State laws empower you to file a civil lawsuit against another person who causes an injury to a person or substantial damage to your property. In extreme circumstances where the actions or inaction of one person or business caused the death of an individual, state law authorizes surviving family members to pursue a wrongful death claim.
Spouses, children, parents, grandparents and even sometimes siblings can seek compensation from a person or business whose wrongful acts or negligence caused the death of a family member. There are many limitations that apply to this right. Not only must the family have some kind of evidence that the death was wrongful, but they also have to take action quickly or possibly lose their right to sue.
There is a statute of limitations for wrongful death cases
With the exception of certain capital offenses, you legally can’t hold people responsible for their actions indefinitely. Even the government loses the right to prosecute most criminal acts after a specific number of years.
When it comes to personal injury claims, there is also a limitation that applies. If people don’t file suit against the person they believe is at fault within a certain amount of time, they may not be able to do so. Most of the time, a wrongful death claim in Alabama requires prompt action.
Families need to file their lawsuit within two years of the date of death, in most cases. There are circumstances that may shorten or even occasionally extend the statute of limitations. The sooner family members sit down to talk about their circumstances, the less likely they are to lose their right to compensation due to the passage of time.
If pursued promptly, wrongful death claims can help the family
Trying to adjust to the loss of a loved one can be difficult. Not only will your family have a completely different dynamic and the intense pressure from grief, but you will also have financial losses to cover and a funeral to plan.
Getting help with your request for compensation via a wrongful death lawsuit can allow your family to focus on the grieving process while also holding the responsible party accountable.