Every state has its own laws that govern wrongful death claims. Alabama
is no exception. Wrongful death claims refer to legal claims for the death
of someone caused by the "wrongful act, omission, or negligence"
of another. And, just like nearly every other claim, there is a deadline
for filing a wrongful death claim.
Deadline for Filing a Wrongful Death Case in Alabama
In the legal arena, the deadline for filing a civil case is referred to
as the "statute of limitations." For wrongful death claims in
Alabama, the statute of limitations is two years. That means the case
must be filed within two years after the date of death. In some situations,
however, there are special factors that can change this deadline, such
as circumstances that may affect when the time period actually begins
to run. For this reason, it is important to discuss your claims with a
wrongful death attorney.
Who can bring the wrongful death case to court?
Most states allow the family members of the deceased to file the wrongful
death claim in court. Alabama does not. Instead, Alabama’s wrongful
death statutes allows only the personal representative of the deceased
person's estate to bring the claim. Any damages that are recovered
are distributed to the decedent’s heirs through intestate succession.
The proceeds do not become a part of the estate and are not subject to
Possible damages in an Alabama wrongful death case
In Alabama, the purpose of damages in wrongful death cases is to both punish
the defendant and to deter others. These damages are not designed to compensate
the heirs for the loss of their loved one or to replace income that the
deceased person would have earned for their family, as is the case in
many other states.
If you have questions regarding a wrongful death matter, contact us
online or by calling the Law Office of Cody R. Wix, LLC at (205) 381-4787.