Losing a loved one is more than shocking, it is devastating. Whether you lost a parent, spouse, or child in an accident, you are forced to grieve and accept a new reality. When your loved one’s death is the result of another person’s actions, the situation is even harder to accept. Under Alabama law, you may have the right to file a wrongful death claim. To learn more about this option, contact our Alabama wrongful death attorneys at Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. Call us today at 205-933-1500.
A wrongful death claim may be available to your loved one’s estate if your spouse, child, or parent’s death was the result of another person’s wrongful act, omission, or negligence. In general, this claim is similar to a personal injury claim. However, instead of the injured party moving forward with a lawsuit based on negligence, the injured party’s estate files suit for the same reason.
In Alabama, a wrongful death claim is intended to punish the wrongdoer, whether or not that other person or business was charged with or convicted of a crime. A wrongful death claim enables your loved one’s family to seek punitive damages. This compensation not only penalizes the person at fault, but also enable the estate to cover expenses related to your relative’s death, like medical and burial costs. However, while this financial recovery can help pay the bills, it is not intended to be compensatory.
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit will not bring your loved one back and it may not solve all of your financial issues. However, it can hold the negligent person responsible, offering you and your family members justice and some financial assistance.
If you are interested in a wrongful death claim after you lose a spouse, parent, or child, contact our wrongful death attorneys at at Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. right away. Only the personal representative of a deceased individual’s estate can file a wrongful death claim against another person or business. Because of this, wrongful death claims are usually wrapped up in the probate process.
If you were the decedent’s spouse, parent, or adult child, you may be appointed the representative have the power to make this decision. If you are not, however, you will need to discuss this legal option with that individual. The representative has two years to decide to file.
If you and your family decide to move forward with a wrongful death claim, you must understand the burden rests on your shoulders to prove the other party acted wrongfully in some way. This requires gathering evidence that you can provide to the court of:
Gathering enough evidence to prove someone acted wrongfully and caused a death can be difficult. Your loved one is not there to testify about what happened. In most situations, this means the most essential witness is unavailable. Instead, you must rely on other types of direct and circumstantial evidence to prove the other party’s wrongful act, omission, or negligence. This can include but is not limited to:
If you lost your spouse, child, parent, or another relative in an unexpected accident, contact us at Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. as soon as possible. We can explain how wrongful death claims work in Alabama and whether it is in your or whoever is appointed the representative’s best interests to move forward with a suit. If this option is right for your family, then we are prepared to undertake a detailed investigation into your loved one’s death and the other party’s negligence.
To learn more about wrongful death claims and how we can help, contact our wrongful death attorneys at 205-933-1500. If your family member or loved one was killed in a fatal accident due to no fault of their own, our Alabama personal injury law firm can answer any questions you may have. With offices in Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville, and Montgomery, our attorneys can help you at a location nearest you.
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