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Wrongful Death Attorneys in Birmingham, Alabama
The unexpected death of a loved one is a shattering experience. When that death is due to someone else’s negligence, it can be even harder to accept. In addition to experiencing personal loss, families often face a serious financial impact that can leave them struggling to pay bills and move forward.
At the Serious Injury Law Group, we understand that no legal act can reverse the emotional and psychological pain your family has been put through. However, through a wrongful death claim, we may be able to bring you some financial relief.
Throughout Alabama, families have come to trust our compassionate wrongful death lawyers because:
- Our attorneys have years of experience helping families who have lost loved ones due to fatal car accidents, truck crashes, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse or neglect, and other tragic circumstances.
- Our skilled legal team has in-depth knowledge of the complexities involved in handling Birmingham wrongful death claims.
- We are aggressive negotiators and respected litigators who are committed to forcing insurance companies to do the right thing after a wrongful death.
- Our lawyers are Alabama natives who truly care about the community and the people in it. We know that what has happened to you could have happened to our family, and we treat you how we would want to be treated.
Contact our lawyers in Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile, or Lowndes County now for a free consultation about your legal rights. We can meet you at any of our offices, in your home, or wherever else you prefer. Fill out our online form or call us today for compassionate legal assistance today.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Alabama?
Alabama allows family members of a deceased person to seek compensation from responsible parties when a death has been caused by a wrongful act, omission (failure to act), or negligence. Technically, it is the estate of a deceased person that may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit after an accident in which the deceased person might have brought a personal injury claim had he or she lived.
A personal representative of the deceased’s estate must initiate a wrongful death claim. A personal representative is the executor of the will or, if there is no will, a recognized heir, such as the spouse.
If there is no surviving spouse, Alabama law says those who may serve as personal representative of the estate include, in order:
- The next of kin entitled to share in the distribution of the estate
- The largest creditor of the estate residing in Alabama
- Any other person the probate judge may appoint
In some cases, the local county administrator may serve as representative of the deceased person’s estate, or others may petition the court to be appointed the estate’s personal representative.
In the death of a minor child (younger than 18), each parent has equal standing to pursue compensation in a wrongful death case, as long as they are married and living together. Otherwise, the parent who had legal custody of the child has priority. If both parents are deceased, or if they do not initiate a claim within six months of the child’s death, then a personal representative appointed by the court may pursue a claim.
Ultimately, all legal heirs to the deceased person’s estate may share in proceeds from a wrongful death claim. However, it is not unusual for family members to be at odds as to who should serve as the appointed representative and make decisions about the legal claim.
If you are unsure about your legal options after losing a loved one, contact the knowledgeable Birmingham wrongful death attorneys at the Serious Injury Law Group. We can review the details of your case, explain your rights, and build a strong case for pursuing the maximum compensation your family deserves.
Keep in mind that Alabama imposes a two-year statute of limitations on wrongful death lawsuits in most cases. So it is crucial that you seek legal advice as soon as possible. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Compensation in a Wrongful Death Claim
Alabama considers compensation awarded in a wrongful death claim to be “punitive damages,” or money paid by the responsible party(s) as punishment and as a deterrent to prevent similar wrongdoing by others. By comparison, under other states’ wrongful death laws, damages are paid according to financial losses, such as funeral and burial expenses and the loss of income the deceased would have used to support survivors.
Unlike in other states, damages recovered in a wrongful death claim in Alabama are not subject to the payment of the deceased’s debts or liabilities. All money recovered goes to individuals identified by the court as qualifying heirs of the deceased.
In an Alabama court, a wrongful death claim jury is told that the amount of damages should be directly related to the amount of wrongdoing on the part of the defendant(s). Once a jury awards damages in a wrongful death claim, the money goes to the deceased person’s heirs and not necessarily to the representative of the estate if he or she is not a natural heir.
Therefore, it is essential that your wrongful death case is built upon an understanding of your love one’s death. As part of pursuing a claim for you and/or your family, our Birmingham wrongful death lawyers will investigate the circumstances of the accident and death to identify all responsible parties. We will collect evidence to document the full scope of the negligence and wrongful act(s) that led to your loved one’s loss of life.
As experienced litigators, our wrongful death attorneys know what it takes to make a jury understand how and why a wrongful death occurred, as well as the magnitude of the wrongdoing involved. We take our clients’ losses seriously, and we will fight aggressively for full and fair compensation.
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Contact Our Birmingham Wrongful Death Lawyers
If you have lost a loved one in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may have a right to wrongful death compensation. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can guide you and/or your family through the requirements of a wrongful death claim in Alabama and help you demand the compensation you deserve.
Contact our law firm in Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile, or Lowndes County to speak with an attorney who is dedicated and determined to help your family during this difficult time. Call us today or complete our online form today for a prompt response. We will provide a free, no-obligation initial consultation and pursue a claim for you without charges unless and until we recover compensation for you.