What Kind of Damages Can Be Claimed in A Wrongful Death Suit?
Losing a family member is always incredibly tragic, and made even more difficult when it happens as a result of negligence. Perhaps someone is driving under the influence or while texting which causes a fatal accident, or a loved one is operating a piece of faulty construction equipment and is killed.
Alabama is unique when it comes to a wrongful death lawsuit. In most states, if someone dies as the result of someone else’s negligence, any immediate family member can file suit. In Alabama, the only person who can file a wrongful death lawsuit is the representative of the decedent’s estate. This may be a relative or it could be a close friend of the family. Typically, when someone drafts their will, they appoint whoever they want to oversee their estate.
Even if you have the standing to file a lawsuit, it is important to know what kind of damages your family may be entitled to. The best way to know for sure is to talk to an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Birmingham, Alabama.
There is Only One Kind of Damages You Can Demand for Wrongful Death in Birmingham
Most states allow you to demand many types of damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. For example, you can usually file suit for the same damages your loved one could have received had they survived the accident. This is not the case in Alabama.
In Alabama, they only allow you to demand punitive damages. Punitive damages are damages intended to punish the person responsible for your loved one’s death.
The interesting thing about this is that most states don’t allow punitive damages in wrongful death cases. You must prove that the defendant acted intentionally. Or your Birmingham personal injury lawyer can demonstrate that they were negligent to the point where it was considered reckless.
How Can Your Birmingham Personal Injury Lawyer Prove Punitive Damages?
It is not easy to prove that you are entitled to punitive damages. Your attorney will have to show that the defendant acted willfully or with gross negligence. However, not all cases are hard to prove. For example, if someone was driving under the influence of drugs are alcohol, the court will almost always find them to be grossly negligent. The same is true in the case of medical malpractice where the doctor was intoxicated at the time they performed the surgery.
The good news is that our injury attorneys in Alabama know what it takes to prove your case. They will review the evidence and put forth the best argument possible. They will also fight to make sure your loved one gets justice.
Contact an Experienced Wrongful Death Lawsuit Attorney in Birmingham, Alabama
If your loved one has died in an accident, your family needs time to grieve. That is why it is important that you call and talk to one of our skilled personal injury lawyers in Birmingham right away. You can schedule your free, initial consultation over the phone. This gives you the opportunity to talk to someone who has handled a case like yours before. They can answer any questions you may have. The consultation is free, and you do not pay a dime unless your case is resolved.