Wrongful Death Attorney
Unfortunately, sometimes the negligence or wrongful conduct of a person or company causes not only injury but also death.
The wrongful death attorneys at Jinks Crow have been helping people throughout the state of Alabama and the Southeast who have lost a loved one through the negligence or wrongful conduct of another person or company. Our lawyers have represented clients in successfully seeking recovery for the wrongful death of a loved one.
If you have lost a family member or loved one due to the negligence or wrongful conduct of someone else or a company, contact us today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
What is a wrongful death lawsuit?
Anytime someone’s death is caused by the acts or omissions of someone else, there is the possibility of a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. They can occur as the result of:
Workplace accidents (although these can be complicated)
Nursing homes abuse and neglect
Dram shop violations
Defective pharmaceuticals and medical devices
Fires, chemical exposure, and any number of other incidents.
Alabama Wrongful Death Law
In Alabama, someone with a relationship to the person killed or who represents that person’s estate can bring an action for the death. Generally, if a lawsuit could have been brought for personal injuries had they not died, then someone can bring a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the person killed in Alabama.
The damages awarded in a wrongful death action are different from a personal injury action. Rather than compensating the victim for his injuries, the jury must award an amount necessary to punish the person causing the death. Alabama law recognizes that a loved one can never be replaced nor their loss adequately compensated, but punitive damages can help prevent similar conduct from causing personal injury or death in the future.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?
A wrongful death action must be brought by a survivor who has some legal authority to do so. In Alabama, it can be by a parent if the deceased was a minor or by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. You don’t have to worry about setting up the estate, we can handle that for you. In other states, you may not have to set up an estate to file a wrongful death lawsuit. A wrongful death action must be filed within two years of the death.
How much is wrongful death worth?
Unlike most other states, in Alabama, wrongful death actions do not allow compensatory damages unless it is for dram shop liability. The only damages that are available for most wrongful death cases are punitive damages – damages to punish the person who caused the death. These damages are not capped by Alabama law. In other states, compensatory damages can be recovered for wrongful death. These may include damages for loss of the value of the services someone brought into your home and loss of the income they may have made. Punitive damages are available in addition to compensatory damages in other states.
The punitive damages recoverable in a wrongful death action in Alabama depend on a number of factors such as how and where the acts or omissions that caused the death occurred, the circumstances surrounding the death, and the nature of the conduct which led to the death. The totality of the circumstances has a major impact on the value of a wrongful death claim. We are experienced in handling such claims and can give you a better idea once we learn all the facts.
Can parents sue for wrongful death?
A wrongful death action may be brought as a result of a child’s death, provided that legal liability can be established.
How are wrongful death settlements paid out?
Though the personal representative of the deceased’s estate is generally the proper party to pursue a wrongful death claim in Alabama, the proceeds or damages of that action are not part of the deceased’s estate. The proceeds are distributed to the deceased’s surviving family members as prescribed by Alabama law. Your wrongful death lawyer should be able to handle everything that needs to be done in probate and the distribution of funds.
If you are coping with the death of a loved one, it is important that you speak with a wrongful death attorney as soon as practicable to avoid a potential wrongful death lawsuit being time-barred. We can help you. Reach out to us today for a free consultation.