A wrongful death lawsuit is a case brought by the surviving family members of an individual killed because of negligence on the part of another. That can be the result of medical malpractice, an unsafe workplace, or negligent driving.
Wrongful death lawsuits normally happen in civil courts. The parties involved can decide to pursue a negotiated settlement to expedite issues, avoid complexities, and facilitate total privacy.
Wrongful death lawsuits aren’t easy in Alabama due to the following reasons:
Quantifying the Economic Value of a Lost Loved One Is Impossible
It is impossible to quantify human life. That makes wrongful death lawsuits the hardest lawsuits to handle in Alabama.
Human life simply has no price. There is no sum of money that can heal the emotional pain and suffering because of the death of a loved one.
The best that the law can do is consider medical costs, funeral expenses, lost wages, and the amount of money that the dependents need to continue enjoying the quality of life to which they were accustomed when the breadwinner was still alive.
There Must Be Proof of Fault
This is the hardest part: just because a person is a victim of wrongful death, does not mean that there is sufficient grounds for compensation. A court must establish the accused party legally responsible for the injuries. Legal constructs, case law, and statute will determine legal responsibility. Circumstances of the case also matter.
Proving Negligence and Breach of Duty Is Not Easy
Wrongful death lawsuits aren’t easy in Alabama because of the need to prove breach of duty. There must be proof that there was a duty and the party responsible for performing it did not. Here are some examples:
- It is the duty of the employer to provide a safe working environment. If that is not the case, and there is wrongful death, the employer will be responsible for the death.
- A motorist has a duty to drive safely in observance of all road rules and signs. There is the need to observe speed limits and pay full attention to the road. Breach of duty occurs when the motorist fails to perform the duties stipulated by traffic laws.
- A medical practitioner has a duty to treat a patient according to the best medical practices, in the most competent manner possible, and do no harm. Anything short of that is breach of duty and there will be liability for wrongful death.
What Should You Do when Faced with a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
You should definitely seek out professional legal assistance. You will obtain this from a competent and highly experienced Alabama wrongful death attorney. You should confirm the reputation of a lawyer with the local bar association.