There is nothing more heartbreaking than losing a loved one before their time. However, it can be even more devastating when their death is caused by another person’s careless or reckless actions. While nothing can bring them back, holding the responsible party accountable for their negligent or wrongful act can help bring those grieving a sense of closure and justice. If you have lost a loved one at the hands of another, you may be considering filing a wrongful death claim. It’s crucial to understand that only certain family members are eligible to file this lawsuit and benefit from any awarded damages. Please continue reading to learn who can file a wrongful death claim in Alabama and how a compassionate Birmingham Wrongful Death Lawyer can help you navigate this difficult time. 

Which Relatives Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Alabama?

Every state has its own laws governing who can file a wrongful death claim in the civil court system. While in some states, the deceased person’s family members are allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit, this is not the case in Alabama. In the state of Alabama, only the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit. The personal representative may have been chosen during the deceased person’s lifetime and may be named in a will or estate plan. However, if the individual dies without naming a personal representative, the court will appoint someone.

The personal representative will act on behalf of the surviving family members, who are entitled to inherit from the deceased person’s estate. These family members may include spouses, parents, siblings, or other relatives. It’s important to note that if the deceased was a minor (someone younger than 19 years old), the law permits the mother or father to file a wrongful death claim within six months of their child’s death. The minor’s personal representative must file the claim if this period expires.

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?

Generally, personal representatives only have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim in Alabama. If the personal representative fails to file within the legally prescribed time limit, they may lose their right to pursue legal action and face the absolute bar of recovery.

No family should have to mourn the untimely and preventable death of a loved one on their own. If you are considering filing a wrongful death claim in Alabama, please don’t hesitate to consult an experienced lawyer from Alabama Personal Injury Lawyers, LLC, who can help you fight for justice.