Huntsville Wrongful Death Lawyer
The loss of a loved one is among the most painful things you can experience. A Huntsville wrongful death attorney can’t undo what happened but can help you recover fair compensation.
Losing a loved one can be one of the most painful things to come out of an accident, leaving you to handle the emotional devastation, fees, and other damages that remain after a loved one’s death. When that loved one died because of the negligence of another, it can feel especially heartbreaking.
When a loved one passes away in an accident someone else caused, you may need to take action to recover fair compensation. But where do you begin? Alabama law is distinct from many other states for wrongful death cases, so it may be especially difficult to recover the compensation you need.
After an accident that claimed the life of a loved one, you may feel that justice was not served, but it can be difficult to get a claim started. That’s where a Huntsville wrongful death lawyer at our firm can help. Getting the compensation your family deserves after the death of a family member may be overwhelming when coupled with the grief, but we are ready to guide you through the process.
Who Can Sue?
One of the complicated aspects of Huntsville wrongful death cases is the matter of who can handle the case. In most personal injury claims, after all, the plaintiffs themselves are available to file their claims. For a wrongful death claim, however, someone must step in to represent the deceased plaintiff in the courtroom.
In many states, family members themselves can represent the deceased. Alabama, however, is unique in that regard—if you are a family member of the decedent, you will not be able to file on the grounds of being related to your loved one.
Instead, a wrongful death claim must be filed by the personal representative for the deceased’s estate, according to Alabama law. This person will file the claim either on behalf of the estate or the deceased person. Any damages awarded through the claim will be paid to the estate only.
This is primarily so that the heirs to the estate will receive the compensation. This does not take into consideration spouses, for example, or other close family members, but the executor of the estate can provide compensation to individual family members.
The exception to this law, however, is in the case of a minor involved in a fatal accident. In this case, the parents may have the right to file a claim, although this is also restricted. Parents are only allowed to file if they are “lawfully living together.” Otherwise, the responsibility will go to the person or party with custody of the child.
Huntsville Wrongful Death Compensation
Determining who is eligible to file your loved one’s Huntsville wrongful death lawsuit is one of the first steps. While you may not be the representative of the estate or a parent, this step still puts you one step closer to getting your loved one’s proper compensation.
Alabama law is not just unique in its rules on who may bring a claim forward. Once you have begun the filing process, you typically look at damages, as well—families in most states can usually recover some damages from a lawsuit for expenses involving the decedent’s death, such as funeral expenses and medical expenses.
This is not the case in Alabama. Alabama is the only state that does not allow for these damages, opting instead to limit plaintiffs to punitive damages from the defendant. These damages go strictly to the estate, rather than to the family members.
Punitive damages are not meant to compensate the wronged parties for their suffering. Rather, these damages are there to punish those who acted negligently and caused the fatal accident. In these claims, the judge must only consider the amount of wrongdoing the defendant committed, rather than the suffering of the plaintiff or surviving family.
Your wrongful death lawyer in Huntsville can help you understand and navigate the uniquely complicated Alabama wrongful death laws.
Reach Out to a Huntsville Wrongful Death Attorney
Losing a loved one is never easy, but when you have some understanding of how the case for your loved one’s fatal accident could go, you know there is some closure to be gained through a wrongful death claim.
If you have any questions about your wrongful death claim, we will be happy to speak with you about your options. While Alabama law limits what you can do for your deceased loved one, you can get some help with your case. If you’re concerned about fees, as well, reach out to us. We won’t charge anything until we win your claim.
If you’re interested in a free consultation with a Huntsville wrongful death lawyer at the Henry Dailey Law Firm, give us a call at 205-995-2412 or fill out the online contact form at the bottom of the page.