After suffering a harmful accident in Alabama, you may be able to seek financial compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. There are several different types of accidents that can give rise to personal injury cases. For example, car accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and slip and fall accidents all have the potential to cause injuries you can sue for.
There are several different forms of monetary damages that can be pursued through a personal injury lawsuit. However, the process of recovering these damages can be complicated. The defendant in your case may utilize various strategies to get out of paying what you are entitled to.
If you were hurt because of someone else’s negligence in Mobile, AL, seek support from our personal injury lawyers at Howe Law by dialing (888) 559-8344 today and scheduling a free evaluation of your claims.
How Do I Know if I Have a Personal Injury Claim in Mobile, AL?
Many people have likely heard the legal phrase “personal injury” in conjunction with some sort of lawsuit, but they do not lawyers understand the nature and elements of real personal injury cases. In short, personal injury claims involve some kind of physical harm or injury.
This is often a source of confusion for many plaintiffs, as they sometimes mistakenly believe that “personal injury” is a kind of catch-all term that encompasses all kinds of personal losses. While it is true that personal injury claims include a wide range of accidents and injuries, there must be a physical injury involved in the case. If you suffered some harm or incurred damages that do not involve physical injuries, you might still have a valid legal claim, but it might not be a personal injury claim.
You are permitted to bring other claims alongside a personal injury claim. For example, after car accidents, plaintiffs often include claims for property damage along with claims for injuries. The best way to figure out what kind of claim you have and how best to approach your potential case is to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.
Deciding Who You Should Sue in a Personal Injury Case in Mobile, AL
One of the first and most important decisions you must make when beginning a personal injury case is to decide whom you will sue. This choice is obvious for some plaintiffs, as there might be only one person who could be liable. For others, multiple parties might be implicated in the case, and one, several, or even all of them might be named in a lawsuit.
Naming defendants is sometimes a part of a plaintiff’s legal strategy. For example, perhaps you were injured in a truck accident and want to sue the truck driver, but you suspect they do not have the resources to cover your extensive damages. Suing the trucker’s employer, who might be vicariously liable for the accident, might be a smarter choice as they might have greater resources and be better able to pay for your injuries. The thing is, you typically cannot sue an employer without also suing the employee. Both must be named in your lawsuit.
If multiple parties are involved in your lawsuit, or if you are unsure of who is responsible for your injuries, talk to your lawyer. Your attorney should have a good understanding of what makes a person legally liable for causing injuries, and they can help you identify defendants.
Proving Fault for a Personal Injury in Mobile, AL
For your personal injury case to prevail, you must be able to prove that your injuries occurred as a result of the defendant’s negligence. Several forms of evidence may be used to establish fault for a harmful accident. The following are all types of evidence regularly utilized by our personal injury attorneys:
Eyewitness testimony is one of the most valuable forms of evidence that can be used to establish fault for a personal injury. These parties can provide oral and written statements explaining why or how accidents happened. For example, a motorcycle accident witness may state that the crash occurred because a negligent driver made an improper left turn. Further, after a slip and fall accident at a restaurant, a nearby patron may state that they saw the victim slip because of a loose rug or mat. In any case, you always attempt to retrieve contact information from potential eyewitnesses in the aftermath of your accident.
Evidence from the Scene
Physical evidence from the scene of your accident can also be used to show that the defendant is responsible. For instance, drug paraphernalia found at the scene of a truck accident may be presented to demonstrate that the truck driver was impaired when the collision happened.
Further, physical evidence from the scene can be used to discredit the defendant’s arguments. As an example, a defendant may state that your slip and fall happened because you were wearing worn shoes that lacked proper grip. In that case, you could present the shoes you were wearing at the time of your accident to disprove the defendant’s alternative theory of fault.
Like physical evidence from the scene, photos from the scene of your accident can also be utilized to identify contributing factors and dismiss the defendant’s assertions. Accordingly, you should always take photos at the scene of your accident if you can. Afterward, our legal team can analyze the photos you took during a free review of your potential case.
Photos and Video from the Scene
Check to see if there are red light cameras or security cameras from businesses nearby that might have caught the accident. You can also check whether the police officers who responded have body cameras or if anyone took photos.
