Who is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Alabama? | Belt, Bruner & Barnett

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Who is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Alabama?

Feb 27, 2019 | Personal Injury

There’s nothing more devastating than losing a loved one in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence. After their death, you may want to punish the wrongdoer and ensure that they never commit a similar offense again. By filing a wrongful death claim, you may be able to receive the justice you deserve.

If your loved one passed away as a result of another party’s careless acts, reach out to Belt, Bruner & Barnett, P.C to speak with an experienced Alabama wrongful death lawyers. We can inform you of your options, and ensure your rights are protected. Contact us at (205) 933-1500 today to schedule a free, initial evaluation of your case.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Alabama?

Every state has its own regulations on who has the right to pursue legal action after a wrongful death. In most states, the surviving family members of the deceased are entitled to file claims. In Alabama, however, the only individual who can file a wrongful death claim is the personal representative of the decedent’s estate.

This individual may be named in the last will and testament of the deceased. In the event the decedent did not have a will, the court can appoint the representative.

What Can Be Recovered in an Alabama Wrongful Death Claim?

While most other states allow surviving family members to recover monetary and non-monetary damages such as emotional distress and loss of income, Alabama is different. Since the purpose of AL’s wrongful death law is to punish the negligent party and prevent future instances of similar misconduct, punitive damages are the only type of damages that may be recovered.

The severity of the accident that caused your loved one’s passing will dictate the amount of punitive damages that are recoverable in your case. It’s important to note that any award will go directly to the heirs of the decedent, rather than the estate.

What to Do After Your Loved One’s Death

Finding out that someone you love has passed away because of a car accident, truck accident, slip and fall, defective product, or medical malpractice incident can leave you overwhelmed. You may wonder what the future holds, and be unsure of how to cope with your loss. We recommend following these steps to protect yourself after the wrongful death of a loved one:

  • Spend time with friends and family. Rather than isolating yourself, spend time with surviving loved ones. They can serve as your support system and be there for you.
  • Plan the funeral. Perform some research and find a funeral home that you know your loved one would approve of. Then, begin the process of planning the funeral. It’s okay to wait a bit before taking this step so you can take some time to cope with the grief.
  • Seek professional support. Consider joining a grief support group or seeing a therapist or mental health counselor to help you with the grieving process.
  • Consult an Alabama wrongful death lawyer. Reach out to a wrongful death lawyer to learn about your legal options and hold the wrongdoer accountable for their negligence.
    • Questions About Wrongful Death Claims? Contact Us Today

      Since Alabama wrongful death laws can be complex, it is in your best interest to consult Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C., and speak with one of our highly-skilled wrongful death lawyers. We can inform you of your legal options and help you find peace during this difficult time. Call us at (205) 933-1500, or reach out online to schedule a free consultation of your case.