Who can seek justice after a loved one is killed in a truck accident?

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2022 | Wrongful Death

In a perfect world, nobody would die because somebody else acted with negligence. Unfortunately, people in Birmingham, including commercial truck drivers, regularly cause fatal injuries due to poor decisions or inaction. Then the victim’s family must find a way to pick up the pieces and find a way to live without their missing relative.

One way to help make that happen is to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the truck driver who caused the crash — and the trucking company that potentially allowed it to happen. But you might be wondering if you have the right to sue.

Who can sue for wrongful death?

In Alabama, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate is the person who can file a wrongful death suit. The exception is when the deceased was a minor. In those cases, one of their parents can sue if they start the claim within six months of their child’s death. Otherwise, the personal representative has two years to take legal action. Whoever the plaintiff is, they can seek damages on behalf of the deceased’s estate as well as surviving family members, such as their spouse, parents and children.

Unusual compensation system

Alabama handles wrongful death compensation unusually. Unlike most states, Alabama does not allow plaintiffs to seek compensatory damages in wrongful death litigation. Only punitive damages, which are meant to punish the defendant, are permitted. Wrongful death cases in this state tend to focus on the defendant’s negligent behavior, rather than the harm the deceased and their loved ones have suffered. Working with an Alabama personal injury attorney who is familiar with state law is critical.

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