There are countless situations in which wrongful acts or negligence of one person or corporation may cause the death of another person. These situations may not always involve criminal charges but often involve civil penalties. This is known in Alabama as a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful death claims are often very complex. If you’ve lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligence, you should seek the advice of an attorney experienced with wrongful death claims. Hiring an Alabama wrongful death attorney is going to give you the best opportunity to achieve full justice for the life taken from your family.
If you are considering pursuing a lawsuit for the death of someone you know, read below to gain a basic understanding of what circumstances a wrongful death case may come from and how you can pursue that claim.
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Common Areas of Wrongful Death Litigation
Wrongful death claims can arise from nearly any scenario where a person dies due the bad conduct of another person or company. Several common factual scenarios giving rise to a wrongful death claim includes a car wreck, truck wreck, medical care, workplace accident, defective product, poorly designed product, and physical violence.
Under Alabama law, the level of bad conduct underlying a wrongful death claim can be an intentional act, failure to act, reckless disregard, or even carelessness.
The focus of an Alabama wrongful death case is the severity of the defendant’s wrongful conduct only.
An award of damages in a wrongful death case serves to punish the defendant for bad conduct and to deter similar actions by other people or companies in the future. Alabama wrongful death statutes do not allow consideration of expenses or any other damages relating to the loss of a life.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit in Alabama?
In Alabama, the administrator of the deceased person’s estate is the only party legally allowed to bring a wrongful death case on his or her behalf.
If the person had a valid testamentary will at the time of his or her death, then the administrator would be duly appointed per the decedent’s wishes. If the person did not have a valid testamentary will, then appropriate proceedings conducted through a county probate court will determine a qualifying administrator to be appointed to represent the estate.
Our team at Walton Law Firm has over 75 years of experience pursuing justice for people who have been killed or harmed by the negligence of other people and corporations.