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WRONGFUL DEATH ATTORNEYS IN ALABAMA

Helping Families Seek Justice & Compensation

Our Alabama 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 …

  • Anger at the person or company whose negligence caused the death, and
  • The desire to receive justice and punish the responsible parties and make sure they never cause this type of damage to anyone else in the future.

WHILE THERE IS NO WAY TO BRING YOUR LOVED ONE BACK TO YOU, ALABAMA PROVIDES A PATH TO GETTING BOTH JUSTICE AND THE COMPENSATION THAT YOUR FAMILY DESERVES. THIS PATH IS THROUGH FILING A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT.

Our Alabama Wrongful Death Lawyers Help Families Seek Justice & Compensation

A Wrongful Death Lawsuit Can Help You

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 Alabama 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 and start to look toward a brighter future.

Foley, Alabama Lawyers
Call us today at (251) 444-7000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our wrongful death lawyers to get started.

Our Alabama Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Get You Compensation and Damages

Damages Your Family Can Receive

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.

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Punitive Damages in a Wrongful Death Case

Alabama takes a different approach than many other states. In Alabama, 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:

  1. to punish the defendant who was acting negligently
  2. to deter similar negligent conduct by other parties in the future.

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.

Our Wrongful Death Lawyers in Alabama Answer Common Questions

After a wrongful death, it is natural to have questions and concerns. If you are unsure about whether the death of your loved one qualifies for a legal case, our Alabama wrongful death lawyers can answer your questions and explain what the law requires. Among the questions most frequently asked are:

  • What is a “wrongful death?” According to Alabama law (Ala. Code § 6-5-410), a wrongful death is defined as one that is caused by the “wrongful act, omission, or negligence” of another.  This means that an individual or corporation can be held liable and sued if the death was caused by their negligence or fault.
  • Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit? A wrongful death case may be brought by the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate.  While this representative can be a family member, family members may not file on their own behalf or on behalf of the deceased. A wrongful death claim can be viewed as a personal injury claim in which the deceased person’s personal representative seeks compensation on behalf of the person who died and can no longer do so.
  • Is wrongful death a criminal case? Under some circumstances, the defendant in a wrongful death case may face criminal charges such as manslaughter or murder. However, whether or not a criminal case is filed, wrongful death is a civil case filed in civil court for damages or compensation to the deceased person’s surviving heirs.
  • Where can I file a wrongful death lawsuit? A wrongful death lawsuit may be filed only in a county where the deceased could have brought a lawsuit for the “alleged wrongful act, omission, or negligence,” had death not occurred. For an Alabama wrongful death case, the person must have died within the borders of Alabama. If the death occurred in another state, the case is subject to that state’s wrongful death laws.
  • Are there deadlines for filing a wrongful death case? Yes, according to Alabama law (Ala. Code § 6-2-38), there is a statute of limitations, a deadline for filing a lawsuit. In general, you have two years from the date of the death to file a lawsuit with the court. However, there are exceptions to the rule, and your wrongful death attorney will act accordingly to make sure your case is filed in a timely manner.
  • Do I need an attorney to file a wrongful death case? Laws regarding wrongful death are complicated in Alabama, and making mistakes can be costly. The opposition’s attorneys will try to prove that the death was not wrongful, so you are not entitled to compensation.  It makes sense to have an attorney familiar with the tactics they use and Alabama law to fight for justice for you and your loved one.
  • How much does it cost to hire a wrongful death attorney? Our attorneys work on a contingency basis, so you pay nothing up front. Your initial consultation is free, and there are no costs to you unless and until we win your case. At that time, any legal fees are taken out of the settlement you receive.

How Our Alabama Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Prove Negligence

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:

  • The defendant owed a duty of care to your loved one.
  • The defendant breached that duty.
  • This negligent or unlawful behavior led to your loved one’s death.

When you have our wrongful death lawyers on your side, we will get to work immediately to locate all potentially liable parties and prove negligence.  To do this, we will:

  • Meet with you to evaluate the facts of how the death occurred to see if a wrongful death case is warranted, what it may be worth, and what parties you think may be responsible.
  • Conduct investigations to gather evidence such as videos from surveillance cameras, and police, ambulance, and medical reports and documents.
  • Interview witnesses and first responders.
  • Hire experts to reconstruct the accident and provide testimony as to how it occurred, who was at fault, and how the loss of your loved one affects your family’s lives.

In addition, our wrongful death attorneys will:

  • File all paperwork and handle all legal procedures and court appearances in accordance with Alabama requirements
  • Handle communications and negotiations with insurance companies and opposition lawyers.
  • Build your case and take it to trial if necessary and argue in front of a judge or jury.

Our attorneys will communicate and work with you throughout the entire process, answering your questions and concerns and informing you of all progress of your wrongful death case.

