Alabama Law: An Accident When Someone Dies

Jan 21, 2022 | Allen A. Ritchie

Allen's Answers


If a family member dies because of another person’s action, it can be a hard fight to collect money in Alabama. Here is the reason. In Alabama, you can NOT sue for what a person would have earned and other future losses like the cost of helping to raise the kids or to mow the grass; you can only sue to punish the wrongdoer.

What, you say? Yes, it is called wrongful death, and the battle is so tough that some Alabama lawyers will not even take such a case. Understand that our state’s restriction on wrongful death claims is not the law in many other states.

Imagine this example. An Alabama father is killed when a truck runs a stop sign. The father has a family of 4 and provides the only source of income. After his death, the family cannot collect for what he would have contributed to feeding the kids, paying the rent, helping with the kids’ college, or in fact, any other future expense.

It may interest you that injuries in our state can only consider 3 things:

  • The action that caused the death.
  • The wrongdoer’s intent.
  • The amount needed, so it doesn’t happen again.

Ironically, these restrictions do not come into effect if the person lives.

There are also restrictions on who can file a lawsuit in a wrongful death case. However, many people can potentially claim a share of any money awarded.

So, if this tragedy has hit your family, you are in for a fight. My advice is to get a lawyer and get one soon.

If you suffer a personal injury like an auto accident, railroad accident, wrongful death claim, or slip and fall, you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie for free. We want to help you get back on your feet.

Also, join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30, right after the news. We will take your calls live. We are experimenting with new ways to do the show and still follow the CDC guidelines. You might want to see what we are doing.

Allen Ritchie

Mobile Personal Injury Attorney