When you lose a relative because of another individual’s carelessness, recklessness, or intentional misconduct, you may want justice and compensation. You can learn about your options for obtaining these by calling the Alabama wrongful death lawyers of Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. at 205-933-1500. We offer free case evaluations to review your situation and determine whether you or your loved one’s estate can move forward with a survival action or wrongful death claim.
When you lose a loved one because of an accident, your first thought may not be about the law or suing someone. Your immediate thoughts are likely with your grief and your family. You face an unexpected future without your spouse, parent, child, or sibling. Now you have to put them to rest and figure out how to move forward.
Alabama statute §6-5-462 states certain types of legal claims survive beyond an individual’s death, including:
There is a very important type of claim that does not survive. A personal injury claim that is not brought before the injured individual passes away does not survive. If you have a loved one who was injured in an accident and then died days, weeks, or months later as a result of the accident, you cannot bring a personal injury claim on their behalf unless it was filed prior to their death.
This can be a difficult realization for families to cope with. It is often viewed as a large hole in Alabama’s survival action law. However, you and your family are not necessarily left without a remedy. Your loved one’s estate may have the right to move forward with a wrongful death claim. While this action may not be the justice you hoped for, it can be financially helpful.
If a claim survives, it is for the benefit of the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. If you believe your loved one had a legal claim that survived their death, contact us right away. As a spouse, parent, or child, you may not have the right to file or proceed with the claim. However, your loved one’s personal representative may be able to.
When your loved one’s estate files or moves forward with a previously filed claim, the personal representative will pursue the compensation your loved one would have asked for themselves. The damages will not be based on what the estate lost. They are based on the decedent’s physical, psychological, and financial injuries.
In a surviving personal injury claim, the personal representative may seek compensation for the decedent’s:
Survival actions should not be confused with wrongful death claims. A survival action is a cause of action or already filed legal claim that continues despite a party’s death. It is an action or cause of action that does not end because someone passes away. A wrongful death claim is a cause of action for the estate or family member’s loss – not the injured party. It is a claim that arises upon the individual’s death, not upon the date of their injury.
When an estate brings a wrongful death claim, Alabama law entitles it to seek punitive damages, not compensatory damages. While most states allow an estate to ask for compensation for medical expenses, burial expenses, and other financial losses, Alabama only entitles an estate to damages that are meant to punish the at-fault party. This can make Alabama wrongful death claims difficult. However, if your loved one’s estate took on a significant financial burden, the punitive damages can be essential to lightening the financial load.
After losing a loved one because of another person’s negligence or recklessness, you should speak with an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Alabama at Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. We have decades of collective experience in moving forward with survival actions and wrongful death claims.
We are here to review your situation, the decedent’s accident and injuries, and then offer advice on your rights and legal options. We will use all of the resources at our disposal to determine not only the possible but the best course of action for you, your family, and your loved one’s estate.
Contact our Alabama law firm today at 205-933-1500 to schedule a free initial consultation. With offices in Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville, and Montgomery, our attorneys will quickly travel anywhere in the state of Alabama to investigate your case.
We’ve successfully represented clients who have suffered many types of injuries, and we’ll do our best to pursue maximum compensation for your losses. We will deliver the attention you deserve and take care of all the details of your case so you can focus on recovery.Read More Reviews
It’s been three years, and during that time they have been in touch with me every step of the way. I can’t thank this firm enough.
I would certainly recommend Belt, Bruner & Barnett, P.C., because of their knowledge and expertise. They’re wonderful to work with.
He [Keith Belt] worked relentlessly and went above and beyond the call of duty. He’s just an incredible man and an incredible attorney.