John R Spencer Attorney in Mobile, AL FREE Consultation: 251.445.0590

A wrongful death occurs when
a person is killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another individual, company, or organization.

wrongful death  

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Wrongful Death

The tragedy of a wrongful death can be devastating and overwhelming. Coping with such a loss can be the most trying time for a family. The grieving is made worse when the loss of a loved one is caused by the negligence or wrongful conduct of another.

A wrongful death occurs when a person is killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another individual, company, or organization. Alabama law holds the view that human life is incapable of translation into a compensatory measurement and, therefore, Alabama is the only state in the nation that does not allow the surviving family members to recover compensatory damages for the loss of a loved one. Only punitive damages are recoverable in a wrongful death action, and the punitive damages recoverable are determined by the gravity of the wrong done, the punishment called for by the act of the wrongdoer and the need to deter similar wrongs in order to preserve human life. Since only punitive damages are recoverable, proof of out of pocket costs, medical expenses, emotional distress, physical suffering, loss of economic support and loss of the companionship of a child or spouse are deemed “irrelevant” because they are not recoverable elements of damages.

The right to assert a claim for the wrongful death of a loved one depends on the individual circumstances. Where an adult is killed under circumstances not related to his or her employment, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate is the proper individual to assert the claim. In other words, under normal circumstances it is necessary to fist open an estate and have the right individual appointed by the probate court as the representative of the estate before commencing a wrongful death action; otherwise, the suit may be a nullity. Where a minor is killed, the mother or father of the minor may commence the wrongful death action without regard to an estate. Where the death of a loved one occurs in a work accident, Alabama’s Workers’ Compensation Act provides that the deceased employee’s dependents may proceed against the employer to recover workers’ compensation benefits for the death of the employee –death benefits under the workers’ compensation Act, however, are capped.

Another aspect of the wrongful death act that is unique to Alabama is that the proceeds (or recovery) in a wrongful death action are distributed pursuant to Alabama’s laws of distribution (that is, the laws that set forth the order and amounts in which an individual's estate is distributed when he or she has no will) but the proceeds of the wrongful death suit are not a part of the decedent’s estate and are not subject to any claims against the estate.

Any death that results from the negligence or wrongful intentional acts of another is referred to as wrongful death. Wrongful death cases arise from a variety of circumstances, including motor vehicle crashes, medical malpractice, dangerous or defective products, workplace and job-related mishaps, and construction site accidents.

I have successfully represented families of those that have lost a loved one due to the negligence or wantonness of another. During such a difficult time, you should not have to face a wrongdoer, corporation or insurance company alone.

At John Ronald Spencer, P.C., there is never a charge to meet with you. We’ll determine whether you have legal rights that must be protected. The initial consultation is always free. You have nothing to lose if you make the call. But, you may lose all of your legal rights if you do nothing. Call (251) 445-0590 today to schedule an appointment with an experienced trial attorney.



  ©2020 All rights reserved. John Ronald Spencer, P.C. The content of this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Nothing contained herein shall establish or create an attorney-client relationship. No opinions regarding the value of a particular legal claim or future results are intended. Every case is different and must be evaluated upon its individual facts and circumstances. “No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.” Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct.  

John Ronald Spencer, P.C.
205 N. Conception Street, Mobile, AL 36602 | tel. 251.445.0590 | fax. 251.432.7817

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  John R. Spencer, P.C. practice areas include:

Akka, Alabama Port, Allenville, Barnwell, Battles Wharf, Bayou La Batre, Bay Minette,  Bayleys Corner, Belforest, Bellfountaine, Blacksher, Blakeley, Bon Secour, Bridgehead, Bromley, Bucks, Calvert, Carney, Carpenter, Caswell, Cedar Grove, Chastang, Chickasaw, Chunchula, Citronelle, Clay City, Coden, Creola, Crichton, Crossroads, Daphne, Dauphin Island, Dawes, Delchamps, Dixon Corner, D’Olive, Douglasville, Dyas, Eight Mile, Elberta, Ellisville, Elsanor, Fairhope, Fairview, Farnell, Faustinas, Fernland, Foley, Fort Gaines, Fort McDermott, Fort Morgan, Fort Studdard, Fowl River, Gasque, Gateswood, Georgetown, Grand Bay, Gulf Highlands, Gulf Shores, Gulfcrest, Hatters, Heron Bay, Houstonville, Irvington, Jackson Oak, Josephine, Kushla, Latham,Laurendine, Lillian, Little River, Lloyds, Lottie, Loxley, Mackies, Magazine, Magnolia Beach, Magnolia Springs, Malbis, Mann, Marlow, Mauvilla, Mertz, Miflin, Millertown, Mobile, Moffet, Mon Louis, Montrose, Mount Vernon, Movico, Navco, Neely, Nenemoosha, Neshota, North Mobile, Oak Grove, Orange Beach, Orchard, Palmetto Beach, Park City, Pennsylvania, Perdido, Perdido Beach, Phillipsville, Pinchona, Pine Grove, Pineola, Plateau, Point Clear, Prichard, Rabun, Redtown, River Park, Robertsdale, Romar Beach, Rosinton, Saint Elmo, Salco, San Souci Beach, Saraland, Satsuma, Saraland, Seacliff, Seminole, Semmes, Serange, Seven Hills, Sibert, Sidney, Silverhill, Smithport, Smithtown, Spanish Fort, Stapleton, Steelwood, Stockton, Summerdale, Sunny Cove, Tacon, Tanner Williams, Tensaw, Theodore, Tillmans Corner, Toulminville, Turkey Branch, Union Church, Vaughn, Volanta, Whistler, Warley, Wheelerville, Whitehouse Forks, Whistler, Wilmer, Yupon