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Attorney Portrait Articles

How Much Can You Sue for in a Birmingham Wrongful Death Case?

If you’ve lost a family member as the result of someone else’s wrongful act or negligence, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death case. Under Alabama law, the decedent’s personal representative can file a wrongful death case if the decedent could have filed a personal injury suit had he or she survived. If you are considering filing a Birmingham wrongful death case, you should consult a personal injury attorney. If you have a wrongful death claim, our personal injury attorneys at the Fob James Law Firm will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Who Can File a Wrongful Death Case in AL? In Alabama, only the personal representative of the decedent’s estate can bring a wrongful death claim. This rule is different from many other states, which allow close family members of the decedent to file a wrongful death case. If the decedent died with a will, the will names the personal representative. However, if the decedent died without a will, then the court appoints the personal representative. Additionally, the personal representative must bring the case within two years of the decedent’s death. What Types of Damages Can You Receive in an AL Wrongful Death Case? Alabama wrongful death law is not as favorable to people seeking to file a wrongful death claim as in other states. In Alabama, the decedent’s personal representative can sue only for punitive damages, not compensatory damages. Further, punitive damages are capped at a maximum of $1,500,000.  Although this may seem like a large sum of money, punitive damages do not include compensation for things such as: Medical expenses,  Lost wages, Pain and suffering, and  Loss of consortium. Not frequently given in personal injury lawsuits, courts award punitive damages to punish the defendant and deter others from engaging in similar conduct. Who Receives Damages in AL Wrongful Death Cases? The decedent’s heirs receive damages awards in Alabama wrongful death cases. The personal representative does not directly receive damages. Alabama’s intestacy laws determine the identity of the decedent’s heirs. Depending on who survives the decedent, the heirs are usually a spouse, children, grandchildren, or parents. The heirs could be different than those named in the decedent’s will because it may not have named all heirs. However, it is possible that the personal representative is also an heir and will receive damages. How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help Me? If you’ve lost a family member as the result of an accident, you should contact our Birmingham personal injury attorneys at the Fob James Law Firm. Our aggressive attorneys can help you file a wrongful death claim and will strive to get you the compensation you’re entitled to. Our attorneys are dedicated to representing others who have suffered a loss resulting from someone else’s negligence or wrongful act. With more than 40 years of experience, we will give your case the attention it deserves. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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Attorney Portrait Articles

Do I Have a Wrongful Death Case?

If you lost a family member due to injuries caused by another party, you may have the right to seek compensation. Whether your loved one died due to injuries sustained as a result of a car accident, a truck accident, a slip and fall accident, medical malpractice, or another wrongful act, the at-fault party should be held accountable. An Alabama wrongful death attorney can help you pursue justice and financial restitution. Talking to an experienced personal injury attorney is the best way to determine the viability of your case. Your lawyer can also provide you with information regarding the potential value of your claim. What Is the Alabama Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death? The Alabama statute of limitations for wrongful death is two years from the date of the victim’s death. If you fail to file court action within this period, you could lose your legal right to recover compensation for your damages. Some exceptions to the statute of limitations could affect your claim. For example, if the at-fault party is a city or municipality, you or your lawyer must file a notice of your claim within six months of the death. If you plan to pursue an Alabama county for wrongful death, you must file a notice of your claim within one year of the death in most cases. How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Alabama? The Alabama wrongful death statute of limitations leaves little room for delay. By quickly initiating a legal claim, you can protect your legal right to recover compensation. Taking quick action provides other benefits as well. The sooner your attorney can get started on your case, the better. As time passes, evidence can be lost and witnesses’ memories can fade. When you allow your attorney to start building your case immediately, you can focus on spending time with loved ones and handling the many other tasks and responsibilities you face. Who Can File an Alabama Wrongful Death Claim? Alabama law requires that a personal representative of the victim’s estate bring any wrongful death action. Because of the personal representative’s involvement, the victim’s estate must be opened in probate court.  Initiating probate proceedings poses its own set of legal challenges. Consulting an attorney can help ensure that your claim meets the state’s legal requirements. In the event that the victim was under 18, the victim’s mother or father can commence legal action. If both the mother and father are already deceased, or if neither mother or father commences legal action within six months of the victim’s death, a designated personal representative can pursue a legal claim. How Are Wrongful Death Proceeds Divided in Alabama? Although a personal representative of the victim must initiate legal action, the personal representative does not recover the settlement or jury award granted in an Alabama wrongful death action. The proceeds of the claim will be distributed to the victim’s heirs through probate..Even if the victim died with a will, the probate court will disburse any proceeds in accordance with Alabama’s inheritance laws rather than following the will. This distribution depends on whether the victim had a spouse, children, or surviving parents. An Alabama wrongful death attorney can explain how the state law applies to your case and how it could affect your potential settlement. Talk to An Alabama Wrongful Death Lawyer Today If your loved one died due to the actions of another party, talk to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The personal injury lawyers of the Fob James Law Firm understand how difficult this time is, and we are here to help you. We provide personalized legal representation tailored to your specific needs, and we fight to get you and your family the justice you deserve. Call (205) 407-6009 to contact us today to schedule a no-cost case evaluation with one of our Alabama wrongful death attorneys.

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