wrongful death in Athens

Losing a family member is one of the most difficult experiences people must deal with, particularly when the family member died unexpectedly due to someone else’s wrongdoing. Not only does losing a family member cause intense emotional pain, but surviving family members might also face significant financial distress due to outstanding medical bills, funeral costs, and the loss of the deceased’s income.

It’s hard to think about taking legal action after such a loss, but a wrongful death claim could help you recover the money you need and hold the at-fault party accountable. Many families find a sense of comfort and closure by seeking a measure of justice for their departed loved one.

The Albertville wrongful death attorneys at the law firm of Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., are ready to provide compassionate, forceful representation and work to recover fair compensation for your loss. We have represented Alabama families for nearly 60 years. Let us put our experience to work for you.

Contact us today to speak with one of our Albertville wrongful death lawyers in a free and confidential consultation.

Why You Need Our Albertville Wrongful Death Lawyers

Our firm has decades of legal experience and the skills to help you reach a successful outcome in your wrongful death case. We have earned a place in the Bar Registry of Preeminent Lawyers, we’re listed among the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Law Firms, and we’re listed among the 100 Top Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association. We have achieved an AV Preeminent rating with Martindale-Hubbell, been accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and been noted for our experience in our car accident work in Alabama.

We aggressively represent our clients and will take a case to trial if we believe it’s in our client’s best interests. We have connections with trusted medical experts and other experts who can support your claim. We respect our clients and provide personalized service. Working with us could give you a much better chance of success and recovering the money you need while reducing the stress on your family during this difficult time.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death action is a lawsuit brought by the personal representative of a deceased person’s estate or the parents of a person under age 19 against the responsible party. This lawsuit is a civil proceeding and does not involve criminal charges. If the plaintiff in a wrongful death case wins, the courts may order the defendant to pay compensation to the deceased’s heirs as punishment for the at-fault party’s negligence or intentional actions. Alabama law determines how the damages will be distributed to family members.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death Cases in Albertville

Wrongful death cases can arise from various situations, such as the following examples:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • ATV accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Dog bites
  • Workplace accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Defective products
  • Dangerous drugs
  • Slip-and-fall accidents
  • Nursing home abuse or neglect

Wrongful Death Damages Under Alabama Law

Alabama’s wrongful death laws differ from those in most states and limit a plaintiff’s compensation to punitive damages. In other words, your compensation in a wrongful death claim is not tied to any specific loss you or the deceased suffered but is instead meant to punish the defendant for their wrongful conduct. It’s also important to know that any compensation from a wrongful death claim goes to the deceased’s estate, not directly to surviving family members.

Qualifications for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Albertville

To file a wrongful death claim in Albertville, you must be a legal representative of the deceased person’s estate. This requirement differs from the rules in many states where surviving family members often have the right to pursue a wrongful death action. If the deceased did not designate a personal representative in their will, the courts can appoint someone to serve as the personal representative. That person can then file a wrongful death lawsuit for the deceased’s estate.

Common FAQs About Wrongful Death Claims in Albertville

Who may file a wrongful death claim?

In Alabama, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate may file a wrongful death claim. Additionally, for the first six months after the death, the parents of a person who was younger than 19 at the time of their death could file suit. After that, the personal representative must file.

What can be recovered in a wrongful death case in Albertville?

Compensation in a wrongful death case is limited to punitive damages that are based on the degree of the defendant’s negligence or wrongdoing.

How long does it usually take for a wrongful death case to be resolved?

The duration of wrongful death cases varies, but most cases finish within one to three years.

Can a wrongful death claim be pursued alongside a criminal investigation?

Yes, you can file a wrongful death claim while the police pursue a criminal investigation. However, a wrongful death claim cannot send a defendant to jail. The only recourse surviving family members have in civil court is to seek punitive damages from the negligent party.

You can use the verdict in a criminal investigation as evidence in a wrongful death case, but the liable party does not have to be guilty of a crime for you to recover compensation. That’s because the burden of proof in a civil case is lower than in criminal cases. You don’t have to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

How Our Law Firm Can Help with a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Our experienced Albertville wrongful death attorneys can:

  • Investigate the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death
  • Gather evidence to build a strong case
  • Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf
  • Represent you in court if necessary
  • Pursue significant punitive damages for your loss

Talk to Our Albertville Wrongful Death Attorneys Now

Don’t wait to seek justice if you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s wrongful acts. Remember, you have just two years from your loved one’s date of death to file a wrongful death claim, and you should give your attorney as much time as possible to build a strong case.

Contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation with our compassionate and skilled Albertville wrongful death attorneys.