What You Need to Know About Alabama’s Wrongful Death Statute

The unexpected loss of a loved one is unimaginable. It can be even more unbearable if the loss is caused by another person’s recklessness or wrongdoing. Alabama allows certain individuals to file a cause of action against a party or entity that was responsible for their loved one’s preventable death. 

At Lattof & Lattof, P.C., we provide compassionate representation for individuals who have suffered the loss of a loved one. Our attorneys understand how difficult this time may be for you and your family. We are here to help provide you with the resources and legal solutions you need and deserve. 

If your loved one was killed due to another person’s negligence, contact our office at (251) 432-6691 to schedule a free consultation. 

Who Is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Alabama?

Alabama law only allows a personal representative to file a cause of action based on wrongful death if the person killed was an adult. The personal representative of the deceased’s estate must be appointed by a court unless they were named as executor in the decedent’s will. 

The only exception is if the decedent was a minor, defined as someone under 19 years of age. State law allows for a parent of the child to bring a wrongful death claim within six months of the decedent’s death. After six months, a personal representative is the only person that can bring forth a claim.

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

In general, the personal representative of a decedent’s estate has two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the party that caused your loved one’s death. However, in the case where a minor was killed a parent only has six months to bring the lawsuit. After the six-month period, a personal representative is the only party who can bring the claim.

What Kinds of Damages Are There in a Wrongful Death Case?

Alabama law limits the kinds of damages that a person can receive in a wrongful death claim. A plaintiff may only receive punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish a defendant for their wrongful acts. There is no cap or limit on the amount of punitive damages that a person can receive in a wrongful death claim. 

What Are Common Wrongful Death Cases?

When someone’s wrongful act causes the preventable death of a person, they can be held liable for their wrongdoing. 

Common wrongful death cases:

  • Car accidents
  • Boating accidents
  • Construction accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Medical malpractice

It is in your best interest to speak to an attorney as soon as possible after the death of your loved one. An attorney can help you understand your rights and determine whether you have a valid claim for damages.

Contact Our Office for More Information

If you lost a loved one in an accident,  contact our office at (251) 432-6691 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Let us help you through this difficult time. We will help you get the compensation you deserve.