Q: We are filing a wrongful death suit for my dads death. How are damaged disbursed in a wrongful death case in alabama
My sister in main one talking to lawyers and getting the estate set up. She says she wants to make sure all debts are paid first. I’ve read different things I just want to make sure I understand the process
A: Alabama handles wrongful death damages different than most (if not all) other states. In Alabama, the only damages recoverable for wrongful death are PUNITIVE damages. Compensatory damages such as pain, suffering, economic loss, etc. are not recoverable in Alabama. In addition, although the estates personal representative is the one who actually brings the lawsuit, the damages are payable directly to the HEIRS
A: Alabama handles wrongful death damages differently than most (if not all) other states. In Alabama, the only damages recoverable for wrongful death are PUNITIVE damages. Compensatory damages such as pain, suffering, economic loss, etc. are not recoverable in Alabama. In addition, although the estate's personal representative is the one who actually brings the lawsuit, the damages are payable directly to the HEIRS and are not part of the estate. As such, these are not subject to the debts and claims against the estate.
A: The wrongful death proceeds will be disbursed to the heirs. Even if your sister is the personal representative and talking with the lawyers, the settlement proceeds would be split evenly amongst the heirs. At some point (prior to disbursement of any settlement amount), there will likely be a Determination of Heirs filed in the Estate in Probate Court to set out who the heirs of the estate are and that is who will receive the money, but, note, that the actual wrongful death proceeds will pass (be paid) outside of the Estate.
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