What Is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death refers to a death caused by the “wrongful act, omission or negligence” of another, in which the injuries extend to the people who depended on the deceased for emotional or financial support. Although there are many different situations under which this claim can be filed, wrongful death claims typically surround fatal car accidents, medical malpractice, and nursing home abuse and neglect. Product liability cases are also considered wrongful deaths. These claims are usually brought by an immediate family member acting as a representative of the survivors, typically the executor of the will.
Wrongful Death and Alabama State Law
Wrongful death cases are based on state statute. Alabama’s Wrongful Death Statute is unique, however, in that it only allows for punitive damages intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from committing similar acts. Any damages awarded in these cases are paid directly to the heirs of the deceased person.
Alabama Code Section § 6-5-410: Wrongful Act, Omission or Negligence Causing Death
(a) A personal representative may commence an action and recover such damages as the jury may assess in a court of competent jurisdiction within the State of Alabama, and not elsewhere, for the wrongful act, omission, or negligence of any person, persons, or corporation, his or their servants or agents, whereby the death of his testator or intestate was caused, provided the testator or intestate could have commenced an action for such wrongful act, omission, or negligence if it had not caused death.
(b) Such action shall not abate by the death of the defendant, but may be revived against his personal representative and may be maintained though there has not been prosecution, conviction or acquittal of the defendant for the wrongful act, omission, or negligence.
(c) The damages recovered are not subject to the payment of the debts or liabilities of the testator or intestate, but must be distributed according to the statute of distributions.
(d) Such action must be commenced within two years from and after the death of the testator or intestate. It is important to speak to an experienced law firm when it comes to Wrongful Death cases.
If you’re looking to receive the justice both you and your loved ones deserve, let us help. We’ve handled hundreds of wrongful death cases and have millions of dollars awarded, all aimed at compensating you the maximum amount the law allows for your loss. We understand no dollar amount can truly compensate you and your family for your loss, but by working with us, you can rest assured that we will not only make sure you get what you deserve, but also prevent future tragedies for occurring.