What Kind of Award Can Our Alabama Wrongful Death Lawyers Recover?

There is a wide variance in the amount of Alabama wrongful death awards, which can reach 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 wrongful death lawyers can help you understand who would benefit financially from your lawsuit and what we think it might be worth.

Foley, Alabama Lawyers
Our skilled and experienced attorneys have strong knowledge of Alabama laws. Get the best legal representation possible in your wrongful death case. Call us today for a free case evaluation at (251) 444-7000.

How Long Do I Have to File an Alabama Wrongful Death Claim?

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 those found in 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 wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible to protect your legal right to an award.

Our Wrongful Death Lawyers Have Deep Roots in Alabama

Rely on Our Experience to Guide Your Family in Your Wrongful Death Case

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 Alabama are ready to serve clients from that community and the surrounding area.

Why File a Wrongful Death Claim?

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 Alabama 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.

Our Wrongful Death Attorneys in Alabama Handle Common Causes of Wrongful Death

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, and our attorneys have dealt with them all. Among those that our Alabama wrongful death lawyers see most often in our law practice are vehicle accident cases.

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Wrongful Death in Car Accidents, Truck Accidents, and Motorcycle Accidents

Wrongful death in a vehicle accident can happen for a variety of reasons, including:

  • A driver was negligent. Examples of driver negligence include distracted driving while texting or engaging in any other activity that takes attention off the road.
  • A driver was reckless. A driver drove while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or violated safety rules of the road.
  • There was a manufacturing defect, such as defective tires that blew out or defective brakes that failed. The automobile or part manufacturer may be held liable.
  • There was a criminal act, such as a robbery in process that caused the accident.
  • There were road defects that caused the car to crash into something or go off the road. In this case, the company or municipality responsible for repairs may be held liable for the car accident.

Our wrongful death attorneys at Caldwell Wenzel & Asthana will look to identify all negligent parties who may have contributed to the accident that resulted in the death, as they all my have insurance and assets that can go toward a settlement.

Wrongful Death in Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents

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. Our wrongful death attorneys will investigate how the accident occurred to determine who was at fault.

Common causes of bicycle and pedestrian fatalities that could be wrongful death include:

  • Turning in front of and colliding with bicyclists or pedestrians
  • Passing too close
  • Dooring bicyclists by opening car doors while a cyclist is passing
  • Failing to yield to bicyclists or pedestrians.

Wrongful Death Cases from Construction and Workplace Accidents

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:

  • Failure to have proper fall protections
  • Failure to adhere to general scaffolding or ladder safety standards
  • Insufficient safety training for workers
  • Defective equipment
  • Poor safety precautions, failure to provide proper personal protective equipment
  • Fires and explosions
  • Exposure to toxic substances.

Slip, Trip, and Fall Accidents Leading to a Wrongful Death

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:

  • Debris or liquids on floors
  • Uneven or defective or unrepaired floors
  • Broken staircases and railings
  • Insufficient lighting.

Our wrongful death attorneys will carefully investigate the scene of the accident to determine the cause and locate all the responsible parties. In some cases, there may be multiple responsible parties such as the owners of the property, the management company responsible for maintenance, and the worker who didn’t clean up or make proper repairs.

Wrongful Death Caused by Medical Malpractice

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:

  • Delayed or misdiagnosis of a life-threatening condition
  • Prescribing or administering wrong medications
  • Surgical mishaps, such as leaving sponges in the operation site
  • Failure to treat or wrong treatment of a serious condition
  • Laboratory or X-ray errors.

Defective Products and Equipment That Cause a 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:

  • Defective medical devices
  • Defective auto parts
  • Defective pharmaceuticals.

Our wrongful death attorneys will look to see if the product involved was defective in design, manufacturing, or because of a failure to warn its users, and will seek to hold manufacturers, suppliers, and sellers liable.

Wrongful Death in Nursing Homes

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:

  • Improper medical care
  • Failure to diagnose or treat a serious condition
  • Neglect and abuse of patients
  • Failure to provide proper nourishment
  • Slips and falls
  • Medication errors
  • Failure to refer a resident to outside specialists or professionals.

If your loved one passed away under any of the above circumstances, call our Alabama wrongful death lawyer to discuss the events surrounding the death.

Call Our Alabama Wrongful Death Lawyers in Alabama for Help

We Provide the Legal Representation You & Your Family Need

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. We understand what you are going through and are here to answer your concerns and fight for justice your loved one deserves. Our legal team is ready to work on your behalf to hold the wrongdoer accountable for the death and to obtain the compensation that will make it easier for you and your family to rebuild your lives.

Foley, Alabama Lawyers
Call our Alabama wrongful death lawyers today at (251) 444-7000 for a complimentary case evaluation. We proudly serve Mobile, Foley, Daphne, Fairhope, Spanish Fort and all of Alabama.
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