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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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Attorney Portrait Articles

How to Read a Birmingham Crash Accident Report

If you sustained injuries or property damage in a car accident in Birmingham, Alabama, you may need a copy of the police report to submit an insurance claim. If the accident wasn’t your fault, the police report will be critical to documenting your case. Either way, you will need to obtain a copy of the Birmingham traffic accident report. Understanding how to read it will help ensure that the report is accurate and that it contains all the relevant facts. Understanding Alabama Crash Reports In most cases, the police will use a specific form to file your Alabama crash report. This form, known as the Alabama Uniform Traffic Crash Report form, makes it easier for officers to record all pertinent information in an orderly manner. The crash report form is divided into sections as follows. Header Information At the top of the form, the officer will identify critical information about the crash. This information includes the number and type of vehicles involved, the number of injuries and fatalities, and the case or report number. Location and Time The next section allows the officer to make note of the accident location, date, and time. This information is critical as this is the portion of the form where the officer indicates what circumstances caused the crash and which party was primarily at fault. The officer preparing the Alabama collision report will assign each involved party a unit number. This reference will be used throughout the balance of the report. Information for Unit No. 1 In this section, the officer enters all identifying information for the first involved party. This includes name, address, driver license number, and insurance information. The officer will note the party’s condition after the crash and indicate whether that party appeared to be impaired by drugs or alcohol. Any impairment testing results are also included in this section. This section also contains information about the vehicle, any damage sustained, and information about any citations that were issued to the driver. Injured in an accident? We can help with a free-case analysis Begin Free Case Review Here Information for Vehicle No. 2 This section uses the same categories noted above to record information for Unit No. 2, the second involved party. Seating Position Codes This section allows the officer to note how many people occupied each involved vehicle and indicate where in the vehicle they were seated. It also allows the officer to make note of any other individuals involved in the accident, such as pedestrians, etc. Victim Information The next section of the form allows the reporting officer to list all victims of the crash. Here, the officer notes the role of each victim, describes their involvement in the accident, and notes whether they were transported for medical treatment. Narrative and Diagram This section consists of a blank box in which the reporting officer diagrams the accident as it occurred in the officer’s opinion. The officer should also include a written narrative to explain the diagram. Roadway Environment This section notes any specific roadway conditions present. It also allows the officer to note any weather conditions and other relevant information about the accident location. Investigation This section documents which law enforcement agency investigated the incident and notes the identifying information of the reporting officer(s). Truck/Bus Supplement The officer completes this portion of the report only if a qualifying commercial truck or bus was involved in the incident. Although all information on the report should be accurate, pay careful attention to the Narrative and Diagram section of the report. If you plan to pursue a claim for compensation or file a civil suit to recover damages, this section will play a critical role in documenting your case. If any aspect of this section appears incorrect, contact a Birmingham car accident attorney for help. How to Obtain a Copy of a Birmingham, AL Police Report The officer who takes your information and statement at the crash scene should provide you with a report number. Although you may be able to obtain a copy using your driver’s license number, having the report number should make the process easier for you. You can order a copy of your police report directly from the Birmingham Police Department. If you use this method, however, you must pick up the report in person and provide your ID to verify that you were involved. You can also order an Alabama crash report online from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) website. Although this method costs slightly more, you will have immediate access to a PDF copy that you can download. Or if you work with a Birmingham car accident attorney, your lawyer can typically take care of obtaining your crash report and other critical evidence to document your case. Your attorney can also explain how to read the report and go through it with you, to verify its accuracy. Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Birmingham If you have any questions about obtaining Alabama crash reports or interpreting their contents, talk to an experienced car accident lawyer at the Fob James Law Firm. We provide a free consultation for Birmingham personal injury victims. Contact us today by calling (205) 407-6009 to schedule your case evaluation.

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