How does Alabama law define wrongful death?

How does Alabama law define wrongful death?

It seems like a simple thing: Someone you love has died in a wrongful manner. However, you and the law may not agree on whether your loved one’s death was indeed wrongful. In order for the law to deem a death wrongful, several elements must be present.

Elements of a Wrongful Death Case

  • A human being has died.
  • The death occurred because of negligence.
  • There exists a personal representative for the deceased’s estate.
  • Surviving family members are suffering from monetary harm because of the death.

Wrongful death can happen in many different ways according to the law. For example, if a family member dies because a medical care provider made a negligent mistake, it could be a wrongful death. In another example, if someone dies in a motor vehicle accident, it could be wrongful if the other driver acted in a negligent or reckless manner.

Wrongful Death Claims

Even one party’s criminal behavior can lead to a viable wrongful death claim. If one person allegedly murders another person, the deceased’s family may be able to file a civil wrongful death claim regardless of the outcome of a criminal trial. A famous example of this is the O.J. Simpson criminal case. A jury found him not guilty of murdering his estranged wife in a criminal trial. However, he was later found liable for wrongful death in the civil case that followed.

If you are still uncertain about how the law defines wrongful death, you might consider speaking with an Alabama-based personal injury attorney. He or she can explain the finer details of wrongful death while helping you determine if the death of your loved one falls into this category.

Source: FindLaw, “Wrongful Death Overview,” accessed Jan. 09, 2017

2017-03-25T19:41:24-05:00January 24th, 2017|Wrongful Death|