Dedicated Wrongful Death Attorney in Montgomery Alabama
Experienced Alabama trial lawyer goes to bat for you in wrongful death cases
Every year thousands of Americans lose their lives in accidents that are largely preventable. Any unexpected death is heartbreaking for those left behind. Not only are family members left grieving, wondering what happened and could it have been prevented, but the loss can result in a financial struggle for the survivors.
If there were medical bills before the death, the grieving family must worry about how they will pay those bills as well. Alabama’s wrongful death laws are intended to punish the at-fault party for causing a wrongful death.
In the case of wrongful death, due to the negligence or careless of another, from a car accident, violence, or from a malfunctioning product, a wrongful death lawsuit can be initiated in civil court against a person or company on behalf of the survivors. Civil court allows for a financial remedy, unlike criminal court which results in incarceration for the at-fault party.
It is not necessary that the at-fault party also be charged criminally for the negligence. The civil action is a stand-alone wrongful death lawsuit.
In the case of a death resulting from an automobile or truck wreck, the surviving family members may bring a suit for wrongful death against the negligent driver, the owner of the truck, or the trucking company.
When death results from a faulty product, the heirs should examine the possibility of filing a defective product claim against the product manufacturer.
Nothing can bring back your loved one, but Chip Nix understands that during this vulnerable time you need the expertise of an Alabama wrongful death attorney to protect your legal rights and pursue what’s best for your family members moving forward.
Common types of wrongful death cases
In Alabama, wrongful death can result from a person or corporation due to a wrongful act, omission, or negligence. Your legal representative will have to prove that the at-fault party owed you a duty of care, such as driving safely on the roads we all share, the other party failed in this regard, and that failure led to the death of your loved one.
Wrongful death accidents happen in a variety of ways:
- Auto accidents.Injuries from car accidents can be life threatening. When vehicles collide at a high rate of speed, the force of impact can result in death. In the unfortunate event of a wrongful death, specific family members, either through the deceased’s estate or as a dependent of the deceased, have a cause of action for damages if the negligence of the at-fault driver led to the death.
- Truck accidents.A large 18-wheeler is heavier than the average passenger vehicle, and as a result, accidents with large trucks can result in catastrophic injuries or death. Because of the size differential, a big-rig can literally flatten a smaller vehicle, a jackknifed truck can cross many lanes of traffic and wipe out every vehicle in its path. Truckers drive long hours and sometimes operate on little sleep. Even with industry regulations in place, accidents occur. When a death results from a negligent truck driver, a case for wrongful death against the trucking company or driver may be brought.
- Industrial accidents.Explosions at refineries and falls from high places on construction sites often result in death. Those charged with maintaining a safe work environment are negligent when an accident occurs because of the failure to provide a safe workplace. When a workplace is unsafe and a death occurs as a result, the family members of the deceased are well-advised to explore the initiation of a wrongful death suit against the employer.
Filing your wrongful death claim in Alabama
In Alabama, a personal representative of the estate of the deceased person brings the wrongful death claim. The additional complicating factor of establishing a representative generally requires legal assistance.
It is especially important to understand that under state law you are facing a timeline for filing a wrongful death claim.
The action must be filed within two years of the death under most, but not all, circumstances. However, it is vital to initiate an investigation before that deadline to preserve evidence. A “spoliation” letter must be sent right away which demands that a party keep and maintain the scene and important evidence related to the accident.
Alabama is the only state that requires the wrongful death plaintiff to pursue punitive damages, which are intended to punish the defendant who was negligent and to deter a repeat of the dangerous conduct. In other states, the plaintiff may be entitled to pursue compensatory damages, such as pain and suffering, to compensate the remaining family member. Under Alabama law the jury is not allowed to consider the value of the life lost or his importance to his survivors.
Chip Nix and his team will investigate the accident including gathering all evidence from the scene to determine the at-fault party. That includes examining the scene, gathering phone records, examining the vehicles, and interviewing any witnesses.
The preponderance (i.e., majority) of the evidence will be needed to establish the negligent behavior of the at-fault party and his role in causing the accident. An accident reconstructionist is often employed to prove the negligence and sequence of events that led to a fatality.
Chip Nix understands the deadlines facing your wrongful death action. While generally two years from the date of the death there may be certain factors that influence the running of this time period. It is very important that you contact an experienced lawyer at this time to provide you with aggressive representation for your wrongful death claim.
Although we know nothing can bring back your loved one, holding the applicable party responsible for the death helps provide closure to those left behind. We represent you with compassion and zealous advocacy to help give you the emotional closure you need.
Schedule an appointment with a wrongful death lawyer
Chip Nix, Attorney at Law, offers free initial consultations. Calls are returned the same day received to ensure your case is given the attention it requires and your rights are preserved. Call us at 334-203-6669 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. We are mindful of the COVID-19 pandemic and keeping our offices sanitized for your protection.