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Personal Injury Law

Alabama Personal Injury Overview

Personal injury is a broad category of law covering lawsuits arising out of everything from auto accidents to medical malpractice to product liability usually involving physical injuries or wrongful death, but they can stem from incidents causing emotional or financial damage, rather than physical injuries. A personal injury lawsuit must have two elements - damages and responsibility. Personal injury laws vary from state to state. Here are some things that you need to know about personal injury in Alabama.

Time limits
All lawsuits must be filed within a certain time period following the accident or the discovery of the injury.  This is called the statute of limitations. In Alabama, the personal injury statute of limitations is two years.

In most cases this time limit begins to run when the event causing injury occurs. In medical malpractice cases, if the malpractice is not discovered within two years you have six months after discovery of harm to file.

For more in depth information about time limits in Alabama read our Alabama Statute of Limitations page.

Compensation
If you are injured in Alabama you may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Past, current, and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Property damage, including vehicles
  • Expenses incurred as a direct result of injury
  • Permanent disfigurement
  • Permanent disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Mental anguish

Punitive Damages
Punitive damages, in Alabama, cannot exceed three times the total compensatory damages. In cases involving physical injury the limit is $1.5 million. When no physical injuries are involved punitive damages can be no more than $500,000. Punitive damages against a business which is worth less than $2 million can be no more than 10% of the value of the business or $50,000, whichever is higher.

Wrongful death
In Alabama, all damages for wrongful death are considered punitive damages, not compensatory damages.

Negligence
In order to prove negligence in Alabama you must prove the following four elements:

  • The other party owed you a duty
  • The other party failed to fulfill that duty
  • That breach of duty caused your injuries
  • You suffered damages as a result

Contributory negligence
Contributory negligence refers to your own carelessness contributing to your injury. Alabama follows the pure doctrine of contributory negligence, meaning that if you contributed to your injury to any degree you are not entitled to any compensation.

Joint and several liability
Joint and several liability, in Alabama, means that each responsible party is held liable for the entire amount of damages. If there are multiple responsible parties in your case you can recover the full amount of your award from one party, and then it is up to that party to pursue legal action to attempt reasonable reimbursement from the other responsible parties.

Defective products
Dangerous products fall under strict liability, rather than negligence. In order to prove strict liability, in Alabama, you must prove that:

  • The product was defective and unreasonable dangerous even if used properly
  • You used the product as it was intended
  • The defect caused you injury
  • You suffered damages as a result

Personal injury laws vary from state to state. If you believe you have a personal injury claim in Alabama, you should contact an Alabama personal injury lawyer to evaluate your claim.

 

 
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Disclaimer: The personal injury and accident litigation content on this page is not intended to be or to replace legal advice.
The information throughout The Personal Injury Directory is intended to provide general information regarding personal injury law.
If you are interested in bringing a lawsuit, contact personal injury attorney in Alabama.
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