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Wrongful Death

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Wrongful Death Attorney

Losing a loved one is never easy. It is a terrible tragedy for a family to endure. Our wrongful death attorneys understand the delicacy of these situations and will treat our clients the way we would want our own families to be treated.


The death of a loved one is difficult to accept and emotionally tolling, especially if it was the result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. Family members are often left angry, hopeless, and confused.

How to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Our Birmingham wrongful death attorneys sympathize with you in your time of grief. We will help you through this challenging time to recover from the emotional and financial losses involved.


We understand the delicacy of these situations and will treat our clients the way we would want our own families to be treated under the same circumstances. We are dedicated to giving our clients the respect, hard work, and attention they deserve, especially in a time of crisis.


Our wrongful death attorneys will personally sit down with you and listen to your situation. If we determine that a wrongful death lawsuit seems the right course of action, we will fight hard to obtain money damages. In our combined 60+ years of experience, our wrongful death attorneys have represented many families in wrongful death lawsuits.

When to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Wrongful death suits are pursued when someone is killed as a result of another person’s negligence, wantonness, or some other wrongful conduct. Wrongful death claims can include death as a result of a work accident, defective product, car accident, or commercial vehicle (truck or 18-wheeler) collision.


In Alabama, all wrongful death claims are litigated under the Alabama Wrongful Death Act. This statute is unique compared to that of other states in that it only allows for punitive damages, which are intended to punish the wrongdoer, and does not allow for compensatory damages. You and your family will receive any punitive damages awarded.

Who Can File Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A wrongful death lawsuit may be brought by the estate of the deceased person. This is usually done through the personal representative of the estate, who may be a family member or next of kin, such as a parent or sibling. 


Regardless of who brings the action, the proceeds of the wrongful death lawsuit, which is the settlement or damages collected, are distributed to the deceased person’s next of kin or family members as provided by Alabama statutory law.  The wrongful death lawyers at Petway French and Ford routinely handle all of the probate matters necessary before a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed so that the family does not have to.

How much can you sue for in a wrongful death lawsuit?

Wrongful death lawsuits in Alabama allow for punitive damages, not compensatory damages. They are intended to punish the person or company that caused the wrongful death. The judge or jury is empowered to determine the amount of damages if the elements of the wrongful death lawsuit are proven.


How long does it take to settle wrongful death claims?

Wrongful death claims are routinely settled before trial, as are most lawsuits. However, the defendant cannot be forced to settle a wrongful death claim. It depends on the strength of the wrongful death lawsuit and the defendant’s desire to resolve the wrongful death case before trial.


Sometimes, wrongful death claims are settled before a lawsuit is even filed. The experienced wrongful death attorneys at Petway, French, and Ford often make demands on the wrongful death defendants before filing a lawsuit in order to give them the opportunity to settle, if the statute of limitations allows sufficient time to do so. Defendants sometimes settle shortly after a lawsuit is filed to avoid the time, expense, and exposure that a public lawsuit causes them to incur or experience. In other cases, it isn’t until the investigation and facts are uncovered through the court pretrial process that the defendants are willing to settle the claims.

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The law firm of Petway, French & Ford, LLP, represents clients throughout Alabama, including Birmingham, Anniston, Montgomery, Mobile,

Huntsville, Tuscaloosa and Gadsden.



Call us at 205.977.9798 or

toll-free at 888.871.0303.

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