Birmingham Wrongful Death Attorney
Seeking Justice After the Death of Loved One: You Have Rights. Call (205) 581-9777 to Discuss Your Legal Options.
Wrongful death lawsuits can be particularly complex. To get results, it is necessary that your lawyer has the knowledge and experience to craft a compelling case supported by evidence, witnesses, and expert testimony. If you lost a loved one due to the negligent act of another party, we urge you to contact a Birmingham serious accident attorney at the Guster Law Firm, LLC immediately. Certain family members hold the right to pursue damages in a case of wrongful death.
Alabama Law in Wrongful Death Cases
Under Alabama law, cases of wrongful death are filed in civil court and you have only two years from the time of death in which to file. The responsible party may be facing criminal charges, but a wrongful death case is a separate legal action. A wrongful death case can be brought even when the person has been acquitted in criminal court or never charged. State law is specific about the situations that allow for a wrongful death case to be filed.
Under Section 6-5-410 of the Alabama Code, a wrongful death case can be filed when:
- A wrongful act led to the death.
- An act of omission led to the death.
- An act of negligence led to the death.
In addition to the emotional suffering resulting from the loss of a loved one, victims of wrongful death are understandably confused, and at risk of being taken advantage of by insurance adjusters or lawyers representing the responsible party. We advise you to avoid signing any papers or being interviewed about the death of your loved one by an insurance company or their attorneys without first hiring your own wrongful death lawyer.
Although a lawsuit cannot bring back your loved one, it is crucial that you speak with a dedicated wrongful death attorney so that justice can be served. The loss of your loved one may have left you in a terrible financial situation. The money recovered through a wrongful death lawsuit or claim can help to provide for your family in the years ahead. Our early involvement can be a critical point in the final outcome of a wrongful death lawsuit or claim. We urge you to contact us immediately.
What You Need to Prove Wrongful Death Negligence
Losing a family member, especially when it could have been prevented, is one of the most traumatic events a person can ever go through. This is what many people encounter every day in situations where a wrongful death has occurred. When someone has died because of the negligence of a third party, their family members have the right to pursue justice. However, these cases can be some of the most challenging to prove and require the assistance of an experienced wrongful death attorney.
Guster Law Firm, LLC has a team of Alabama personal injury lawyers that know how to successfully validate claims of wrongful death negligence. We take on the responsibility of proving our clients’ cases so they can focus on the grieving process.
Elements to Prove For Wrongful Death Negligence
Even though a wrongful death negligence case means seeking compensation for the passing of a loved one and has different financial consequences, it is still treated similar to a general personal injury claim in terms of proving negligence. The victim’s family must establish evidence for each of the elements below.
- Duty: Before any claims of negligence can be substantiated, it has to be shown that the defendant either had a duty to keep the deceased safe from harm or to avoid taking any action that would put them in danger. Several factors are taken into consideration when determining if the defendant owed a duty of due care in the situation but instead acted careless, reckless, or negligent.
- Breach of Duty: If a defendant had duty of due care, it must also be proven that they breached that duty with a failure to act as they should have under the particular conditions that caused death.
- Causation: Next, it will have to be explained how the defendant’s actions directly caused the injuries that lead to the victim’s death. Usually, there cannot be pre-existing injuries or other factors that contributed in order for the defendant to be found accountable.
- Damages: Finally, it’s required that the victim’s death have produced quantifiable monetary damages that the plaintiffs are entitled to recoup.
Types of Damages That Can Be Recovered
Because of the severe nature of wrongful death negligence claims, the types of damages that can be recovered often vary from those typically awarded in personal injury cases. The surviving family members or beneficiaries may seek:
- Medical and funeral expenses incurred as a result of the injury and subsequent death
- Wages that would have been earned if the deceased had lived
- Loss of the deceased’s benefits, pension, and retirement
- Loss of care, companionship, protection, and services to the survivors
For more information about damages in a wrongful death claim, read our FAQ section below.
Speak with a Birmingham Wrongful Death Lawyer at (205) 581-9777
We offer a free, comprehensive, and confidential consultation of your case. We will be happy to visit you if you cannot meet with us at our offices and discuss your case with you in detail. Our staff of experts will determine the best course of action to take to help you to seek to recover the maximum amount of compensation possible under Alabama law.
Let us help you navigate the legal system after the sudden loss of a family member. We have been helping victims of wrongful death since 2002, giving our clients the peace of mind they need to move forward after the loss of a loved one.
Guster Law Firm, LLC can be reached at (205) 581-9777.
Birmingham Wrongful Death FAQ
Who can I establish a wrongful death claim for in Alabama?
A wrongful death claim may be established for the spouse and children of the decedent, the spouse if there are no children or other legal heirs if there is no spouse or children e.g. parents or grandparents.
Who can I file a wrongful death lawsuit against in Alabama?
A wrongful death lawsuit may be filed against a group or individual depending on the cause and location of the death. This may include:
- An individual
- An employer or employee
- A company
- A government agency
What type of damages may I be entitled to in Birmingham?
Wrongful death can cause serious financial problems in the form of funeral costs, medical bills, and in particular, lost income. There are a number of different types of damages you may be able to recover. These include:
- Funeral and burial expenses. The typical cost for a funeral in the U.S. is $7,000-$10,000. You may be able to claim compensation to cover these costs.
- Medical expenses. This applies only if there are any medical expenses related to the final illness or injury of the decedent.
- Lost income. This is a calculation of lost wages and benefits which is determined by the age of the victim, how long she was expected to live, her income when she died and her projected future income. It may also include the value of services and goods that the victim would have provided and the value of lost benefits such as health insurance and pensions.
- Pain and suffering. This includes damages that are awarded as compensation for the survivors' emotional suffering, mental anguish, and for the loss of emotional support and companionship that the decedent would have provided to surviving family members.
- Punitive damages. These damages are awarded as a means of punishing the individual or party responsible or the wrongful death.
Are all state laws the same in cases of wrongful death?
Not all states have the same laws regarding wrongful death. This means that deciding which state you can and should bring your wrongful death claim is very important. Some states do not allow certain types of compensation. They also have different statutes of limitation which determine the timeframe you have in which to file a lawsuit.
How soon must an Alabama wrongful death lawsuit be filed?
In Alabama the statute of limitations to file a wrongful death lawsuit is generally within two years. However, it is always best to file your lawsuit as soon as possible. Wrongful deaths are unfortunate tragedies. While wrongful death cases can be unpredictable, an experienced attorney who specializes in this field can review your circumstances. He or she can then help you understand whether you have a case and if so, what compensation you and your family may be entitled to. Find out more about wrongful death lawsuits in Alabama right now by calling our expert legal team at Guster Law Firm, LLC by calling (205) 581-9777. We are here to listen to and answer all your questions.