Wrongful Death


We can help you in Madison, Morgan, Lawrence and Limestone Counties and the surrounding areas.


Wrongful Death Attorney

Wrongful death is a legal claim that can be brought by surviving family members against a person if that person negligently or intentionally caused the death of a loved one. According to the National Safety Council, Americans under the age of 42 are more likely to die from an accident than any other cause of death. Of all age groups, accidents are still among the top five causes of death. Do you have a loved one who was a victim of a wrongful death? A “wrongful death” occurs when a person dies due to the negligent, careless, intentional, or reckless act of another person or entity. The loss of someone you care about is never easy, but when the person’s death was a result of another person’s negligence or misconduct, the situation becomes even more complex. In a wrongful death case, a personal representative must be appointed to the decedent’s estate. Typically, it is the spouse of the victim that will file the claim, but if the victim was not married, it may be difficult to decide whether a parent, child or sibling should be the one to bring the case to court. Some personal injury lawyers do not take wrongful death cases because an estate must be opened before an attorney can represent the family who lost a loved one. Some attorneys send you to other attorneys to do the estate, not at Ferguson and Ferguson. We handle everything, including the estate. Even if there was only a small amount of insurance coverage – or none at all – your lawyer can work with you to understand your options for compensation. The attorneys at Ferguson & Ferguson understand what you are going through—and the questions you want answered—and we have the experience to guide you through it.

If someone close to you has died due to the wrongful act or neglect of another, it is important to find a reputable and well-established law firm with an exceptional reputation for handling wrongful death cases. Wrongful death lawyer Randy Ferguson is your best resource to ensure you are being protected and that your family is being compensated for your loved ones death. Attorney Randy Ferguson, with offices in Decatur and Huntsville, has been the preferred wrongful death attorney since 1993. We are wrongful death attorneys who specialize in wrongful death and injury cases. If you have lost a loved one because of someone elses negligence in Decatur, Huntsville or North Alabama, call now. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your wrongful death claim. We handle cases on a contingency basis, which means you owe no legal fees unless we win your case. Call or contact us today, and we are ready to help you.Call 256-534-3435 or 1-800-752-1998.

Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in Alabama?

Surviving family members, such as a spouse, children, or any others who depended on the deceased person for support, can bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Alabama. The following heirs can be appointed by the probate court as the decedent’s personal representative and are permitted to recover monetary damages for the loss of a loved one due to the decedent’s wrongful death caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another party :

  • The surviving spouse
  • The domestic partner
  • Children and offspring of deceased
  • Beneficiaries
  • Dependents
  • Parents of the decedent
  • Anyone else appointed by probate court

Statute of Limitations

You you must file a wrongful death lawsuit two years from the date of the incident that caused injuries that led to the wrongful death. This statute has exceptions when the wrongful death was caused by a health care provider.

Causes of Wrongful Death

Our Alabama wrongful death lawyers have handled hundreds of wrongful death cases, from car accidents to truck accidents, motorcycle wrecks, pedestrian accidents, product liability, medical malpractice and slip and fall cases. Here are some of the types of wrongful death cases we can handle in Alabama and Tennessee:.

