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Helping Families Seek Justice & Compensation
Our Mobile wrongful death lawyers understand how the sudden, unexpected death of a member of your family is devastating, especially a death that never should have happened but was the result of someone else’s negligence or wrongful behavior. Not only do you feel grief at the loss of your loved one, but it is natural to feel …
At this difficult time, when working through your grief and helping your family cope with your bereavement is your first priority, a lawsuit is not something you want to deal with alone. Fortunately, there is help available.
The wrongful death lawyers in Mobile, AL, at Caldwell Wenzel & Asthana will step in and relieve you of many of the burdens associated with a wrongful death situation. We have extensive experience helping families who have tragically suffered the wrongful death of a loved one, and we understand what you are going through. We can handle all the legal hurdles involved with getting justice and compensation, so you can concentrate on your family’s needs and recovery.
If your loved one died in the state of Alabama, the compensation you may receive in a wrongful death lawsuit is different than in other states. In Alabama, wrongful death damages are not assessed based on the financial and emotional losses of survivors but are designed to punish the wrongdoer.
Most U.S. states allow for what is called “compensatory damages” in wrongful death cases. This money is paid to surviving family members of the deceased to cover the monetary costs of funeral expenses, medical bills, and loss of wages, as well as non-economic losses such as pain and suffering and loss of consortium that result from the wrongful death.
Alabama takes a different approach. The state’s wrongful death law focuses on what the defendant did wrong and therefore awards only what are called “punitive” damages. Punitive damages are designed for two purposes:
The reasoning behind Alabama’s law is that punitive damages have more of a deterrent effect than compensatory damages, and the law should discourage careless or reckless behavior by punishing the party who is responsible.
In a successful Alabama lawsuit, our wrongful death attorneys can win a punitive damage award that is paid directly to the heirs of the deceased person, so direct family members are most likely to receive the money. Unlike in other states, the damage award is not made part of the estate.
This and other differences in Alabama law require an entirely different approach to the pursuit of a wrongful death recovery than is needed elsewhere. The wrongful death attorneys at Caldwell Wenzel & Asthana are skilled in using the Alabama statute to obtain significant awards for their bereaved clients.
Call us today with any question about what damages you may be entitled to at (251) 444-7000.
If you are unsure about whether the death of your loved one qualifies for a legal case, our Mobile wrongful death lawyers can answer your questions and explain what the law requires. Among the questions most frequently asked are:
To win your legal case, your wrongful death attorney will have to prove that the defendant was at fault and negligent, and this negligence caused the death. This means showing that:
There is a wide variance in the amount of Alabama wrongful death awards, which can range into the millions of dollars, depending on the circumstances. The skilled Alabama wrongful death lawyers at Caldwell Wenzel Asthana will focus on the severity of the wrongdoing to get you the best award possible.
In Alabama, wrongful death awards are usually distributed to the heirs according to the rules of “intestate succession.” These are the rules usually used when a person dies without a valid will, and they usually provide that the surviving spouse and children will share the reward. If a minor child dies, the parents will typically share the award equally.
In cases where the deceased left a long-term partner or the family situation was complex, our lawyers can help you understand who would benefit financially from your lawsuit and what we think it might be worth.
To qualify as wrongful death in Alabama, there must have been a wrongful act, omission or negligence by the defendant that caused the death. Wrongful deaths have many causes.
Among those that our Mobile wrongful death lawyers see most often in our law practice are the following:
Wrongful death in a vehicle accident can happen for a variety of reasons, including:
Pedestrians and bicyclists are vulnerable to injuries and death from being hit by vehicles sharing the road. Drivers are required to take care and avoid injury to pedestrians and bicyclists or they may be found negligent. Common causes of bicycle and pedestrian fatalities that could be wrongful death include:
Workplace accidents are common, especially for inherently dangerous construction. If a workplace death is caused by someone else’s negligence or fault, the negligent party may be held liable for wrongful death. Typical examples include:
Owners of Alabama properties are expected to use reasonable care and diligence to keep their premises in a safe condition or to give sufficient warning so that the danger can be avoided. If they fail to do so, and a death results from this negligence, there may be grounds for a wrongful death case. Common causes of fall accidents are:
Medical professionals in Alabama are required to adhere to a standard of care and perform at the level of professional responsibility required. If a medical professional is negligent and a patient dies as a result, there may be grounds for a medical malpractice wrongful death case. The following are some medical errors that can lead to wrongful death:
If the death was caused by a defective product that was used correctly, the negligent manufacturer and distributor of the product may be held liable for wrongful death. Common defective products that have caused wrongful death include:
Nursing homes are responsible for keeping their residents safe and providing proper care, and they may be held liable for their employees’ negligence and misconduct. Other liable parties may be the physicians, nurses or other staff responsible for care. Wrongful death in nursing homes occurs when the death is caused by someone’s neglect, abuse, or misconduct, such as:
If your loved one passed away under any of the above circumstances, call our Mobile wrongful death lawyer to discuss the events surrounding the death. Call us today at (251) 444-7000 and we will let you know whether you have a case.
Alabama enforces its statute of limitations, restricting the amount of time in which a lawsuit may be filed. Alabama’s statute is more stringent than other states, which often have provisions for tolling or extending the filing statute in certain situations.
The statute of limitations for initiating a wrongful death action in Alabama is two years from the date of the death, unless there are certain factors that can change the running of the clock.
Be aware that the earlier a case is filed, the better your chance of securing full and fair compensation. Because evidence of a deceased’s pain and suffering is generally inadmissible in an Alabama wrongful death lawsuit, when a wrongful death case is filed after a victim has died, the jury will not be allowed to hear about the pain and suffering endured prior to their death. However, if a personal injury case is filed before the death occurred, this evidence may be heard and could result in significant additional compensation when the case turns into a wrongful death lawsuit.
Because of this quirk in Alabama law, as well as the amount of time it takes to investigate and build a case, it is important that you engage the services of a Mobile, AL, wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible to protect your legal right to an award.
Because Alabama’s wrongful death statute is radically different from those in other states, it is important to select an attorney with experience and deep roots in the Alabama legal community.
Both C. Randall Caldwell, Jr. and Drew Wenzel of Caldwell Wenzel & Asthana are native sons whose families have been pillars of the Foley community going back 100 years. They know the law and know the people they serve and offer compassionate and skilled representation when the worst happens and a family member dies because of some individual or company’s wrongdoing. Our wrongful death attorneys in Mobile are ready to serve clients from that community and the surrounding area.
Holding the party that caused the death accountable for your loss can help bring closure and facilitate the healing process after a wrongful death. We aim to make the wrongdoer face up to the terrible loss that their negligence has caused for you and your family.
At Caldwell Wenzel & Asthana, our Mobile, AL, wrongful death lawyers have been successful in recovering millions of dollars in wrongful death compensation over the years. We are passionate about helping grieving families pick up the pieces of their lives and go on living after the loss of a loved one.
When your family is struggling with the grief and pain of a wrongful death in Alabama, the injury attorneys at Caldwell Wenzel & Asthana are available to offer answers, advice, and experienced legal representation in your wrongful death lawsuit.