Losing a family member in an accident is awful. Many emotions are involved – anger, sadness, and usually a sense that justice must be obtained. That’s where we come in.
Here are the three most important things to know about wrongful death claims in Alabama:
First Step – Setting Up the Estate
Prior to pursuing a wrongful death case, an estate must be established for the deceased. Only the estate’s personal representative has the right to bring the claim. We can assist in setting up the estate. Once the estate is established, we file a lawsuit and serve it on the wrongdoer. Then we either negotiate a settlement or take the case to trial, depending on whether a fair offer is made.
Types of Wrongful Death Cases
A wrongful death case can arise out of car wrecks, nursing home mistakes, on the job accidents, and any other incident where someone negligently causes a death. The same principles of law apply as if the individual was simply injured. However, additional principles apply in regards to how damages are calculated and how settlement money is distributed.
The Money That Can Be Received in a Wrongful Death Case
In Alabama, the only damages that can be collected in a wrongful death case are punitive damages. Punitive damages are money that is awarded by a judge or jury to punish the wrongdoer. Thus, a big part of a wrongful death claim is financially punishing the wrongdoer for the death of your loved one.
Who Gets the Settlement Money?
In Alabama, settlements are distributed in accordance with the rules of intestacy. These rules are simply default rules that apply when someone dies without a will. Even if the person who died did have a will, in a wrongful death case, the settlement money will pass to his heirs as if he did not have a will. Here are the Alabama Rules of Intestacy.
Nursing Home Wrongful Death Claims
We have handled numerous wrongful death claims related to poor medical care at nursing homes. As a matter of law, the only money we can collect in such cases are for punitive damages. These damages are designed to punish nursing homes for their failures.
Our senior attorney Tommy Siniard has settled more nursing home death cases than any attorney in north Alabama. He is widely known in the legal community to be one of the best Huntsville Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers.
If your family member has died due to the negligence of someone else, we are here to help. Reach out for a free case evaluation. We can help.