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A personal injury claim can touch upon practically every single aspect of your life. It is almost impossible to go about daily without being at risk of being harmed by someone else’s carelessness.

You do not have to bear the costs of someone else’s actions, whether a company or an individual harmed you. You can seek financial compensation for your injuries, and you will succeed if you can prove that someone else was at fault. First, you should contact an experienced personal injury to get their help and advocacy for your claim.

What Is a Personal Injury Claim?

A personal injury claim is your demand to be paid for the damage someone else caused you. In an Alabama personal injury claim, you have been injured by someone else, whom you are now seeking to make pay for their actions.

A personal injury claim will usually have two different parts to it:

  • Evidence that someone else was to blame for your injuries
  • The damages part demanding a certain amount of money from the defendant and/or their insurance company

Examples of Personal Injury Claims

Personal injury claims can arise when someone else does something wrong that causes you some type of injury. Personal injury claims often arise when someone else was careless or reckless. However, even intentional actions can result in a personal injury claim, as you can sue for damages from assaults.

Examples of when you can sue for personal injury claims include:

  • Dog bite injuries
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Car accidents
  • Premises liability cases
  • Slip and falls
  • Medical malpractice
  • Truck accidents

While we have listed a diverse set of possible cases, one thing remains constant no matter the type of your personal injury lawsuit; to have the best chance of succeeding and receiving the highest possible compensation, you need an experienced attorney. The defendant and their insurance company will do everything they can to save money at your expense. Your lawyer is your advocate and the protector of your legal right to compensation.

The Different Legal Aspects of Personal Injury Claims

Several key issues come into play in any personal injury case. What follows are some important considerations for your Alabama personal injury claim:

  • Do you have the evidence necessary to prove fault?
  • Can you quantify and prove your damages?
  • Who are the appropriate defendants in the case, and is there more than one defendant?
  • Will the insurance company or the jury try to find you partially or totally to blame for your injuries?

Statute of Limitations

In any personal injury case, you have limited time to file a lawsuit in court for your injuries. In an Alabama personal injury claim, you have two years from when you were injured or should have known that you were injured, to file a personal injury lawsuit.

This statute of limitations is a strict deadline for personal injury cases. If you miss it, you cannot seek compensation for your personal injury. While you should never rush to file a claim or lawsuit before you have all the facts and can put your best foot forward, you should at least begin to work on your case as soon as possible. It may take time to learn whether you will agree to a settlement with the insurance company.

Determining Liability in an Alabama Personal Injury Claim

One type of culpability for damages in Alabama is Negligence. Every single jury is going to ask whether the defendant was negligent.

Negligence means the same thing in every case, although there are different ways to get there. If someone’s conduct falls short of what a reasonable person would have done under the circumstances and it caused your injuries, they would be liable to pay for them.

People are not expected to be perfect, and accidents do happen. However, they cross the line when they act unreasonably.

Burden of Proof

In any personal injury case, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to prove both liability and their damages. If the plaintiff does not carry their burden of proof, they may not receive compensation at all. They must prove each and every single element of the four-part negligence test discussed below.

The good news in an Alabama personal injury claim is that the burden of proof is lower than that required by prosecutors in a criminal case. To convict someone of a crime, the prosecutor will need to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

In a personal injury lawsuit, the burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence. This standard means that your claims are “more likely than not” to be true. To put a numerical percentage on the majority of the evidence standard, it is 50.1%. Still, you will not be eligible for financial compensation if you do not have the necessary evidence.

What Are the Elements of Negligence in a Personal Injury Claim?

Again, you have an obligation to show that each of these four elements is true in your personal injury lawsuit. The four elements are:

  • Duty of care – Your relationship with the defendant is such that they have an obligation to you to act reasonably under the circumstances, an element that should not be overthought. It is possible to have this relationship with someone who you have never met before (for example, a driver near you on the road owes you a duty of care)
  • Breach of the duty of care – This breach is the most heavily contested element of practically every Alabama personal injury claim. Here, you must show that someone acted unreasonably under the circumstances. For example, a reasonable driver follows traffic laws and does not do things like speed or text while driving. If you can prove that someone else did something that was unreasonable, you can show a breach of the duty.
  • Injury – You must show that you suffered some sort of injury. Most often, it is a physical injury, but it can also be property damage or emotional distress.
  • Causation – To satisfy this element, you must demonstrate that your injuries would not have happened had it not been for the defendant’s actions. But you would not have been hurt for what they did (or did not do).

