Boylston Wrongful Death Attorney
Few experiences in life are more traumatizing and painful than the loss of a loved one. When the death is sudden and caused by the careless acts or negligence of another party, the situation is made even worse. Feelings of injustice and anger can settle in as you wonder how something like this could have happened.
When you’re suffering from such a loss, the idea of pursuing legal action might seem too much to take on. But it’s essential to understand that you deserve compensation for your loss. The assistance of an experienced wrongful death attorney can help you achieve the closure you need and give you financial security for the future.
At Frank Wilson, Attorney at Law, we understand that wrongful death cases are incredibly personal. If you’ve lost a loved one due to another party’s negligence, we feel your pain and are ready to fight for your rights. Contact our office today.
What is a Wrongful Death Case?
Each state creates its own definition of wrongful death, but most are similar. According to Section 6-5-410 of the Code of Alabama, the state defines “wrongful death” as the loss of life that is caused by the “wrongful act, omission, or negligence” of another. If the deceased person, had they lived, could have brought a personal injury suit against the responsible party, there is likely a wrongful death case.
Common Types of Wrongful Death Cases
For the most part, any circumstance that can cause an accident and serious injury is also capable of causing death. In Boylston, some of the most common causes of wrongful death cases we see include:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents – Car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents are all tragedies that can lead to loss of life.
- Defective Products – When a product is poorly designed, built wrong, and misrepresented by its sellers, the user faces a serious risk of injury or death.
- Criminal Acts – The perpetrator of a criminal act that has led to the loss of life of your loved one should be held financially responsible for their actions in addition to facing criminal charges.
- Employer Negligence – Employer negligence could be a factor if unsafe work conditions resulted in the death of an employee.
No one is ever truly prepared to deal with the loss of a loved one caused by an accident. If this is your situation and you are eligible for wrongful death benefits, it’s vital that you speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney about your options.
Who is Eligible to Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim in Boylston?
In most states, family members of the deceased are permitted to file wrongful death claims. But Alabama handles these cases differently. In this state, only the designated representative of the deceased’s estate can file a claim.
In general, this is the person who is listed as the executor of the deceased’s will. If you are not the executor, you will need to work closely with this person to file suit on behalf of the estate. If there was no will, opening an estate through probate is typically the first step.
If the deceased was a minor child, the family does not have to open an estate. But Alabama law does identify people who are legally able to bring a legal claim in these cases.
Because of the way the law is written, these can be complex matters and a time-consuming process. Getting the right attorney early can make a significant difference in your case outcome.
Damages Available in Wrongful Death Cases
Unlike most other states, where you can sue the responsible party to cover medical expenses, funeral costs, lost earning capacity, and other damages, Alabama law doesn’t allow this. Instead, a wrongful death case in Alabama only permits compensation in the form of punitive damages.
Our state’s law is focused primarily on punishing the responsible party for their actions or omission that caused a needless death. It also makes an example of them and discourages similar activity in the future by them and others.
Fortunately, those punitive damages can be used to cover things like funeral costs, medical bills, and the wages your loved one won’t be able to earn. Punitive damages can be challenging to calculate and justify. Our skilled wrongful death legal team will build the strongest case possible so that you get justice and financial peace of mind.
How Do Wrongful Death Cases in Boylston Work?
Under Alabama law, wrongful death cases are filed in civil court. Even if the responsible party is facing criminal charges, a wrongful death case will be handled as a separate legal action. Even if the person is charged with a crime and later acquitted, or committed a crime but was never charged, you can still bring a wrongful death case against them to hold them responsible.
You have two years from the date of death to file a lawsuit in civil court. The Alabama Code is specific about the situations that permit a wrongful death lawsuit:
- An act of negligence led to the death
- A wrongful act led to the death
- An act of omission led to the death
Unlike other types of civil cases, claimants in an Alabama wrongful death lawsuit are only allowed to recover punitive damages. These are damages that are not meant to compensate the victim’s family, but rather to punish the defendant for their egregious actions that resulted in a loved one’s death. Obtaining punitive damages is more challenging than other types of damages, and this is why it is important to have an experienced attorney by your side working hard to hold those responsible for a wrongful death fully accountable.
When you hire our law firm for your wrongful death lawsuit, our legal team will deal with insurance companies and court filings on your behalf. One of our primary goals is to ease your family’s emotional and financial burden during this difficult time. Some of the services we provide include:
- Identify who was at fault in the accident
- Collect evidence to support your claim
- Help place a value on your case
- Develop a strategy to build the strongest case possible
- Negotiate a full and fair settlement with the insurance company
If an insurance company makes a low-ball settlement offer or denies your claim, our firm is prepared to represent you during the litigation process.
Speak with a Trusted Boylston Wrongful Death Attorney
If the negligent actions of another party took the life of your loved one, contact Frank Wilson, Attorney at Law, to discuss your legal options. Our office provides legal services to injured families in the area.
Initial consultations are free, and we handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay us nothing until we secure a positive result on your behalf. Call us today or contact us online for an appointment.