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Huntsville Wrongful Death Lawyer

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Losing a loved one can cause considerable grief and emotional distress. When the death occurs because of someone’s negligence or wrongful acts, your family may also feel angry or helpless.

If you lose a loved one and someone else is to blame, your family might have the right to seek damages and accountability from at-fault parties through a wrongful death claim.

A Huntsville wrongful death lawyer from McCutcheon & Hamner can advocate for your family’s rights and interests and hold responsible parties accountable for your loved one’s death. 

If you lost a loved one in a preventable accident, you need practical, compassionate legal representation to make things right.

Contact McCutcheon & Hamner today for your free, confidential consultation with a Huntsville wrongful death lawyer. We can review your case and explain your legal options for pursuing damages.

Call us at (256)448-8523 today to schedule an appointment with our Huntsville wrongful death lawyer.

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If your loved one died in an accident caused by someone else’s negligent behavior or wrongful acts, your family deserves to hold that party accountable for the harm and suffering they caused.

A wrongful death claim may allow your family to obtain a measure of justice through damages against those at fault for your loved one’s death. A wrongful death lawyer can advocate for your family’s rights and prioritize your goals and wishes.

For over 30 years, families in Alabama have turned to McCutcheon & Hamner for help pursuing justice after the tragic loss of a loved one. Our firm has offices in Huntsville, Florence, and Athens to serve clients across North Alabama.

Since 1988, clients have chosen us for legal help because we offer the personalized attention of a small firm but the outstanding case results of a big firm. When you hire McCutcheon & Hamner, you will work directly with the attorney handling your case. We will never pass you off to a paralegal or case manager.

Our client-centered approach means your family will receive the compassionate, dedicated care you need during this challenging time. Our wrongful death lawyers will treat your family with the dignity and respect you deserve throughout the legal process.

Clients throughout Alabama choose us because of our proven track record of success. Our experienced attorneys will handle all the legal details, giving your family the time and space to grieve and move forward. You can rest assured that our legal team will work tirelessly to seek the damages and accountability your family deserves from at-fault parties and insurance companies.

Our attorneys have received numerous awards for their dedication to success, including recognition by the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. 

You don’t have to go through this challenging time alone. The Huntsville wrongful death lawyers of McCutcheon & Hamner are here to help your family obtain justice for your loved one.

What Compensation Can Your Family Recover After a Loved One’s Death in Alabama?

Huntsville Wrongful Death Lawyer
Although nothing can truly make up for the loss of a loved one, obtaining some accountability through a wrongful death claim can give your family a measure of justice for your loved one’s death. While many states allow surviving family members to pursue monetary compensation through wrongful death claims, Alabama approaches these cases differently. Instead of compensatory damages for financial and emotional losses suffered by surviving family members, Alabama law only allows families to seek punitive damages in wrongful death cases. Unlike compensatory damages, which provide financial relief to family members for their losses, punitive damages punish the party or parties at fault for the decedent’s passing. These damages also deter other people from committing similar wrongful acts that can lead to other people’s deaths. Courts instruct juries to award punitive damages appropriate or proportionate to the nature of the wrongful acts that led to the decedent’s death, with juries having discretion over the value of a punitive damages award. Juries may not consider the monetary value of a decedent’s life in awarding punitive damages because a wrongful death award does not compensate surviving family members for financial or personal losses. However, under Alabama law, the decedent’s personal representative can file a legal action to recover compensation for damage to the decedent’s property that occurred due to the wrongful act that led to the decedent’s death if the decedent could have filed an action had they survived. A personal representative may file this claim even if there is no criminal conviction, prosecution, or acquittal of an at-fault party.

Wrongful Death Accidents in Huntsville, AL

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in one recent year, unintentional injuries led to nearly 225,000 deaths nationwide, or a rate of 67.8 deaths per 100,000 population, making unintentional injuries the fourth-leading cause of death in the U.S. That same year, motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. led to over 45,000 fatalities, a rate of 13.5 deaths per 100,000 population. The Alabama Department of Transportation reports that, in one recent year, 986 people died in 887 motor vehicle accidents in the state, resulting in an average of one traffic fatality every eight hours and 53 minutes. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports that, in one recent year, Alabama had 111 cases of work-related fatalities. Transportation-related incidents accounted for nearly 40 percent of worker fatalities, making it the most common cause of work-related deaths. Acts of violence and animal attacks were the second-most common cause, leading to 22 worker fatalities.