  • Car Accidents: We represent people who have died in car crashes and their families in wrongful death cases.
  • Bus Accidents: If someone in your family has been killed in a bus accident, we can help you recover.
  • Trucking Accidents: (also called semi-trailers or tractor-trailers) Most trucking accidents cause serious injuries or death. If your loved one has been killed in a trucking accident, call us now. We have handled hundreds of truck accident cases. We represent drivers, passengers, and
  • Bicycle/Cycling Accidents: If your family member has been killed in a cycling accident, we know the laws in Alabama and can help you recover.
  • Pedestrian Accidents: When a pedestrians is hit by a car, truck, or other motor vehicle, they usually suffer serious injuries or die. We know all of the pedestrian laws in Alabama and will hold the driver responsible for the death of your loved one.
  • Slip and Fall Accidents: People who slip and fall can suffer a serious injury or even death. Our attorneys can get you the compensation you deserve in Alabama.
  • Defective Products: Defective products can cause serious injuries or even death. Household products, ATVs, chemicals, food, motor vehicles, medical devices, and medicine can cause death. Our defective product lawyers represent victims of all types of dangerous products in Alabama.
  • Motorcycle Accidents: Most motorcycle accidents cause serious injuries or death. Our firm has helped hundreds of motorcyclists and their families seek compensation for more than 29 years in Alabama.
  • Nursing Home Abuse: If your loved one has died because they were neglected or abused, we can help you recover.
  • House Fires: House and apartment fires kill thousands of people each year. We know the laws and can help you recover for the loss of your loved one. Let our Alabama fire and burn attorneys help you recover against your homeowners insurance, landlords, or other negligent parties.
  • Dog Bites: Thousands of people are attacked each year by dangerous dogs. Surprisingly, many children and adults are also killed. We can help.
  • Boating Accidents: Boating accidents cause thousands of deaths a year. If your loved one has died because of a boat accident, our Huntsville and Decatur boating accident lawyers are dedicated to helping families of injury victims recover the compensation they deserve.
  • Airplane Crashes: Airplane and aviation industry accidents result in some of the most shocking, painful, and devastating deaths imaginable. We are here to help.
  • Swimming Pool Accidents: If your child or family member was killed in a swimming pool accident, we are here to help.
  • Elevator Accidents: When an elevator fails, people can die. If you have lost a loved one in an elevator accident, our attorneys can help.
  • Pharmacy Malpractice: If your pharmacy or doctor gave your family member the wrong prescription and it caused their death, we can help you recover.
  • Worker’s Compensation: We have handled hundreds of workers compensation cases where someone was killed or seriously injured on the job. We know the law and can help you navigate the difficult road following a workers compensation death. Workers compensation death lawsuits do not recover punitive damages. They have completely different types of compensation provided by statute. We can also bring a third-party personal injury claim for car accidents while on the job in Alabama or against a subcontractor whose negligence causes the death of an employee.
  • Dram Shop: If your loved one died because of the serving of a drunk patron by a bar or restaurant, you can recover against the bar or restaurant for their death.
  • Toxic Exposure
  • Daycare Accidents
  • Construction Accidents
  • Sports and recreation fatalities
  • Travel industry accidents
  • Assault and battery deaths
  • Homicide
  • Domestic violence
  • Amusement Park Accidents
  • Drunk Drivers

Damages You Can Recover In An Injury Case

An individual who negligently injures you may be liable for a wide variety of damages that an accident can cause. If the person dies before filing a lawsuit in Alabama, their estate can only recover punitive damages. If the the person injured files a lawsuit before their death, they can recover for the following:

  • Disability and Disfigurement
  • Loss of Consortium
  • Medical Bills
  • Prescriptions
  • Future Medical Costs
  • Lost Wages
  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Mental and Emotional Distress
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Rehabilitative care
  • Medical devices (crutches, wheelchairs)
  • Automobile repair or replacement value
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life
  • Disability and Disfigurement

Damages You Can Recover In A Wrongful Death Case

If your loved one was killed in an accident and no lawsuit was filed before their death, the only damages you can recover are punitive damages. Damages to punish the negligent or wanton driver. In Alabama, you cannot recover for:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of companionship
  • Funeral expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

Obtaining compensation can play a pivotal role in facilitating emotional recovery after a devastating loss. While it is undeniable that no legal case can bring back a loved one, it can provide the necessary resources to support individuals and their families as they navigate their future. Compensation can help alleviate financial burdens that may arise as a result of the loss, such as medical bills, funeral expenses, or the loss of income. By addressing these practical concerns, compensation allows individuals to focus on the healing process and rebuilding their lives.

Moreover, receiving the compensation to which one is entitled can offer a sense of closure. It acknowledges the profound impact of the loss and the pain endured by the affected individual and their family. In some cases, it may also bring a sense of justice and accountability, as the responsible party is held legally liable for their actions.

Financial compensation can also provide a sense of validation for the emotional turmoil experienced. It recognizes the suffering and trauma endured and signifies that those who have experienced loss are deserving of support and acknowledgement. Such validation can contribute to a person’s overall sense of well-being and self-worth, reinforcing their ability to cope with the emotional challenges associated with grief.

