In the state of Alabama, you may be able to take legal action against a party who was negligent in causing a loved one’s death. Generally speaking, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed no more than two years after that person passes. Let’s take a closer look at what constitutes negligence as well as how to know if you have the standing to pursue a wrongful death claim.

What is negligence?

In a wrongful death case, you will need to prove that your loved one died as a result of another person’s irresponsible behavior. To prove that negligence occurred, it will need to be shown that a defendant acted in a manner inconsistent with his or her duty of care toward others. For instance, if a person was driving while under the influence of alcohol, that would likely violate that individual’s duty of care toward your deceased loved one. Furthermore, you’ll need to show that a negligent act was the proximate cause of a person’s death and that financial losses were incurred as a result.

Who has the standing to file a wrongful death suit in Alabama?

In the state of Alabama, the spouse, child or parent of a deceased person can typically file a wrongful death lawsuit. If you lack standing, it may not be possible to take legal action even if you can prove that negligence resulted in a person’s death. This is generally true even if the statute of limitations has not expired.

Ideally, you’ll start the legal process as soon as a loved one passes. It’s important to note that filing a lawsuit doesn’t mean that the case has to be resolved in court. Instead, it simply preserves your right to go to trial in the event that settlement talks stall.