Wrongful Death Attorney
If you’ve lost a loved one in a fatal accident due to another party’s negligence, you have the right to financial compensation. At Johnstone Carroll, we truly understand that no amount of money could ever make up for your loss, but it can help to cover any costs related to your loved one’s death. Personal Injury cases and specifically wrongful death claims are complex, therefore you need a law firm with specific expertise in these types of claims. We have that experience. Let us advocate for you while you focus on getting your life back.
Wrongful Death Claims and Survival Claims in Alabama
Under Alabama law, tort claims, such as negligence or wantonness, generally disappear when the injured person dies. However, there are two very important exceptions to this rule that are provided by Alabama’s wrongful death statute and Alabama’s survival statute.
Under Alabama’s wrongful death statute, if a person is killed by the negligence or wrongful act of someone else, including a corporation, the victim’s personal representative can bring a wrongful death claim under Alabama Code Section 6-5-410. There is a two-year statute of limitations that runs from the time of death.
A personal representative is a person appointed by a probate court to represent the estate of a deceased person. The personal representative must be appointed before the wrongful death claim can be brought. As a result, it is important to begin the process of having a personal representative appointed in time to file suit within two years of death. This process can take several months and even longer in today’s climate.
Under Alabama’s wrongful death statute, a personal representative can only recover punitive damages. This means that a wrongful death trial will focus on the wrongdoing of the defendant instead of damages like lost income, loss of companionship, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering.
If the personal representative wins the wrongful death trial, any damages recovered will be distributed to the person’s heirs as provided by Alabama law. Creditors and debt collectors trying to collect money from the dead person‘s estate, are not entitled to any of the proceeds of a wrongful death suit.
Wrongful death claims can include many different types of claims including but not limited to the below:
- Medical negligence
- Automobile accidents
- Trucking accidents
- Construction accidents
- Premises liability cases
- Defective products
- Boating accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- And more
Alabama’s survival statute applies to keep a tort claim alive if an injured person files a lawsuit but then dies. In this case, Alabama law provides that the claim survives the plaintiff’s death and is passed to the personal representative.
Call Johnstone Carroll Today For Your Free Consultation!
At Johnstone Carroll, our law firm is here for your during your time of grief. We offer a complimentary, no obligation consultation to discuss the specifics of your wrongful death claim. Fill out our online form or call us directly today, talk to an experienced attorney now.