Possible Compensation for Personal Injury Claims

Proving liability is often a difficult battle, but it is often the warmup for a far more difficult fight – getting the right amount of compensation for your injuries. You have a legal right to be paid in full for all your damages, and not just the tangible economic damages that may be easier to quantify. The main categories of damages in an Alabama personal injury claim are economic damages (paying you for your actual financial losses) and non-economic damages (compensating for the experience of the accident)

Here are some common elements of personal injury damages:

  • Lost wages for time missed from work or any reduction in your earning capacity
  • The total cost of your past and future medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering for the ordeal to which your injuries have subjected you
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Emotional trauma

If your loved one died from their injuries, your family is entitled to wrongful death damages for your own suffering that comes from losing a family member.

The problem is that you often deal with an insurance company that will do everything it can to ensure you get as little as possible. The insurance company does not have absolute power, as you have legal rights.

While punitive damages are possible in your personal injury case, they are also very rare. These damages are reserved for the defendants’ most shocking examples of conduct. You stand a better chance of getting punitive damages when the defendant was extremely reckless or wanton.

Personal Injury Claims Process

You have two options for pursuing personal injury compensation:

  • Working with the responsible party’s insurance company to file a claim and reach a settlement agreement
  • Filing a lawsuit in court to have a jury decide whether you receive financial compensation and how much you get

Regardless of your chosen method (and the choice is yours), the personal injury claims process begins when you contact an attorney. They will ask you questions and learn more about the facts of your case. Your lawyer will then investigate the circumstances of your injury and gather evidence that can be used to prove your claim. They will also value your claim, so you know how much to seek in damages.

Your lawyer will help you decide whether it is best to file a lawsuit or a claim. Even if you file a lawsuit, you can expect that you will have settlement negotiations with the defendant at some point because most cases will settle before they reach a trial.

When to Call a Lawyer for an Alabama Personal Injury Claim

Since you have the burden of proof in your personal injury case, the time to call a lawyer is right after your injury. If you do not have the bandwidth or ability to contact a lawyer, your family should do it for you.

In any Alabama personal injury claim, time is money. The evidence that you need to prove your claim is out there, but it will disappear quickly. The sooner you get a lawyer on the job, the quicker they can get to work gathering the critical evidence. Without it, your case might be lost.

There are other reasons why you need to contact a lawyer in short order. When you are dealing with an insurance company, they may come looking for you, pressuring you to give a statement or accept a rushed settlement offer. You may not know the traps and tricks they use to cut your compensation. When you hire an experienced lawyer, they will deal with the insurance company and work to protect your legal rights.

Finally, the legal process takes time to work through. Negotiating a settlement or filing a lawsuit can take months or years. The longer you wait to call a lawyer, the more delayed your compensation will be.

Frequently Asked


How long will my personal injury claim take?

It depends on several factors, including:

  • The complexity of your case
  • How difficult the insurance company is trying to be in your case
  • How willing you are to accept a settlement offer

It would be best if you were prepared for the personal injury claims process to take a while. Nothing happens quickly. In fact, if things happen too quickly, the chances are that you are getting a bad deal. Patience is the best virtue in personal injury claims because it often is how you get the most money.

If you cannot reach a settlement agreement, you will need to file a personal injury lawsuit, which can add considerable time to your case. While much of the timing of your personal injury case is out of your hands, the one thing that you control is when you begin the process by calling a lawyer.

How much will a personal injury lawyer cost me?

Personal injury lawyers do not work for free, but they will if you are not successful in your case. When you sign a representation agreement with a personal injury lawyer, you agree to pay them a percentage of the proceeds of your case, but only if you win. If you do not win, you do not need to pay anything. Your obligation to pay them is contingent on winning.

Your attorney will not ask you to pay a retainer fee upfront, nor will they send you hourly bills while your case is pending. The system is meant to encourage people who may not have the financial resources to spend thousands of dollars on lawyers ,to get the legal help that they critically need.

What should I do if I am offered a settlement?

While a settlement offer is a step in the right direction, it is often only a step. Your lawyer will carefully review the terms of any proposed settlement to see if it fairly compensates you. The important thing to remember is that the settlement offer is only an offer. You are not legally obligated to accept it. You have every ability to reject the offer and come back with a number of your own. Any settlement negotiation will usually have multiple rounds of offers exchanged. If the insurance company has made you a low settlement offer, you can do something about it.

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What can a personal injury lawyer do for me?

In Alabama a personal injury claim or lawsuit must be filed within two years of the accident. In other words, if someone was injured on November 30, 2020, the deadline to file your personal injury claim or lawsuit is November 30, 2022.

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