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Demopolis, AL
108 N. Walnut Avenue
P.O. Box 1276
Demopolis, AL 36732
Tel: (334) 289-2255
Fax: (334) 289-2259
Toll-Free: (800) 299-2003
Demopolis, AL
 
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We hope the FAQs listed here will answer your question.  If not, call or e-mail us so we can assist you.  We look forward to helping you.

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Can anyone bring a wrongful death claim?
No. Generally, most states that recognize a wrongful death cause of action limit the pool of potential plaintiffs. Some states limit this group to the deceased's primary beneficiaries, defined as the surviving spouse and the deceased's children. Other states allow the parents of the deceased individual to bring a wrongful death claim. In addition to these individuals, some states recognize the rights of any dependent, whether closely related or not, to bring a wrongful death claim provided the person actually depended on the deceased for economic support. In those jurisdictions, it apparently makes little to no sense to allow the second cousin once removed of the deceased, who saw him once every five years at a family reunion, to recover for the loss of the deceased's future earning potential.

Some states require any recovery gained in a wrongful death action to be divided amongst the deceased's heirs at law or to be distributed to the deceased's heirs at law as it would be in any normal probate proceeding. In these situations, distant relatives may receive some "trickle down" of damages, even though they were not financially dependent upon the deceased during his life.

If more than one plaintiff is entitled to recover, all plaintiffs will share in the award. The manner in which the award is divided can be confusing and will depend upon the laws in the particular jurisdiction where the matter is brought.
Disclaimer
This publication and the information included in it are not intended to serve as a substitute for consultation with an attorney.  Specific legal issues, concerns and conditions always require the advice of appropriate legal professionals.
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We offer free initial consultations and handle cases on a contingency basis, meaning we do not get paid unless you do.

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.