The emotional trauma associated with the loss of a loved one in a fatal car accident is frequently coupled with the sudden end of the financial support the victim provided to the family. A lawsuit for the recovery of compensation from the driver whose negligence caused the accident might be the only way for family members to recover for the pain and suffering, funeral expenses and medical expenses associated with the tragedy.
Alabama is one of only a few states that give defendants a way to avoid paying for the devastation caused by their negligence. The state clings to the principle of contributory negligence. If a fatal car accident victim is even slightly at fault in causing the accident, the law prohibits courts or juries from awarding anything to the surviving family members. Evidence from an investigation showing that an injured plaintiff is one percent negligent means the plaintiff recovers nothing.