In most states, wrongful death lawsuits are an avenue for immediate family members of someone who died due to the negligence of an individual or corporation to pursue justice and financial compensation for medical expenses, lost income, funeral and burial expenses, pain and suffering, and mental anguish.
Alabama wrongful death law, however, is distinct in that it only allows victims’ families to seek punitive damages. Punitive damages are considered non-compensatory damages, and they are intended to punish the negligent party and deter others from similar grossly negligent conduct.
In fact, juries in Alabama wrongful death cases are charged to not consider the monetary value of the deceased’s life or the expenses associated with pre-death care and funereal costs.
The exception to the ability to seek only punitive damages is if immediate family—or the established estate—of the injured person files a lawsuit prior to the injured person’s death. If, for example, a loved one is catastrophically injured in a truck accident, you must file a lawsuit while the individual is still alive in order to be eligible to seek financial compensation.
The experienced and compassionate Mobile, Alabama, wrongful death attorneys at Long & Long understand that coping with the imminent death of a family member whose injury was caused by the negligence of another can be a traumatic and confusing time. We also have a thorough understanding of Alabama’s wrongful death law, and we have helped numerous victims and their families recover the financial compensation they need and sense of justice they deserve.
If you or a loved one suffered severe personal injury due to the negligence of another, please contact the Mobile, Alabama, wrongful death attorneys at Long & Long as soon as possible for your no-cost case evaluation. We will review the circumstances of your situation and advise you on how to best proceed.