Thomas A. King, P.C.
caused by someone else's negligence or reckless conduct cause countless tragic
and untimely deaths. The fear, doubt and lack of knowledge that family members
experience following a loved ones' death is overwhelming. No one understands or
even wants to discuss what type of legal action should be taken following the
death of a loved one. However, there are legal rights that affect a surviving
spouse or child when a loved one’s death is caused by another.
The State of Alabama has a statute that gives the right to sue for a
wrongful act, omission or negligence causing death. Alabama is the only state
that denies recovery for compensatory damages such as mental anguish suffered by
a surviving spouse or child or the loss of income which the family will
experience due to the death of the breadwinner of the family. However, Alabama
does allow the awarding of punitive damages or damages designed to punish the
wrongdoer for their wrongful act causing death. The Alabama courts have held
that "the very purpose of punitive damages in a wrongful death action rests
upon the Divine concept that all human life is precious". The courts have
gone on to say that "while human life is incapable of translation into a
compensatory measurement, the amount of an award of punitive damages may be
measured by the gravity of the wrong done, the punishment called for by the act
of the wrongdoer, and the need to deter similar wrongs in order to preserve
human life". Accordingly, the Alabama courts instruct a jury to return such
damages as are just under the circumstances.
This website is an advertisement. It contains general descriptions of Alabama law in certain areas but it is not a substitute for advice from a qualified lawyer familiar with the facts of your case. These materials are for general discussion and educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Do not rely on the information presented on this site to make legal decisions. Always consult a lawyer first. The law constantly changes and the legal discussions in this site could be out of date. There is no promise or warranty that these materials are accurate, free from defects, merchantable or fit for a particular purpose. The user of these materials assumes all risk associated with their use. No attorney-client relationship is established between any user of this site and Tom A King, P.C. or any of its attorneys unless the relationship is evidenced by a written legal services agreement signed by both the attorney and the client. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.
This Page was Last Updated on 05/05/2004