Personal Injury in Alabama

When you have been injured by someone else’s carelessness, it is important to take some initial steps toward making sure your injury claim can be settled fairly and as quickly as possible:

Write down everything you can remember about how the injury occurred, including the names, addresses and phone numbers of potential witnesses, police officers, insurance company representatives (or company or workers’ compensation representatives if it was a work injury)

Talk to a Alabama personal injury lawyer before making any statements, written or verbal, to insurance company adjusters or representatives

Let anyone you think may be responsible for the injury know right away that you are intending to file a claim against them

Take steps to protect any evidence you may need to prove your injury, such as your totaled car, photographs of an accident or injury scene, clothing you were wearing, damaged personal belongings, and so forth

How Do I Figure Out Who Is At Fault?

In most cases, in order to collect on an injury claim in Alabama, you must prove the person who caused the injury was “negligent,” which is a failure to use reasonable care. In Alabama, you must prove:

  • The existence of a duty owed to you by the person who caused your injury
  • The other person failed to carry out that duty
  • You suffered damages
  • The other person’s failure caused you to have the injury
Alabama adheres to the pure doctrine of contributory negligence. If you were careless, and your carelessness contributed to your injury, your proximate contributory negligence will bar recovery completely. Thus, if you are found to be the least bit negligent and that negligence contributed to the accident, you will not receive anything.

If you have been injured using a consumer product, the seller of the product may be responsible under a “strict liability” legal theory. Under Alabama law, you would need to prove:

  • The product was defective, which made it unreasonably dangerous
  • You used the product the way it was supposed to be used
  • The defect caused your injury
  • You suffered damages
Alabama’s joint and several liability rules also make each and every person who was responsible for your injury liable for the entire amount of your injury and judgment.

In medical malpractice cases, you must prove negligence through the use of expert testimony; unless an understanding of the doctor's alleged lack of due care or skill requires only common knowledge or experience.

Damages for wrongful death, including wrongful death caused by medical malpractice, are awarded in Alabama in a unique manner. All damages in wrongful death cases are considered to be punitive, rather than compensatory. These damages may be awarded in cases of simple negligence, with no requirement of willful or wanton behavior by defendants. They are assessed jointly and severally against all liable defendants, regardless of their degrees of culpability, and with no right of contribution.

If you’ve been injured using a consumer product, the manufacturer of the product may be responsible under a “strict liability” legal theory if the product was unreasonably dangerous. Strict liability is a legal doctrine that makes some persons responsible for damages their actions or products cause, regardless of any "fault" on their part. Under Alabama law, you’d need to prove that:

  • The product was in a defective condition, and unreasonably dangerous even if you used it in the way it was intended to be used
  • The defect caused your injury
  • You suffered damages
  • The danger wasn’t “open and obvious,” such as a sharp knife
What Is My Claim Worth?

Under Alabama law, the person who injured you is responsible for:

  • Past, current and future estimated medical expenses
  • Time lost from work, including time spent going to medical appointments or therapy
  • Any property that was damaged, such as your vehicle
  • The cost of hiring someone to do household chores when you could not do them
  • Any permanent disfigurement or disability
  • Emotional and physical pain and suffering
  • A change in your future earning ability due to the injury
  • Any other costs that were a direct result of your injury

A lawyer will know what type of expert witness to hire to best prove your damages.

How Long Do I Have To File A Legal Claim?

In Alabama, you only have two years to file a lawsuit against the person who injured you. If your lawyer has not been able to come to an agreement with any involved insurance companies, you will definitely want to file a lawsuit before the two-year statute of limitations runs out.

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