Additionally, compensation can offer individuals the opportunity to seek professional help and engage in healing practices. It can cover the costs of therapy, counseling, or support groups, providing important resources for emotional healing and recovery. These therapeutic interventions can facilitate the processing of grief, assist in managing complex emotions, and aid in the development of healthy coping mechanisms.

In summary, obtaining compensation following a devastating loss can contribute significantly to emotional recovery. It not only relieves financial burdens but also provides a sense of closure, validation, and support. By granting individuals the means to address their practical needs and seek therapeutic assistance, compensation can empower them to move forward towards healing and rebuilding their lives.

What is Wrongful Death in Alabama?

A “wrongful death” occurs when a person dies due to the negligent, careless, reckless, intentional act, or omission of another person or entity. The Alabama Wrongful Death Statute is found at Alabama Code Section 6-5-410. The sudden, unexpected loss of a loved one is always shocking and painful. If someone close to you has died in Alabama due to the negligent, reckless, or intentional behavior of another party, it is essential that you contact a well-established law firm, Having fatal accident representation in a situation similar to this is paramount. You should ensure that the Alabama wrongful death law firm has extensive experience and expertise in prosecuting wrongful death cases and, in particular, the type of accident that caused the fatality. The attorneys at Ferguson & Ferguson understand the devastation and grief that families feel when a loved one has been killed in a preventable fatal accident, as well as the emotional and financial challenges that families face going forward. Over the years, we have represented hundreds of families throughout Alabama, including husbands, wives, children, parents, brothers and sisters who have lost beloved family members in tragic, preventable deaths. An Alabama wrongful death is a death due to someone else’s carelessness or negligence. Every state has a civil wrongful death statute or set of statutes, which establish the procedures for bringing wrongful death actions. In most states, the decedent’s immediate family members (surviving spouses and children, and sometimes parents or siblings) may bring action. Death claims may arise out of car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, property negligence, and other incidents of negligence.

Why Hire Wrongful Death Attorneys Ferguson & Ferguson

Time is of the essence in Alabama wrongful death actions. Preserving evidence and identifying defendants are key factors in many of the underlying accidents involving death cases. This requires retaining investigators and experts to commence investigations and evaluations as promptly as possible. Hiring an experienced Alabama wrongful death attorney therefore should not be delayed.Our wrongful death attorneys understand the wrongful death laws. Our wrongful death lawyers represent clients all over the country. In Alabama, unlike in other states, the family of a loved one who is killed as a result of another person’s negligence is entitled only to punitive damages, not compensatory damages. Wrongful death damages are to punish not to compensate. This means you can ask the jury to punish the person who is at fault for the wrongful death, but you cannot receive damages for your loved one’s expected future income. Ferguson & Ferguson is familiar with the complexities of pursuing wrongful death lawsuits and has had numerous seven figure successes. Our attorneys will evaluate your wrongful death claim and answer any questions you may have at no charge. If you have lost a loved one at the hands of another, our firm can help. Our wrongful death attorneys will investigate the circumstances of the wrongful death. We will determine all the responsible parties, whether the fatality was caused by a defective product, a car or truck accident, or a boating accident.

Frequently Asked Questions about Wrongful Death in Alabama

If you have lost a loved because of the negligence or wantonness of another, you probably have questions. The most common questions we are ask is the following:

Who can file a wrongful death claim?

Section 6-5-410 of the Code of Alabama stipulates that only the estate of a deceased person can bring a wrongful death suit. This means only the legally appointed personal representative of the deceased’s estate can pursue the negligent party. Immediate family members—spouses, children, and parents—can petition to be the administrator. If the deceased has no spouse, children or parents, any relative can petition the probate court to be administrator of the deceased estate to bring a wrongful death case. Some states allow partners, grandparents, or adult children to also file suit. In Alabama, proceeds (settlement funds or judgment funds) from a wrongful death claim or lawsuit are distributed to the deceased’s heirs in accordance with our laws for intestate succession (dying without a will)

What is the time limit for filing a wrongful death case in Alabama?

