Tuskegee Wrongful Death Lawyers
Tuskegee has a lot to offer residents: fishing and boating at City Lake; higher education at Tuskegee University; and live music at Bizzy B’s. Unfortunately, tragedy can strike anywhere, anytime. And when it happens in Tuskegee, you are likely going to need a lawyer to get the compensation you deserve, as the surviving heir to the victim.
What is Wrongful Death?
When someone dies due to another’s negligence, whether accidental or intentional, the survivors may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Under Alabama law, wrongful death is defined as the “wrongful act, omission, or negligence” of another. In other words, there may be a legal fault we can identify.
- Medical malpractice – Tuskegee is a growing town of residents whom, at present, are medically underserved. With the nearest hospitals 15 to 48 miles away, medical errors and death can result from a delay in treatment and a failure to provide a specialist needed to save a life.
- A Car/ Pedestrian Accident – With increased tourist traffic, wrongful death can occur when someone is a distracted driver or driving under the influence. A pedestrian who falls to their death due to the negligence of a store, property owner, or construction site, can result in a wrongful death action.
- Truck, motorcycle accident – I-85 is a major artery carrying traffic from east to west Alabama. In 2019, there were 930 fatalities on Alabama highways with a person killed every nine hours and 26 minutes.
- Lax Security – During an outdoor event, concert, or gathering, a failure to secure the area or keep attendees safe from falling debris or open pits can result in death.
- Workplace Accident – Falls on a worksite, explosions, or being trapped in machinery are just a few of the mishaps that can occur in an industrial accident. Those whose job it is to maintain a safe working environment are negligent when a death occurs and can face a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Defective Product – Everyday products in commerce are not necessarily safe. That includes baby formulas, medical devices, and baby seats. All have been recalled and taken from the market after they were found to be fatal to users. In that instance, a wrongful death action against the manufacturer will bring some justice to the negligence that caused the loss of life of your loved one.
Wrongful Death Law in Alabama
In Alabama, it is the personal representative of the deceased’s estate who has the right to file a wrongful death claim. There is one exception. If the victim was a minor under the age of 19 at the time of death, his parents have up to six months to file a wrongful death lawsuit. After that, it will be up to the representative to file.
How does one become a personal representative of the estate?
Your attorney will help you petition the probate court to establish a personal representative. The court will appoint an administrator of the estate. Be warned- there are only 40 days from death to accomplish that.
Unlike other states that allow the survivors to recover the income they have lost from the death of their loved one, Alabama has a wrongful death statute making it more difficult for grieving families. They may only recover punitive damages.
At trial, the jury must decide on a punitive damage amount that is intended to punish the wrongdoer who caused the accident. The damages will be awarded to the deceased’s estate.
Your Tuskegee Wrongful Death Lawyer
Under Alabama law, there is a two-year statute of limitations following a death. You should contact Mr. Nix soon after the accident or event that caused your loved one’s death, while evidence is still available, and the cause can be investigated.
Mr. Nix will build a case by understanding what the preponderance of the evidence shows:
- What caused the accident?
- Whose negligence led to the chain of events?
- How did they violate the rules of safety?
- How did that violation lead to death?
- How does death deprive your family in the future?
Instead of focusing on the survivors’ losses, Alabama focuses on the wrongful acts of the defendant.
You are grieving and hiring a lawyer may be the furthest thing from your mind. But an experienced attorney who has handled wrongful death claims for decades is best able to handle the legal aspects of the accident.
The other side representing the negligent party may try to offer you a settlement without your legal representative present. You should take this as a sign that they want you to go away. They do not represent you; they represent the insurance company that wants to pay out as little as possible.
If your loved one’s death resulted from the negligence of another, attorney Chip Nix is available for a complimentary consultation, whether it occurred in Tuskegee, Montgomery, Birmingham, or anywhere in Alabama. Call his office at (334) 203-6669 to begin the conversation.
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