A high number of deadly car accidents happen annually in Alabama. Some victims will be killed immediately. Meanwhile, others will undergo costly and painful medical procedures before ultimately succumbing to the injuries they sustained.
After a deadly crash in Alabama, a survival action can be filed by the victim’s estate. This type of claim seeks compensation for damages incurred by the victim between the moment their accident happened and their unfortunate death. Essentially, it seeks payment for what the deceased would be able to recover in a personal injury lawsuit if they were still alive. However, in order to for a survival action to succeed, the victim must have filed a personal injury case before passing away. If a victim dies before they can file a personal injury lawsuit, then their estate cannot pursue a survival action.
Seek support and guidance from our experienced Alabama car accident attorneys by calling Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.
When Can You File a Survival Action After a Car Accident in Alabama?
When someone suffers a deadly crash in Alabama but does not die immediately, a survival action can be filed to recover monetary damages for losses they sustained between the moment their accident occurred and their death. Simply put, a survival action allows a victim’s estate to acquire payment for damages that would be available to the deceased if they were still alive.
However, a personal injury claim that is not filed before the victim passes away does not survive. This means that if the victim died before they could file their own personal injury claim, then their estate may not pursue a survival action.
If your loved one passed away because of their car accident injuries, this rule can be difficult cope with. It may allow a careless driver to avoid paying for the full extent of damages they caused. Still, there may be another way to pursue compensation for the loss of your family member. During your free case assessment, our Birmingham car accident lawyers will explain the legal options available to you.
Who Can File a Survival Action After a Car Accident in Alabama?
A survival action has to be filed in court by the personal representative of the deceased. The personal representative is the individual who was chosen by the deceased to administer their estate. If a personal representative was not chosen by the victim, then the court may appoint one.
Time Limit to File a Survival Action in Alabama After a Car Accident in Alabama
You will usually have to file a survival action within two years of from when the victim passed away. Failure to comply with this deadline could cause the deceased person’s estate to miss out on important compensation.
Furthermore, even though you may have time to file your survival action, you should start work on your claim quickly if possible. As time goes on, it can be hard to gather and preserve the evidence required to win your case. By getting in touch with our legal team quickly after your loved one’s death, you can increase your chances of obtaining the information needed to recover financial compensation.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Survival Action in Alabama?
There are several types of monetary damages that may be recovered through a survival action. The following are all potential damages that may be available in your case:
First, you may obtain compensation for any medical expenses related to the victim’s car accident injuries. These damages can be established using medical bills and records. Guidance from our legal team can be very helpful when seeking to calculate the total value of a deceased person’s medical expenses.
Survival actions also offer compensation for any property damage sustained by victims. For example, if someone’s car was damages as the result of their fatal crash, then their estate may pursue compensation for the cost of the vehicle’s replacement or repair. Photos from the scene of an accident can be particularly valuable when seeking to establish the value of property damage caused by a crash.
In some cases, car accident victims are forced to miss time at work before ultimately succumbing to their injuries. If a victim incurred lost wages between the time of their accident and their death, then their estate may also seek compensation for those damages through a survival action. Typically, compensation for lost wages will be calculated using a worker’s average weekly income.
Many car accident injuries such as broken bones, burn injuries, and internal injuries can produce excruciating pain. Accordingly, a survival action may allow a victim’s estate to obtain payment for the physical pain suffered by the deceased. However, quantifying damages for physical pain can be difficult. Typically, more severe injuries will warrant greater compensation.
In addition to causing physical pain, car accident injuries can cause a victim to experience immense emotional anguish between the time of their accident and their death. Fortunately, a survival action may also allow a victim’s estate to obtain damages for the emotional distress endured by the deceased.
Lastly, in cases where defendants acted with gross negligence, punitive damages may be awarded. Unlike other damages which seek to compensate plaintiffs for losses suffered victims, these damages serve to punish defendants for their reckless behavior. Furthermore, punitive damages serve to discourage similar conduct in the future. During an evaluation of your case, our legal team can determine if these damages may be available to you.
What the Difference Between a Survival Action and a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Alabama?
Survival actions are different from wrongful death claims. A survival action seeks payment for damages suffered by the victim between their accident and their death. Meanwhile, a wrongful death lawsuit compensated family members for losses they personally suffered because of their loved one’s death. Unlike survival actions, wrongful death lawsuits can be filed after a victim’s death regardless of whether or not the deceased already filed a personal injury claim.
If You Need Help Filing a Survival Action in Alabama, Contact Our Lawyers Today
Get help from our experienced Mobile personal injury attorneys at Howe Law by calling (844) 876-4357.