If a loved one dies unexpectedly, you and your family will go through a series of emotions. In the midst of your grief, you may also have some anger and frustration if someone else’s negligent act resulted in the death of your loved one.
In a situation like this, you have the option of bringing a wrongful death lawsuit. We at Morris Bart & Associates, LLC understand how to present the facts in a case like this, showing that the responsible party’s negligence played a primary role in the loss of your loved one.
By using a Birmingham wrongful death lawyer to sue the negligent party, you can hold that party responsible for his or her actions. You can also, hopefully, prevent someone else from suffering the same fate as your loved one. Call us as soon as possible at (205) 380-4158 for a free consultation.
Understanding a Wrongful Death Claim in Alabama
Alabama has some different aspects of its wrongful death laws than other states in the country. This difference can be a source of confusion for some people.
Alabama’s Wrongful Death Statute
In Alabama, the state Supreme Court has determined that the state law says damages in a wrongful death case should be punitive and not compensatory. According to the Alabama Law Review, the court also says that any damages imposed should be done as a deterrent to prevent similar wrongs from happening to other people, and that human life cannot be translated into a compensatory amount.
This ruling means the family of the deceased cannot create an argument that the family deserves compensation for a specific amount for the death. In other states, families could request to be compensated for things like funeral expenses, reimbursement for medical bills, loss of consortium, pain and suffering, and so forth.
In Alabama, however, these things are not allowed to be specifically requested in the wrongful death lawsuit. The awarded damages are based solely on the severity of the negligence that the responsible party committed.
Additional Rules in Alabama
A few other items are present in Alabama law when it comes to wrongful death lawsuits that make bringing this type of action confusing.
Limit on time: The wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the person’s death, unless some other circumstances exist, such as bringing a suit against a municipal entity, which usually has a six-month deadline.
Open estate: Not just a family member but only a personal representative of the decedent’s estate can bring the wrongful death lawsuit, which requires that the estate must be open in probate court before initiating a lawsuit.
Proceedings: The individual who brings the suit does not necessarily collect any damages. Instead, the award passes to the estate. Sometimes this means an estate cannot be settled until the wrongful death lawsuit is settled.
Confusion over the laws regarding wrongful death lawsuits in Alabama can be extremely frustrating for the family of the decedent. A Birmingham wrongful death lawyer from Morris Bart & Associates, LLC, can help with this situation. Call us at (205) 380-4158 for a free consultation.
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Birmingham, call 800-537-8185
Examples of a Wrongful Death
Multiple examples can fall under the legal definition of wrongful death.
When a doctor fails to provide the expected level of care for a patient, or he or she deviates from generally accepted practice standards, and the patient dies, the doctor may have acted negligently.
Medical malpractice also can extend to a hospital or other medical facility that failed to provide adequate training for its employees or that did not create a safe area for patients, leading to the wrongful death.
If someone causes an accident that results in a death, this can become a wrongful death lawsuit. An accident can involve a motor vehicle, an airplane, a work incident, or some other unexpected event.
The other party needs to have created a negligent situation that led to the accident and death. In a motor vehicle crash, this can include someone drinking and driving or violating traffic laws.
If a manufacturer creates a product that does not operate safely, it could cause the wrongful death of someone.
Another example, if a repair person or mechanic does not properly fix a problem with a motor vehicle or other item, and it malfunctions, leading to the death of someone, it can be considered a wrongful death.
It could be considered a wrongful death when an employee is exposed to a dangerous situation through inadequate training while doing his or her job, and that eventually leads to the employee’s death.
If the employer introduced harmful chemicals and substances to the workplace, this also could rise to negligence in a wrongful death case, even if the death occurred several years after the introduction of the harmful chemicals.
If an employee in a daycare or nursing home fails to provide the proper supervision for those under his or her care, and it leads to an accident and a death, this could be considered negligence and a wrongful death.
A nursing home or daycare facility that does not provide proper training for employees could also be considered negligent if a death occurs.
Commission of a Crime
If someone causes the death of another person in the process of committing a crime or in preparing to commit a crime, this may be considered a wrongful death.
Birmingham Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me 800-537-8185
Let Us Represent Your Interests
In the midst of your grief over the loss of a loved one, we understand you may not immediately be thinking about needing a Birmingham wrongful death lawyer. However, if you later realize someone else’s negligence played a role in the death, you may want to bring a lawsuit.
We at Morris Bart & Associates, LLC will be ready to help you whenever you are ready to proceed. We know how to fight for the justice your loved one’s memory deserves.
Call us at 205-380-4158. We work on a contingency-fee-basis. We will not accept payment until you receive a settlement or court award.