Wrongful death suits are typically brought on behalf of someone who has died due to negligence or the fault of someone else and that person could have brought a personal injury suit themselves should he or she have lived. Section 6-5-410 of the Code of Alabama grants the deceased’s estate authority to file such a suit.
The Code of Alabama also notes that a wrongful death claim can be filed even if “there has not been prosecution, conviction, or acquittal of the defendant” for the “wrongful act, omission, or negligence” that resulted in the death. What this means is that the suit can be filed even if the defendant is not facing criminal charges stemming from the same death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Case in Alabama?
Only the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can bring a wrongful death case and in the event of a favorable verdict, all damages are paid to that estate.
How Damages Are Assessed in an Alabama Wrongful Death Suit
Alabama law only allows for the pursuit of punitive damages. This means that the law focuses almost singularly on the wrongdoing of the defendant. Any damages are paid directly to the heirs of the deceased person and not made part of the estate.
What is the Time Limit for Filing an Alabama Wrongful Death Suit?
The statute of limitations is two years from the date of death. A wrongful death suit would need to be filed within this amount of time.
Alabama’s laws are considerably different from those of other states. Alabama’s rules tend to focus on the fault and wrongdoing of the defendant as opposed to the needs of the deceased’s family.
If your loved one has died as a result of a wrongful death, and you’re the representative of his or her estate, you may have additional rights and options open to you to pursue compensation for his or her tragic passing. Especially if it was the result of an auto accident, it’s vital that you consult a qualified wrongful death attorney who understands the intricacies of Alabama law. Call Bevill & Bevill, LLC today at (205) 221-4646 to schedule your free consultation.