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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. 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 Alabama?

In Alabama, only the personal representative of the decedent’s estate can bring a wrongful death claim.

This rule is different than some states, which allow the victim’s close family members 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?

Aabama does not allow for compensatory damages in a wrongful death case. Rather, punitive damages are awarded in an Alabama wrongful death claim.

Courts and juries award punitive damages to punish the defendant and deter others from engaging in similar conduct.

Importantly, Alabama’s $1.5 million dollar cap on punitive damages does not apply in a wrongful death case.

Because punitive damages are not capped in Alabama wrongful death cases, the amount of damages are whatever the jury decides.

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, AL wrongful death attorneys.

Our aggressive attorneys can help you file a wrongful death claim and will strive to get you the compensation you deserve.

Fob James Law Firm is 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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Fob James

Fob James obtained a B.S., in software engineering from Auburn University and then continued his education by getting his J.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Law. After working for a large regional firm for several years where he obtained awards for both individual and corporate clients, Fob found that his passion was fighting for individuals who have been seriously injured or wronged by others. Fob believes that the jury is the great equalizer to the power and influence that large corporations have in society.