How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Mobile, AL
When people think about filing a lawsuit, they probably think about the final step in the filing process, which is submitting paperwork and forms to the court. In truth, filing a lawsuit requires a lot of preparation, research, and time. It is common for a plaintiff and their attorney to spend months or longer preparing a case to be filed.
Your lawsuit will begin with a formal complaint. The complaint contains details about your injuries, including your damages and what kind of relief you want from the defendant. You and your lawyer must assess your damages and include them in the complaint. If any damages are overlooked or left out, they cannot be claimed and will not be compensated.
Next, you need evidence. While we often think of evidence as being presented in the courtroom, plaintiffs need at least some evidence before they get to court. The courts will not accept your complaint if there is no evidence backing up your claims. While you do not need to have enough evidence to meet your burden of proof, you should have enough in the complaint to establish that you have a valid cause of action.
Once the complaint is ready and filed, you must ensure the defendant is served notice and copies of the complaint. If proper notice is not served, the case cannot move forward. In fact, cases are sometimes dismissed because plaintiffs failed to notify defendants in accordance with proper legal procedures. Your lawyer can help you make sure proper notice is served.
Damages Available in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Mobile, AL
Multiple types of damages can be compensated in your personal injury case.
First, you may obtain payment for a wide range of economic damages. Economic damages refer to verifiable financial losses like medical bills, lost income, and property damage. All past, current, and future losses related to your injury may be accounted for.
Additionally, you can recover economic damages for an array of out-of-pocket expenses. For instance, if you suffered broken bones because of a car crash, then you may need to pay for assistance with transportation to your doctor’s appointments. In that instance, those transportation expenses could be included in your claim against the at-fault party. Out-of-pocket expenses such as these are usually established using financial records like receipts. Therefore, you should keep the receipts for any costs you incur due to your personal injury.
Finally, you can obtain financial compensation for non-economic damages like physical pain and emotional distress. For example, in addition to causing excruciating pain, a spinal cord injury may restrict you from participating in your favorite activities and hobbies. In that case, you could pursue payment from the defendant for both the physical pain and emotional anguish caused by your injury.
Calculating non-economic damages can be a complicated process. Courts will often look at the severity of your injury and the overall impact it has on your daily life. Typically, plaintiffs who suffer worse injuries will be entitled to greater compensation. Still, assistance from our team can be highly valuable when fighting for non-economic damages in your case.
Personal Injury Claims Our Team Has Handled in Mobile, AL
Personal injury cases may encompass a broad spectrum of accidents, injuries, and claims. As such, it is important that plaintiffs find attorneys who have experience handling cases similar to theirs. Our team has handled various personal injury cases, including those mentioned below.
Slip and Falls
Slip and fall accidents do not always get the respect they deserve. Many people write these cases off as petty claims or shameless ploys for money. In actuality, plaintiffs are often badly hurt in slip and fall accidents, and property owners should be held liable for failing to maintain the premises properly.
Slip and fall accidents often occur on wet or slippery surfaces, such as floors that have just been cleaned. However, they can also occur on stairs, in stores, in the office, or on someone’s private property. Common injuries include broken bones, back injuries, neck and spinal cord damage, and brain injuries.
Construction sites tend to be dangerous even at the best of times. While construction workers usually take precautions on the job to avoid accidents, it only takes one negligent person to cause a terrible accident and injure other people.
Common construction-related personal injuries include forklift accidents, defective power tools, falls from ladders and scaffolding, electrocutions, burns, and accidents where workers are pinned between heavy objects.
Auto Accidents and Crashes
Among the most common accidents across the board are probably car accidents. While most people assume that auto insurance will cover everything, this is not always the case. In Alabama, you have to prove the other driver is at fault before you can get compensation from their insurance company. Insurance companies sometimes do not believe injured drivers or find ways to wiggle out of paying, and lawsuits become necessary.
Medical bills, vehicle damage, pain, suffering, and numerous other damages are common in car accident claims, and your overall damages might be quite high.
If You Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Mobile, AL, Our Law Firm Can Help
After suffering a personal injury in Mobile, get help from our experienced personal injury attorneys with a free, confidential case review by calling Howe Law today at (888) 559-8344.