About Wrongful Death Claims

A wrongful death claim can arise from the same kinds of accidents or incidents that can give rise to a personal injury claim. Some of the common causes of wrongful death claims include:
  • Car accidents: Severe car accidents such as T-bone or head-on collisions, rollover accidents, or multi-vehicle or pile-up accidents can lead to fatal injuries for vehicle occupants. Surviving family members may have a wrongful death claim against the driver or drivers who caused the crash.
  • Truck accidents: Large commercial trucks more frequently cause severe, life-threatening injuries for accident victims due to trucks’ size and weight. A truck driver or trucking company may bear liability for a wrongful death if their actions or omissions caused the fatal accident.
  • Drunk driving accidents: Intoxicated drivers often cause violent and catastrophic motor vehicle accidents. Drug or alcohol intoxication may lead drivers to speed or drive recklessly or prevent drivers from braking or swerving in time to avoid accidents due to impaired perception and slowed reaction times.
  • Workplace accidents: When a person suffers fatal injuries at work due to the negligence or wrongful acts of a party other than their employer, the deceased worker’s family may have a wrongful death claim.
  • Construction accidents: Surviving family members of construction workers fatally injured by a negligent party or innocent bystanders killed by construction accidents may have the right to pursue wrongful death claims against at-fault contractors or site owners.
  • Dog bites and animal attacks: Dog and animal attacks can be fatal if an animal attacks a person’s head and neck or inflicts catastrophic injuries. Surviving family members may have a wrongful death claim against the owner of the dog or animal that inflicted the attack on their deceased loved one.
  • Nursing home abuse and neglect: Families may bring wrongful death claims after loved ones suffer fatal injuries or health complications caused by abuse or neglect from nursing home staffers and operators.
Under Alabama’s wrongful death statute, the decedent’s personal representative has sole authority to file a wrongful death claim. However, when a decedent dies before their 18th birthday, the law allows the minor decedent’s parents to file a wrongful death lawsuit. A minor decedent’s personal representative may file the wrongful death claim if the decedent’s parents fail to do so within six months of the decedent’s passing. A decedent’s “personal representative” usually refers to the executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate. Usually, a surviving family member such as a spouse, adult child, parent, or sibling will serve as executor or administrator. A surviving spouse or heir has 40 days to petition the court for appointment as administrator or executor. After that time, the court can appoint a county administrator or any other qualified person who requests letters of administration. The law requires a personal representative to file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of a decedent’s death. However, your family should not wait to talk to a Huntsville wrongful death lawyer about pursuing a case. Investigating and preparing a wrongful death claim can take months or years. If you file suit after the statutory deadline, your family may lose the opportunity to hold those at fault legally responsible for your loved one’s passing.

Don’t Let the Insurance Company Deny Your Family Financial Recovery and Justice

Depending on the circumstances of your loved one’s death, your family may pursue a wrongful death claim against the insurance company of the party or parties at fault for your loved one’s passing. However, insurers rarely make it easy for families to seek justice for losing a loved one. Insurance companies maximize their profits by minimizing the money they pay out in claims. Thus, insurers will do whatever it takes to avoid paying damages. Adjusters may use tactics like pressuring families to settle or delaying the investigation and processing of a claim to avoid taking full responsibility. You don’t have to take on the insurance company alone. Let a Huntsville wrongful death lawyer from McCutcheon & Hamner advocate for your family’s rights and interests. Our firm will deal with the insurance companies on your family’s behalf, giving you the time and space to focus on grieving and healing from your loss. Our legal team will aggressively pursue justice for the avoidable death your loved one suffered due to others’ negligent, reckless, or willful conduct.

What Steps Should Your Family Take To Prepare for a Wrongful Death Claim?

Your family is grieving after a loved one’s death, and pursuing a wrongful death claim is likely the furthest thing from your mind. However, acting quickly after your loved one’s passing can give your family a better chance to hold at-fault parties accountable and recover damages. One action your family should take after a loved one’s death includes gathering all the evidence you may have from the accident or incident that led to your loved one’s passing. This evidence might include:
  • Photos from the accident scene
  • Copies of police or incident reports
  • Your loved one’s medical records of the treatment they received for their fatal injuries or illness
  • Contact information for witnesses who saw the accident or incident occur
A wrongful death lawyer can help you gather additional evidence, such as video footage of the accident from surveillance or traffic cameras or testimony from experts in accident reconstruction, medicine, or other relevant fields. Next, your family should ensure that your loved one’s estate has an administrator or executor appointed to pursue a wrongful death claim. Finally, you should contact a Huntsville wrongful death lawyer from McCutcheon & Hamner as soon as possible to discuss your family’s legal options and start preparing a compelling wrongful death case. Our team can help your family by holding those at fault for your loved one’s passing accountable and pursuing punitive damages as a measure of justice for your family.

Contact McCutcheon & Hamner for Experienced Legal Help From a Huntsville Wrongful Death Lawyer

If your loved one passed away because of someone else’s negligent or wrongful acts, you deserve to seek justice and damages from the responsible party. You don’t have to go through this challenging time alone.

At McCutcheon & Hamner, our experience Huntsville personal injury attorneys helping grieving families throughout Alabama hold negligent parties accountable through wrongful death claims. Our compassionate legal team will provide your family with the personalized care and service you deserve at this difficult moment.

Contact our office today at (256) 448-8523 for your free, confidential consultation with our Huntsville wrongful death lawyers and learn more about your legal options.

If you or a loved one is involved in an accident, call 911 – then contact us online or call (256) 448-8523 today for a free consultation and case evaluation.

Huntsville Office

3rd Floor Fletcher Building
475 Providence Main St NW
Huntsville, AL 35806

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