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FAQs about Wrongful Death Claims in Decatur

FAQs about Wrongful Death Claims in Decatur

When a person dies because of negligence or misconduct of another party, the at-fault party can be sued for wrongful death. In Decatur, just like in other areas of the U.S., wrongful death lawsuits must prove that, indeed, negligence or misconduct led to the person’s death.

Because wrongful death claims are not the most popular forms of personal injury claims, people tend to have so many questions surrounding it. You can read more about it here

In this article, we want to explore these questions so that you can better understand this type of personal injury claim. Let’s explore them.

What is a wrongful death?

Wrongful death, as already stated, is a form of personal injury. The only difference between the two is that in the latter, the victim died because of their injuries. Fatal car accidents, medical malpractice, motorcycle accidents, occupational exposure to hazardous substances, etc can cause wrongful deaths.

If you have lost a family member as a result of another person’s negligence, it is best to contact a Decatur wrongful death attorney. The lawyer will review the details of your claim and ensure you understand your rights and options under Alabama Law.

Who can file a wrongful death claim in Decatur?

Alabama is quite different from other states in some legal aspects, especially regarding who can bring a wrongful death claim. In most states, any member of the deceased’s family can file on their behalf. But this isn’t the case in Alabama. They do things a bit differently. In Alabama, the only person who can bring a wrongful death claim is the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. A family member will be appointed as an estate representative once a probate estate has been opened. Then, the estate representative can pursue the claim.

Do I have grounds to file a wrongful death suit?

If somebody is negligent in the wrongful death of your family member, you are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. As already mentioned, wrongful death can be caused by things such as car accidents, motorbike accidents, medical malpractice, etc. A Decatur wrongful death attorney is well-versed in wrongful death laws. They can help you navigate the complexities of the case and build a strong case.

Is there a deadline for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Alabama?

Yes. Like any other state in the U.S., Alabama also has its deadline for filing a wrongful death claim, known as the statute of limitations. In Alabama, you have up to two years since the death of the deceased to file a claim. If you file the claim after the deadline expires, you will lose your right to file the claim and your right to compensation.

How do I prove a wrongful death?

You must prove that your family member died as a result of another party’s negligence or wrongdoing. That’s when you will obtain compensation. This is where a Decatur wrongful death attorney comes in. They will prove the four elements of wrongful death: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages.

In the duty of care, it must be proved that the defendant owed the deceased duty of care. On breach of duty, you will have to prove that the defendant breached the duty they owed the deceased through negligence, recklessness, etc.

In causation, the lawyer will have to prove that the defendant’s breach is what caused your loved one to lose their lives. The fourth element of a wrongful death is damages. However, in Alabama, only punitive damages are awarded in wrongful death claims. Its wrongful death statute doesn’t allow the defendant to be sued for compensatory damages, which may include medical expenses, burial costs, financial burdens and lost wages.

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