies to Pursue Wrongful Death Damages in Alabama?
Alabama requires the personal representative of the deceased to file the claim or lawsuit in these cases. This is often the executor of their will or a close family member. If there is no will, it may be their surviving spouse or someone appointed by the probate court.
Most negligence accidents and intentional acts will support a wrongful death claim with the proper evidence. Some examples include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle collisions
- DWI crashes
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
- Birth injuries
- Medical malpractice
- Premises liability
- Construction accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Defective products or pharmaceuticals
- Boat Accidents
- Workers’ comp claims
In general, if the fatal accident victim could have sued the liable party if they survived, their family can pursue damages today. You can learn more during a free case consultation offered by most personal injury attorneys.
Do I Need an Attorney to Manage Our Alabama Wrongful Death Case?
Having a lawyer on your side can help reduce your stress and recover more compensation in your claim. Because Alabama only awards punitive damages in these cases, you need strong evidence to show:
- What happened to cause the accident and injuries
- Who is legally responsible
- The degree of carelessness or recklessness
- Any other contributing factors
While you do not have to prove your expenses and losses, an attorney may be able to help you build a more solid case to get justice for your loved one and recover compensation for surviving family members. This may be possible by:
- Highlighting any history of similar concerns with the liable party
- Identifying additional contributors to the incident, such as if they were drunk or drugged
- Showing a disregard for the safety and health of others
- Proving exactly what happened and why
Having an attorney on your side will ensure you have someone who puts your needs first. They understand you need to recover as much money as possible for your family, and they want to help. In addition, most of their work is based on contingency. They only get paid when you do, and their fees are a percentage of the financial recovery.
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Speak with a Lawyer From Morris Bart & Associates, LLC Today for Free
You can discuss your case with a wrongful death attorney from one of our four Alabama offices today. We will assess the strength of your case, discuss your options, and offer advice about how we would approach your claim.
Call (800) 537-8185 now for your complimentary case consultation to speak with one of our lawyers as they answer any and all questions you may have regarding your case and explain our services and contingency fee..
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