Alabama Fatal Car Accidents: The Facts
UPDATED: August 5, 2019
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The value of life
According to Dana Taunton, an Alabama attorney whose practice focuses on product liability and personal injury matters, death cases in Alabama are different that almost every other state in the Union. She explained, Alabama has a death statute that says you are entitled to punitive damages. Other states put different values on someones life. Alabama does not. It is strictly a punitive damages state and you can recover for negligence and punitive damages. She told us that theres a public policy reason for that, Alabama takes the view that one life is not more valuable than another. An unemployed persons life is just as valuable and just as important as the life of a CEO in a large corporation. As a result, Alabama does not limit the amount of punitive damages that are available in these situations.
Tips on preserving the value of a claim
While filing an insurance claim is last thing on anyones mind after suffering a tragic loss, it is important to understand what time limits are involved in filing a claim and what should be done to preserve the value of the claim. Taunton provided the following tips:
- Get the names of witnesses to the accident.
- Preserve the vehicle that was involved in the accident as that can be a key piece of evidence.
- Take photos or find out whether a police officer took photos. If the vehicle gets repaired without proof of the damages, it makes the whole process that much more difficult. You can have family members or friends take photographs if you cant do so yourself.
- Find out how the accident happened, the speeds that were involved, etc. If the case goes to trial and that information isnt known, then an accident reconstruction expert may have to be hired.
- Be conscious that Alabamas statute of limitations for bringing a personal injury or wrongful death claim is two years from the date of the accident.
If a loved one has been involved in a fatal car accident, take a moment to consult with an attorney whose practice focuses in this area of the law to discuss your situation. Consultations are free, without obligation and are strictly confidential. To contact a qualified attorney, please click here. We may be able to help.