Any wrongful death accident is tragic, but when children are involved, the loss seems even more unimaginable. One can only imagine the grief a mother must feel when not one, but four of her children die in an Alabama house fire.
Such was the heartbreaking loss of Felicia Core, an Alabama mother whose four children died in a mobile home fire in February of 2017. Now, the mother is taking action against the housing authority, claiming that faulty wiring caused the fire that led to the death of her children.
Based on this assertion, the grieving mother is filing a lawsuit against the housing authority, claiming that a housing authority employee failed to discover the faulty wiring during an inspection of the rental property.
It remains to be seen what becomes of this lawsuit, but wrongful death is, sadly, far from a rare occurrence in Alabama.
Alabama Wrongful Death
Alabama defines wrongful death as one that is caused by “the wrongful act, omission or negligence” of another person or entity. State law permits grieving families who have been harmed by such a person or entity to bring a lawsuit on their deceased loved one’s behalf. A successful lawsuit will result in money damages that repay the family for the harms suffered.
While monetary compensation is by no means an adequate replacement for the loss of a beloved family member, it is a small token of justice to help the family’s estate hold negligent parties accountable for the death they helped cause.
That said, surviving family members themselves are not allowed to file a wrongful death claim in Alabama. The state’s wrongful death laws are unique in that only a personal representative of the decedent’s estate may file a wrongful death lawsuit on the estate’s behalf.
Another unique aspect of Alabama wrongful death law is that plaintiffs must seek punitive damages, not compensatory damages. Practically speaking, this means the estate will be compensated specifically for the losses and costs of the decedent’s death. In effect, Alabama is concerned with compensating for the at-fault individual or entity’s wrongdoing. The damages awarded to the plaintiff, then, generally reflect the amount of wrongdoing that was involved in causing the wrongful death.
Finally, the statute of limitations for such a filing is two years, which begins once the decedent passed away. Time is of the essence in a wrongful death case, so speak to an Alabama wrongful death lawyer as quickly as possible to pursue justice for your deceased loved one. Your lawyer will help you assess whether you have a strong legal claim, all while ensuring your lawsuit is filed in a timely manner.
Noel B. Leonard is an Alabama personal injury attorney who helps an estate receive compensation for a loved one’s wrongful death that was caused by wrongdoing. Noel represents wrongful death plaintiffs from his office in Foley, and he also represents plaintiffs in Baldwin, Mobile and Escambia Counties.
Contact Alabama injury lawyer Noel B. Leonard or call 251-943-8638 for a legal consultation to discuss your wrongful death lawsuit.