Instituting a Wrongful Death Claim in Alabama
Losing a loved one is sudden, unexpected and emotionally devastating. The emotional anguish you and your family are suffering may be compounded by financial stress if you depended on your loved one’s income to make ends meet. A premature death is always difficult for a family, but when someone else caused the death, in addition to your emotional and financial pain, you must deal with anger and the sense of unfairness that you must suffer for someone else’s negligence.
Defining Wrongful Death
Any death that comes too soon may seem “wrongful” to a grieving family and friends; but the term “wrongful death” has a particular meaning in law: the loss of a human life as a result of another’s negligent or deliberately wrongful act.
A wrongful death lawsuit is aimed at holding the responsible party liable for a loss of life that could have been prevented. It might be a drunk or distracted driver, a property owner who created or allowed a hazard to exist, a childcare worker who left a child to die in an overheated vehicle, the manufacturer of a dangerous drug or product, or a doctor who ignored the signs of a life-threatening disease—or any individual, company, or other entity whose act or failure to act appropriately led to the person’s death is accidents such as these:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Bicycle or pedestrian accidents
- Boating accidents
- Aviation accidents
- Transportation accidents (bus, taxi, rail, etc.)
- Defective products, medical devices, or pharmaceuticals
- Nursing home neglect or abuse
- Slip, trip, and fall and other premises accidents
- Construction and workplace accidents
Achieving Closure by Demanding Accountability
For many bereaved families, to work through the grieving process after a wrongful death, you need closure, and that means holding the person who caused the wrongful death accountable for his or her negligence, as well as finding relief from financial pressures you’re experiencing. It is a difficult time for you, and you may not feel up to taking on a legal action to obtain compensation from the person responsible for your loss. Having a compassionate attorney working for you can lift some of the burden you’re dealing with by taking on the legal tasks for you, so you can focus your energy on the grieving process and adjusting to a changed life situation in the absence of your loved one.
At the law firm of Wettermark & Keith in Huntsville, Alabama, our attorneys understand the difficulties many families face following a wrongful death, and we’re ready to step in and provide the assistance you need. If your loved one died as a result of another’s negligence, our attorneys are often able to file a wrongful death lawsuit in your behalf in to obtain compensation from the responsible party. Potential damages in an Alabama wrongful death action include:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost earnings, benefits, expected Social Security, pensions, etc.
- Loss of emotional guidance and support
Our dedicated personal injury and wrongful death attorneys have decades of experience representing families whose lives have been torn apart by a wrongful death. We want to make the legal process as stress-free as possible as we pursue a settlement that will help you and your family pick up the pieces and move forward after a devastating loss.
At Wettermark & Keith, we offer a free case consultation. We review the facts that are available to determine if another party can be held legally liable for the death because of a negligent or wrongful act. We have a team of experts on call, who can help sort through the evidence to prove your case. Depending on the cause of death, these might include accident reconstructionists, medical specialists, engineers, safety experts and others. We will also call upon financial experts and accountants who can calculate the total financial losses your family has suffered and will continue to suffer without the contributions of the deceased, and grief counselors and psychologists to help assess the mental anguish and psychological repercussions of the death upon each surviving family member.
We know that no amount of money can truly compensate for the loss of a human life; but we can help your family regain financial stability and the sense that there is some justice in the world.
Time Limits on Filing an Alabama Wrongful Death Action
Alabama law has time limits, called statutes of limitations, that restrict the amount of time in which you can file a wrongful death action, so although this is understandably a difficult time for you, it is important to bring a lawyer on board early on, so don’t delay.