What Is Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death claim occurs when someone is killed due to another person or entity’s misconduct or negligence. Typically a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil case separate from any criminal charges. In a civil case for wrongful death, the standard of proof is much lower than that of a criminal case involving manslaughter or murder within the state of Alabama.
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Wrongful Death Cases in Alabama
Wrongful death lawsuits are handled differently depending on the state. In Alabama, wrongful death claims are purely punitive. This means that, unlike other states, you are not required to prove the value of the life lost. In fact, a person’s age, income, job, or trade has no weight over a wrongful death case in Alabama. Alabama courts have found that the paramount purpose of the wrongful death statutes is the preservation of human life. This means witnesses such as an economist are neither relevant nor admissible in a wrongful death case in Alabama.
It is also important to note that each wrongful death case is different and a personal representative must be appointed by a court order to proceed with filing a claim or lawsuit. Another interesting key point about Alabama wrongful death cases is that damages recovered do not become part of the deceased’s estate and therefore are not subject to the debts or liabilities of the estate.
At Walton Law Firm, our team has the knowledge and resources to help clients pursue a wrongful death case against the at-fault party or parties, assess the full extent of the loss, and obtain a financial recovery that will help the survivors begin to rebuild their lives. Call us today!
The firm represents clients in wrongful death cases involving:
- Medical Malpractice
- Car accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Product Liability
- 18 Wheeler accidents