In Alabama, a wrongful death claim must be brought within two years of the date of the death of the victim.

Do I need a wrongful death attorney?

You always need a local wrongful death attorney if you have lost a loved one in an accident. Wrongful death cases are very difficult, and you don’t need a television or billboard accident attorney from another county or state handling your case. We handle all cases on a contingency basis, which means we are not paid anything until we win your case.

What type of damages can I recover in Alabama?

Alabama is a punitive damage only state for wrongful death cases. Punitive damages are damages awarded to deter wrongful conduct and do not take into consideration medical bills, lost wages, the financial status of the party. Alabama does not allow the recovery of compensatory damages. Alabama’s wrongful death statutes stand out distinctly from those of other states primarily because they focus exclusively on punitive damages, aiming to penalize the wrongdoer rather than compensate the survivors for their loss. Unlike most states where compensatory damages are commonly awarded to cover such things as funeral costs and the emotional loss of a loved one, Alabama’s approach does not consider these compensatory factors. Additionally, in Alabama, a wrongful death claim can proceed regardless of whether the defendant has faced or will face criminal prosecution for the fatality. This means that even if the defendant was acquitted or the incident did not lead to criminal charges, the wrongful death lawsuit can still move forward, providing an avenue to seek justice through the civil system where the burden of proof is different. Thus, an experienced wrongful death lawyer is essential in these cases, as they can effectively argue to convince a jury of the need to impose punitive measures on the perpetrator for their actions.

To successfully establish negligence in a wrongful death lawsuit, an attorney must demonstrate four key elements?

1. **Duty of Care**: The party accused of negligence (the defendant) must have had a responsibility to act with care toward the deceased. For example, a business owner has an obligation to maintain safe premises for customers.

2. **Breach of Duty**: It must be proven that the defendant failed to fulfill their duty of care. This might involve showing that a business did not fix a hazardous condition which eventually led to an accident.

3. **Causation**: There must be a direct link established between the breach of duty and the death of the individual. This means showing that the deceased wouldn’t have died but for the defendant’s negligence.

4. **Damages**: Finally, it must be shown that the death led to quantifiable damages. This can include funeral expenses, loss of income, emotional distress, and loss of companionship, which are claimed by the survivors or the estate of the deceased.

Each of these elements must be convincingly proven for a court to uphold a claim of negligence in a wrongful death case.

How does a wrongful death lawyer get paid?

Wrongful death lawyers take cases on a contingency fee basis. That means, if there is no recovery, you don’t pay anything. We advance costs, including probate fees in advance and we recover our attorney fees and other costs only if we recover. You do not pay anything if we are not successful winning your case.

Is the recovery subject to debts of the person who passed away In Alabama?

No. In Alabama, the compensation from a wrongful death settlement or court award is distributed in a specific manner, as outlined by Alabama Code 6-5-410. This code states that the damages recovered from a wrongful death claim are not subject to the payment of the debts or liabilities of the deceased person. This means that the settlement funds or judgment funds from a wrongful death claim or lawsuit are protected and not used to satisfy any outstanding debts.

Instead, the distribution of the compensation follows the statute of descent and distributions, which is Alabama’s legal framework for determining how assets are distributed when someone passes away without a will. Under this statute, the settlement funds or judgment funds are distributed to the deceased’s heirs according to the laws of intestate succession.

It is important to note that in Alabama, the unpaid bills of the deceased are not taken into consideration when distributing the settlement award. This means that the entire settlement amount is available for distribution to the rightful parties, without any deductions for outstanding debts.

Furthermore, whether or not the deceased had a will, the compensation will be distributed according to Alabama’s inheritance laws. This means that even close relatives who are not explicitly mentioned in the will may still be entitled to a portion of the settlement or award. Conversely, long-term partners and dear friends who are mentioned in the will may not be included in the distribution of assets from the wrongful death case.

Thus, it is crucial to understand that in Alabama, the distribution of compensation from a wrongful death settlement or court award follows the statute of descent and distributions, ensuring that the funds are protected from the deceased’s debts and distributed in accordance with the state’s inheritance laws, regardless of the existence of a will.

