Foley Alabama Attorneys

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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 …

  • 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.

Helping Families Seek Justice & Compensation

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.

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

Alabama Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Get You Compensation and Damages


What Damages Can My Family 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.

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:

  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.

What Is “Wrongful Death” in Alabama?

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:

  • What is a “wrongful death?” According to Section 6-5-410 of the Code of Alabama, 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.

Mobile, AL, Wrongful Death Lawyers Proving 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.

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

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.

Foley, Alabama Lawyers
Call us today for a free case evaluation at (251) 444-7000.

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.

Among those that our Mobile wrongful death lawyers see most often in our law practice are the following:

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.

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. 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.

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.

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

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 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.

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 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.

Wrongful Death Lawyers in Foleyand Mobile with Deep Experience

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.

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 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.

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.

Foley, Alabama Lawyers
Call our Mobile 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.


Our Award-Winning Alabama Personal Injury Lawyers have recovered millions on behalf of our clients. While other attorneys try to avoid litigation, we thrive in high-stakes litigation. Contact Caldwell Wenzel & Asthana, P.C. to put our exceptional skills to work for your injury claim.

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