Legal Representation for Grieving Families in Alabama and Florida
At Milam & Milam, we understand how painful the death of a loved one is. The devastation and grief can be even more unbearable when a death is unexpected or the result of somebody else's negligent conduct. There may be significant financial consequences as well. Without the support of your lost loved one, you may have difficulty paying off a mortgage, a car loan, or educational debt. You may have relied on a family member to get through a difficult experience, or his or her guidance in handling your problems at work. Our Alabama and Florida attorneys can help you bring a wrongful death lawsuit against whoever was responsible for the loss of your loved one. This type of claim can arise in the context of car accidents, truck crashes, medical malpractice, slip and falls, and many other situations.
Pursuing Compensation Through a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The standards that govern wrongful death actions differ from state to state. For instance, under Section 6-5410 of the Code of Alabama, a deceased person's estate may pursue a claim against someone who causes a death in any case where the decedent could have sued for personal injuries if he or she had survived.
Alabama law is distinct from that of certain other states, including Florida, in that family members of the deceased are not permitted to file the wrongful death claim. Instead, the personal representative of the estate will make decisions about which counsel to retain and whether to bring the lawsuit. The damages are not part of the estate but are paid directly to a deceased person's heirs. In contrast, Florida's Wrongful Death Act permits survivors to bring suit in a certain order of priority. Survivors include a spouse, children, parents, and blood relatives who are partly or wholly dependent on the decedent.
Alabama's wrongful death laws are distinctive because compensatory damages like funeral and medical expenses are not awarded in wrongful death suits, as they are in Florida and most other states. Instead, punitive damages are sought. The purpose of Alabama's wrongful death law is to punish defendants who acted carelessly and to deter negligence by others. This difference from personal injury cases makes Alabama wrongful death cases particularly challenging. It is possible, however, to recover compensatory damages, including pain and suffering, if the lawsuit is filed as a catastrophic injury case before the loved one dies.
It is also critical to make sure you take legal action within the applicable time frame. The statute of limitations for wrongful death cases in Alabama is two years from the date of death. If a deceased person passed away in another state, such as Florida, that state's laws will apply.
Compassionate Wrongful Death Attorneys Serving the Gulf Coast
Your loved one's death may be a source of grief and pain for a long time. If you are a personal representative of his or her estate, you should consult a trustworthy Gulf Coast injury attorney at Milam & Milam to help assert your family’s right to compensation. We are located in Fairhope, Alabama on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay. We use our 25 years of combined experience to serve clients in locations across Alabama and Florida, including Pensacola, Birmingham, and Montgomery. Contact us by calling 251-928-0191, or set up a consultation through our online form.