For a personal injury case, one of the questions that usually comes up is how much compensation will you receive. This depends on several factors.
Who Is at Fault In An Alabama Accident?
In the state of Alabama, once the person who was found to be at fault (who caused the accident) is completely and convincingly determined, then damages will be awarded.
For example, if you were injured in a car accident and you were found to be 20 percent at fault, while the other driver was found to be at 80 percent at fault, then because you were found partially negligent, you would not be awarded any damages. This is called contributory negligence, which is not commonly used in the U.S. Most other states use comparative negligence, which means that if you were found to be 20 percent at fault, then whatever the jury awarded you would be 20 percent less.
There is an exception, however. If the defendant in your case acted in a wanton or reckless manner, such as in a drunk driving case. The defendant would be fully at fault.
Who Is Liable?
Another part of the equation for determining damages is finding out who is liable, or legally responsible, for the injuries and suffering that another person sustained during an accident or incident. If someone purposely harmed you, then he would be liable.
On the other hand, if someone was negligent, meaning reckless or careless, liability can be a murky issue. For example, if you are injured during a recreational activity or while playing a sport, then defendants can claim that there was an assumption of risk with this activity.
Sometimes, the liable party isn’t even present at the time of the accident or injury. One example is a business which is found liable for its employees’ actions.
For a defective product, this could hold the seller or manufacturer liable.
If you were in a car accident due to a public road, then a government entity and/or its contractors could be held liable.
Sometimes, there may be more than one liable party.
Did the Accident Cause Your Injuries?
One tactic that defendants will use is to try to prove that you had a pre-existing condition or injury that is truly the cause of your pain and suffering. This could affect the amount of damages you receive if it is proven that the pain you are suffering from now is due to the accident or incident which caused your new injuries.
Based on the defendant’s insurance policy’s maximum coverage limit, if applicable, you can file a claim and get the maximum coverage under that policy. This all depends on how high or low the maximum coverage limit is.
But if the maximum coverage doesn’t cover all your bills, then the defendant would become liable for this additional amount. But the probability of obtaining this amount is quite low. If you were injured in a car accident, then one certain way that you can obtain the compensation that you deserve is making a claim on your own underinsured motorist (UM) insurance policy for your car.
Types of Damages
There are three kinds of damages that you may be eligible for.
Economic damages involve any damage to your property, lost money or property, medical costs, lost wages, and property damage.
Non-economic damage examples include pain and suffering and emotional distress.
The final kind of damages is called punitive damages. These are meant to punish the defendant. These are for reasons and behavior that are not just negligence. This applies to actions taken by the defendant that were deemed purposeful with the intent to fraud, with gross negligence, or with the intention to harm you.
Contact An Experienced Alabama Personal Injury Attorney Today
Have you been injured in an accident through no fault of your own? Are you looked for experienced personal injury lawyers who can fight for the compensation that you deserve? Contact Burge & Burge today at 205-251-9000 to learn about how we can help.