Everything You Need To Know About Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Decatur, Alabama

There is no denying that losing a loved one in an accident can be a traumatic and devastating experience, especially if it is preventable. What makes it even more painful and challenging is learning that someone’s negligence caused the death.

Losing a family member doesn’t just come with the emotional aspect; you also have to deal with financial troubles to cover the medical bill, funeral expenses, and future living expenses, especially if the deceased was the breadwinner of the family.

This is where filing a wrongful death comes in, but you may wonder if it’s the right path. It’s best to understand Decatur’s wrongful death laws before taking the next necessary step. Let’s discuss wrongful death claims in Decatur.

What is a wrongful death claim in Decatur?

A wrongful death claim is a type of personal injury lawsuit where the injured party is no longer present to recover losses or damages on their behalf. Under Alabama law, only a deceased person’s estate representative can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against another party.

Any damages paid by the at-fault party must be paid to the estate and distributed among eligible beneficiaries. You must understand that wrongful death claims are handled in civil courts, not criminal courts in Decatur.

Who can bring a Decatur wrongful death claim?

You are probably asking yourself if you are in the correct position to bring a wrongful death claim in Decatur. In Decatur, even though family members and other legal beneficiaries are the only people who are eligible to benefit from a wrongful death claim, they may not necessarily be the ones to file a claim.

In Alabama, only a personal representative of the estate of the departed is legally entitled to bring a wrongful death claim for a deceased adult. That’s because the estate is the one to pursue the wrongful death claim and not an individual or family.

However, if the death involves a minor, it is the parents who may file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party.

Wrongful death damages in Decatur, Alabama

In a wrongful death case, surviving family members may be entitled to damages, which are financial compensation. The nature of the accident, the conduct of the at-fault party, and the losses incurred by the victims and their families all play a significant role in determining the amount of compensation in most civil cases. Alabama approaches wrongful death damages differently than most states in the union. In most states, survivors can seek compensatory damages, which cover actual costs and non-economic losses incurred by the victim and their loved ones.

Plaintiffs in wrongful death claims in Alabama are limited to recovering punitive damages, which are monetary damages for the unjustifiable taking of a life. Punitive damages are granted to penalize wrongdoers and deter future offenders from committing the same offenses. Essentially, Alabama’s wrongful death statutes focus solely on the actions of wrongdoers rather than the damages suffered by affected parties.

Seek help from a wrongful death attorney in Decatur

It’s usually in your best interest to speak with a wrongful death attorney in Decatur before making any significant decisions because wrongful death claims in Alabama can be quite intricate. Wrongful death attorneys can assist you in evaluating the strength of your claim and choosing the most appropriate course of action.