Huntsville Wrongful Death Lawyers
If you recently lost a spouse, parent, or child in a tragic accident that was another person’s fault, you need to be aware of wrongful death actions. Alabama law allows certain surviving family members to obtain compensation after their loved one was killed because of another individual’s negligence. Whether it was a car accident, a slip and fall, or some other type of incident, if any other individual’s carelessness, recklessness, or intentional misconduct caused your loved one’s death, then a legal claim may arise.
However, a wrongful death claim is a particular cause of action. Not just anyone can bring this type of case and only certain types of damages are allowed. If you recently lost a loved one in Madison County, contact the Huntsville wrongful death lawyers of Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. as soon as you can. Our experienced and trusted attorneys can review your situation and advise you on the possibility of filing a wrongful death claim.
Pursuing a Wrongful Death Claim in Huntsville
If you lost a loved one due to another person’s negligence or misconduct, you have a number rights and options moving forward. Depending on the situation, you may be able to obtain an insurance settlement or compensation through a lawsuit. There are very specific laws regarding wrongful death lawsuits. These laws determine who may file the suit, where, and the compensation they can obtain. However, the rules are different when going through the insurance claim process. All of the intricacies of wrongful death lawsuits do not necessarily apply to an insurance claim and settlement.
You need an experienced attorney who is prepared to help you through both the insurance claim process, and if necessary, a wrongful death lawsuit. When it comes to an insurance settlement, it is important to learn the value of your claim. Many insurers will try and settle quickly for a low amount. We will not let that happen. We have years of experience handling wrongful death claims and can help you fully understand the potential value of your situation. If you are unable to reach a fair insurance settlement, our Huntsville wrongful death lawyers can advise you on the benefits and disadvantages of pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit.
Who May Bring a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Alabama Code, Section 6-5-410 states the personal representative of a deceased person’s estate may commence a wrongful death case within two years of the date of the decedent’s death. This means the personal representative, whoever is appointed by the decedent’s will or the court, is responsible for pursuing a wrongful death claim. As a family member, you may have a great deal of say in whether a wrongful death claim is filed or not. However, you cannot file the action yourself.
Whether you are acting as the personal representative for your loved one’s estate or someone else is, we can help you understand Alabama wrongful death claims and whether one may be right for your family. Call us today to learn more about how to begin this type of claim.
A Wrongful Death Claim is a Civil Action
A wrongful death claim is a civil matter, not criminal. It is not limited to situations in which your loved one’s death was the result of a crime. A wrongful death claim may be brought whether or not the other person’s negligence or misconduct led to criminal charges or a conviction. It may be brought even if criminal charges will never occur, and if the other person was exonerated in a criminal court for their conduct. Just because the other individual’s actions did not amount to homicide does not mean they are not civilly liable for causing your family member’s death.
Compensation in a Huntsville Wrongful Death Case
Most states allow the personal representative to seek certain special and general damages, similar to a personal injury case. Those are more broadly known as compensatory damages because they are meant to compensate you and your other family members who have been injured. However, Alabama law is different. During a wrongful death claim, Alabama law only allows you to seek punitive damages. These are intended to punish the wrongdoer.
The value of your claim depends on a number of factors. At Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C., our Huntsville wrongful death lawyers have a proven track record of success and have succeeded in obtaining large wrongful death awards. While your case may not call for such a high settlement or jury award, we will always strive to obtain the maximum compensation available to you and your family.
Who May Recover Wrongful Death Damages
If the personal representative of your loved one’s estate acquires punitive damages through a wrongful death claim, then this compensation goes directly to the deceased person’s heirs. If you are unsure as to whether you may obtain a portion of the compensation, call Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. today. In most cases, the surviving spouse and children receive the compensation. However, depending on who survived the decedent, other relatives may receive some of the settlement or award.
Let Our Huntsville Wrongful Death Lawyers Fight for You and Your Family
After the sudden death of a loved one, you probably have many questions. We want to help you find answers. We can neither bring your family member back, nor can we ease the burden of your grief. However, we can hold the other party accountable, and we will fight to obtain the compensation you need to maintain your family’s finances and move forward.