Nothing can prepare you for the loss of a loved one, but when someone else’s negligence is the cause for the death, a very difficult situation can become so much worse. David Greene from Greene & Phillips joined us on Studio10 with some important information.
The following questions and answers were provided by Greene & Phillips:
What exactly does the term “wrongful death” mean, and what are some examples of when this may occur?
Wrongful death is when someone receives a serious injury that leads to their death due to the negligence of someone else and through no fault of their own. It may be a car accident, or truck accident, something falls on an individual, or even in an industrial accident. But it is when someone is killed in that setting, and it isn’t their fault.
What recourse does the family of a wrongful death victim have against the person or company who caused it?
Families of wrongful death victims can often receive money damages for the loss of their family member. These damages include lost income and pain and suffering.
Talk about the difference between compensatory damages and punitive damages?
Compensatory damages about compensation. So paying for the medical bills, the property damage, etc. Punitive damages, are damages used to deter companies or individuals from the unsafe practices that caused this accident. All wrongful death cases are senseless and should not have happened, and there is no amount of money that can bring that loved-one back, but at least in many cases the family can be taken care of.
What’s the difference between wrongful death and manslaughter or murder?
Manslaughter and murder are criminal charges brought against responsible parties by the district attorney's office. These are court cases that determine if the at-fault-party will experience jail time. A wrongful death case will be a civil suit filed by the victim to recover money damages from the at-fault party. Typically you can’t sue for a murder, but there may be instances where you have a criminal and civil case for the same incident.
Is a lawyer needed for this type of suit?
Yes, in Alabama, you’re required to have a lawyer involved to file a suit in a wrongful death situation. That’s why it’s crucial to find a lawyer that handles this type of case as soon as you can after the accident resulting in the death of your loved one. There is important evidence that becomes increasingly difficult to obtain the longer you wait after the accident.
What does Greene & Phillips do to help families who have lost someone to a wrongful death?
We thoroughly investigate the facts of the case, by talking to witnesses, recovering any surveillance footage, and reconstructing the accident scene through sophisticated software. We’ll often work closely with local law enforcement and prosecutor’s office to gather the information we need to make your case strong. We then we go after the responsible parties and make them pay.
Is there any up-front cost to hiring a lawyer for a wrongful death case?
Not at all. At Greene & Phillips, the consultation is completely free and no risk. You won’t owe us anything unless we get money for you.
For more information you can call Greene & Phillips at 251-300-2000, or stop by their office during normal business hours at 51 North Florida Street.