The wrongful death of a beloved family member is a shattering loss for families, both emotionally and financially. In some cases, filing a wrongful death claim is the only way for the deceased’s family to recover for their losses. However, due to the intricate and highly complex legalities involved in the filing and pursuit of a wrongful death claim, family members may feel deterred from bringing a claim.
If you or someone you love are seeking to file a wrongful death claim for damages against the negligent party responsible, attempting to do so without first obtaining adequate legal representation can be risky. For more information on the procedural requirements for filing a wrongful death claim, call now to speak to a Birmingham wrongful death lawyer.
Legal Rights of a Fatal Accident Victim’s Surviving Family Members
In Alabama, wrongful death claims are subject to the state’s wrongful death statute, codified at § 6-5-410 of the Code of Alabama. In personal injury cases where a worker’s injuries prove fatal, the deceased’s personal representative may bring a claim for damages on their behalf.
If the decedent has a valid Last Will and Testament in place prior to their passing, those who may serve as their personal representative are the individual(s) assigned in the decedent’s will. If they do not have a valid will in place when they pass (i.e., the decedent dies intestate), the court will appoint a party to serve as their personal representative, giving preference to decedent’s spouse first, followed by their next of kin (i.e., heirs to the decedent’s estate, such as their children).
Statutory Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims in Birmingham
Regardless of who is assigned as the decedent’s personal representative, under Ala. Code §§ 6-2-38(a) and 6-5-410(d), the personal representative of the decedent has two years from their passing to file a wrongful death claim. To ensure the statute of limitations is met, along with any other legal requirements, when filing a wrongful death claim, the personal representative should consult a wrongful death attorney.
Types of Wrongful Death Claims
Just as there are several types of claims a person’s accidental injuries can give rise to in personal injury cases, there are a multitude of wrongful death claims that can occur, as well. Examples of the differing types of wrongful death claims include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Occupational accidents
- Defective products (e.g., pharmaceuticals)
In any case, if a decedent’s passing is due to the negligent conduct or actions of one or more parties, they could be held liable for damages resulting from the wrongful death of another. A civil litigator with experience handling wrongful death claims in Birmingham could review the facts of a case to determine against whom the decedent’s personal representative could bring a civil claim for damages.
Call to Schedule a Consultation with a Birmingham Wrongful Death Attorney
When a loved one tragically passes away in an accident due to the negligence of another, the devastating loss can be excruciating for families to endure. While there is no tangible restitution available for the loss of human life, families may seek financial compensation from the at-fault negligent parties involved by filing a wrongful death claim for damages.
If your loved one was fatally injured in an accident which has caused you to suffer significant harm as a result, you could have a viable wrongful death claim through which you can recover monetary damages for your losses. To learn more about what could be done for your case, get in touch with a Birmingham wrongful death lawyer today to schedule a risk-free legal consultation.