Montgomery, AL Wrongful Death Lawyers
When a person dies because of the negligent or reckless actions of another person, it may be referred to as wrongful death. Survivors of such a decedent have the right to file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault or responsible party. Wrongful death occurs when an individual is killed as a result of the negligence of another party. Examples of wrongful death cases include:
- Medical malpractice
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Work-related accidents
- Defective products
The surviving family members of a deceased individual (called the decedent) may take legal action against the negligent party. Alabama wrongful death law is unique in that it does not allow for compensatory damages to be awarded to the family of the decedent. Rather, only punitive damages, intended to punish a wrongdoer and deter others, can be leveled by the court in an accidental death lawsuit in Alabama.
Losing a loved one is an extremely difficult time, and Alabama wrongful death lawsuits need to be handled with the utmost tact. Alabama wrongful death attorney Frank M. Wilson is experienced and distinguished in this area of law. He handles Alabama wrongful death claims with sensitivity, but also delivers the results that can help to bring some measure of closure for the family of the decedent.
In Alabama, wrongful death lawsuits can be filed by family members, including spouses, parents, and minor children. Grandparents, adult children, and partners may also be eligible for filing a lawsuit in certain cases. You should consult with a capable wrongful death attorney to see whether you have a lawsuit.
Statute of limitations applies to all wrongful death and personal injury claims in Alabama. You have two years from the victim’s date of death to file a wrongful death claim.
Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim in Alabama
Wrongful death claims place the burden of proof squarely on the plaintiff as with any other personal injury lawsuit. Your attorney will need to prove the following four elements for a successful wrongful death lawsuit:
- Duty of care
The first thing that needs to be proved is that the defendant owed a duty of care towards the victim. For instance, drivers have a duty of following the rules of the road. Hence, anyone who gets behind the wheel has the responsibility to act in a reasonable and safe manner.
- Breach of care
The next element involves showing that the defendant breached the duty of care. For instance, in the case of medical malpractice, an expert witness can be used for testifying against the defendant by questioning the medical error.
Once the duty of care is outlined and it is shown that the defendant failed to fulfill it, you would need to show that the victim’s wrongful death was because of the breach of care.
Finally, you would need to prove that the wrongful death led to compensable damages. This can include medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, lost wages, and litigation costs among other similar items. The final settlement amount is calculated by adding all financial losses borne by the victim’s beneficiaries and surviving dependents.
Attorneys experienced with wrongful death lawsuits in Montgomery
It is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after the death of a loved one. The statute of limitations for filing wrongful death claims in Alabama is two years from the death of the decedent, unless the case is against a city or county.
Once you decide to allow Frank M. Wilson to handle your wrongful death lawsuit, he immediately sets to work with the skills and dedication that earned him a reputation as one of the best wrongful death lawyers in the state. Cases in which he provided successful representation for clients include:
- A child killed in a construction site drainage ditch
- A driver killed when his vehicle made contact with a utility power line
- An electrician killed on a job site
- The death of a child due to a defective crib
Even though wrongful death law in Alabama does not allow for compensatory damages, in a case where there is serious injury that could cause death it may be possible for a family to collect damages for the personal injuries suffered prior to the wrongful death in Alabama. This is another reason why you must contact a lawyer right away.
Superior representation in your Montgomery accidental death lawsuit
Frank M. Wilson, wants to obtain justice for the wrongs done to the friends and family of a deceased person. You can call our office toll free at 888.366.5732 or at 334.649.7106, or contact us online.