How Are We Different Than Other Wrongful Death Lawyers

The law offices of Ferguson and Ferguson takes pride in giving each client individual and personal attention.

  • We are from North Alabama, not an out of state or Birmingham law firm that acts like their local.
  • You talk to personal injury attorneys, not secretaries.
  • We are committed to excellent client service.
  • Our fees are lower because we don’t have to pay huge television and billboard costs.
  • We care about our clients, and have patience.
  • Free phone consultation 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays.
  • Free office consultation as late as 7 p.m. and Saturdays also.
  • Locations near you.
  • We answer all our clients calls, or return them promptly.
  • We keep our clients informed of the status of their case.
  • We make sure that our clients understand each step of their case.
  • We have great compassion for the physical, emotional, and financial problems that our clients suffered, and will do everything possible to get them through their difficult time.
  • We handle the estate and getting you appointed as the administrator. We do not ship you off to some other law firm to set up the estate
  • Not afraid to go to court like many of the billboard and television attorneys. We’ll do whatever it takes to win your case.
  • No fee if no recover. You pay no expenses unless we win your case
  • Proven track record in winning wrongful death cases.

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of needing to pursue a wrongful death claim in Decatur, it is crucial to have the support of a dedicated and knowledgeable legal advocate. At our law firm, Decatur Legal Advocates, we understand the complexities and emotional toll that such cases involve.

With our vast experience in handling wrongful death claims, we are prepared to fight tirelessly on your behalf. Our team of skilled attorneys will guide you through the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected. We offer compassionate support and personalized attention, recognizing the sensitivity of these cases.

To get started on your wrongful death claim, we encourage you to contact us at Decatur Legal Advocates. Our team will provide a thorough evaluation of your case, offering you a clear understanding of your legal options. We will handle all the necessary paperwork, investigations, and negotiations to seek the justice and compensation you deserve.

Remember, time is of the essence in wrongful death cases, as there are usually specific deadlines for filing claims. By reaching out to us today, you can take the first step in pursuing your claim and obtaining closure for your loved one.

Free Wrongful Death Consultation

Even if there was only a small amount of insurance coverage – or none at all – your lawyer can work with you to understand your options for compensation. The attorneys at Ferguson & Ferguson understand what you are going through—and the questions you want answered—and we have the experience to guide you through it. In the aftermath of a wrongful death, our team is here to offer not just legal advice but comprehensive support. We will thoroughly assess any settlement offers from insurance companies and advise you on whether they reflect the true value of your claim, ensuring you do not settle for less than you deserve.

Our dedicated attorneys will take over all communication with insurance companies, relieving you of the burden during your time of grief. We conduct a meticulous investigation of the incident, gathering all necessary evidence, from interviewing witnesses to securing physical proofs that are crucial for building a strong case. We also identify all potentially liable parties, exploring every possible avenue for compensation.

Should legal action be necessary, we are prepared to represent you in court, bringing years of experience in handling wrongful death claims in Alabama to the forefront. We develop a tailored legal strategy for your specific case, aimed at holding the responsible parties accountable and securing the compensation you and your family need to move forward. Throughout this process, we keep you informed and involved, answering your questions and making sure you understand each step.

Contact Ferguson & Ferguson today for a no-charge consultation. Let us take the legal weight off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on healing with your family.We are always available to review your wrongful death case and analyze the facts of your potential claim, with no obligation. Call us in Huntsville or Decatur, Alabama today to see how we can help you obtain justice and compensation for your loss. We are available in Huntsville and Decatur day or night to discuss your case and answer your wrongful death questions. Wrongful death consultations are always free, and if we represent you, we will not charge legal fees unless we win your case. If you have lost a loved one, we are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to discuss your case. Call us in Huntsville or Decatur, Alabama now. Call 256-350-7200 or 256-534-3434. We are here to help.

Huntsville Office Location:
303 Williams Avenue SW
Suite 321
Huntsville, AL 35801

Decatur Office Location:
211 Oak Street NE
Decatur, AL 35601

Our personal injury attorneys serve every city and town in the State of Alabama.