Selma Wrongful Death Lawyer
When a loved one passes away unexpectedly, it can be devastating, and it’s even more upsetting knowing their death could have been prevented. You might require the assistance of a wrongful death attorney if you believe your loved one’s death was due to carelessness or misconduct.
In this heartbreaking situation, Heninger Garrison Davis can help you hold the responsible party accountable and seek justice for your loss. Our Selma wrongful death lawyer can explain your rights, guide you through the legal process, and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in Selma, AL?
After losing a loved one in a preventable accident, you may be left reeling and contemplating your next steps. Our Selma personal injury attorney, who handles these cases, understands the complexities of Alabama’s wrongful death laws and is committed to seeking justice for our clients.
Wrongful death takes place when another person or organization causes a person’s death through a “wrongful act, omission, or negligence,” per Alabama Code § 6-5-410.
When someone dies due to another party’s negligence or intentional acts, the surviving family can pursue damages like funeral and burial expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship.
However, there are certain requirements for bringing a wrongful death suit in Alabama:
Can Any Close Family Member Bring a Lawsuit?
Unlike other states, Alabama does not allow just any family member to bring a lawsuit directly. Instead, only the deceased’s personal representative can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
In other words, if your mother passed away due to the actions of a negligent driver, you cannot bring a lawsuit unless you have been appointed her estate’s executor.
Personal representatives must be 19 or older, cannot have been convicted of certain crimes, and be competent enough to serve as executors.
Who Gets the Money If the Estate Wins?
When the estate prevails in a wrongful death lawsuit, the court will award the compensation from the lawsuit to family members in accordance with the state’s intestacy laws.
Even if the person who died had no will, in many cases, the deceased individual’s family would be awarded damages from the lawsuit.
What do You Need to Prove in a Fatal Personal Injury Case?
The executor or the estate’s attorney must show that the other party owed your loved one a reasonable duty of care and breached that duty. For instance, a drunk driver who caused an accident that claimed the life of your loved one violated that duty when they got behind the wheel.
The estate’s legal counsel must also establish causation, showing that the defendant’s actions or inaction caused the decedent’s untimely demise. In the above example, you will need to show that drunk driving caused the accident that led to your loved one’s fatal injuries.
Every personal injury case is unique, but certain accidents are more likely to result in wrongful death, including:
- Motor vehicle collisions
- Medical errors
- Work accidents
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Defective product incidents
Recoverable Damages After a Fatal Accident
Expenses can add up quickly following your loved one’s passing, and medical debt and other bills can eat up your loved one’s estate. As a result, recovering damages in a lawsuit can help the surviving family members immensely in the aftermath of a loved one’s passing.
In Alabama, the only recoverable damages in a wrongful death case are punitive damages. The jury is instructed to consider the defendant’s wrongful act and the need to punish said defendant. They can award the plaintiff punitive damages as a punishment and deterrent to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
Punitive damage aims to warn other potential defendants that they will face significant financial penalties if they act in a similarly negligent way.
Alabama’s Time Limit for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If your loved one was killed in a Dallas County accident and you are thinking about suing, it is advisable to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. Under Alabama’s statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits, a personal representative must take action within two years of the deceased person’s passing.
Consulting with an experienced attorney will help ensure that your family member’s estate files a lawsuit in time. A Selma wrongful death attorney from Heninger Garrison Davis will help you meet this and other deadlines in your case.
While two years may seem like a long time, time is of the essence in these cases for other reasons. Evidence can be lost or destroyed, and witnesses can forget details or become difficult to locate. The sooner you seek legal representation, the better.
Contact Our Law Firm for a Free Consultation
At Heninger Garrison Davis, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients obtain compensation after fatal accidents. However, we need time to gather evidence and build a solid case on your behalf. The sooner you speak to our experienced wrongful death lawyer in Selma, the better.
Prevailing in a wrongful death case can provide you with a sense of closure and help you recover financially after a tragic loss. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and find out how we can advocate for you during this difficult time