How To Know If You Have a Personal Injury Case
You might have a personal injury claim if someone else’s action or inaction hurt you. Personal injury cases are typically built on the legal concept of negligence – a legal term meaning the failure to behave reasonably given the circumstances.
Anything you do as you go about your day involves some risk. Others may owe you a duty of care based on this risk. They become legally responsible for the consequences when they fail in this duty and cause you to be injured. However, you must prove their negligence and liability with the following points:
- Duty of care – You must first establish that you were owed a duty of care, which depends on the person and the circumstances. When driving, your fellow motorists owe you a duty of care and must obey traffic laws. If you visit a home or a business, the owner owes you a duty of care to keep their premises safe. Doctors owe you a duty of care to abide by generally accepted medical practices.
- Breach – You must prove that the defendant breached the duty of care. In the case of a motor vehicle accident, did they violate a traffic law? If it’s a property owner, did they fail to maintain the property? Did a professional fail to provide care that others in the community would have provided under the same circumstances?
- Causation – You must also establish that the breach of duty caused your injuries. If another event caused your injuries or their breach of duty did not injure you, you might not have a personal injury claim.
Negligence is only one way to prove that someone else is liable for your injuries. Deliberate acts of violence can also give you grounds for a personal injury claim. Those who manufacture or sell an unsafe product might be strictly liable when that product hurts you. An experienced personal injury lawyer can review the circumstances of your case to determine if you have a claim for personal injuries.
Types of Cases Our Wetumpka Personal Injury Lawyers Handle
At Stokes Stemle, LLC, our Wetumpka personal injury lawyers handle many types of personal injury cases, including those involving:
Compensation Available in an Alabama Personal Injury Case
When someone injures you, they owe you compensation for the harm they caused you. However, Alabama law regulates the damages you can recover and places caps or limits on some.
Because every legal matter is unique, estimating how much a personal injury case is worth is challenging. It requires a complete and detailed review of your past, present, and future situation. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you learn more about the value of your case. First, however, we can explore some of the damages you might be entitled to.
Compensatory damages, also referred to as actual damages, allow you to recover your losses caused by the injury. These are divided into two categories — special and non-economic damages.
Special or economic damages compensate you for the financial losses you have suffered, including the following:
- Medical expenses, including hospital bills, ambulance trips, prescription drugs, and rehabilitation
- Lost income, including past and future wages, commission, benefits, and overtime
- Property damage, such as the repair or replacement of a damaged vehicle as well as any personal property
General or non-economic damages compensate you for the more personal losses you have suffered, such as:
- Pain and suffering, both physical and emotional
- Loss of enjoyment of life, such as the inability to participate in favorite activities
- Loss of consortium, or the intimacy and companionship between you and your spouse
It is easier to prove economic losses than non-economic losses in a personal injury case since they are verifiable with records like medical bills and paystubs.
In addition to compensatory damages, you could also be entitled to punitive damages. These do not compensate you for a particular loss but are meant to punish the person who hurt you and deter them from similar behavior in the future. To secure punitive damages, you must take your case to trial and establish that they intentionally acted with fraud or malice. Alabama courts may not award punitive damages that exceed three times the amount of compensatory damages or $1.5 million, whichever is greater.
However, this is not the only cap on compensation for Alabama personal injury claims. The state also caps the compensation you can recover from a business, town, city, or county responsible for your injury. To learn more about what caps and other regulations may apply to your claim, talk to a skilled personal injury attorney in Wetumpka.
Talk to Our Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers in Wetumpka, AL Today
If you’re wondering whether you need a personal injury lawyer to handle your case, the answer is likely yes. A Wetumpka personal injury lawyer from Stokes Stemle, LLC can help you navigate the legal process, removing stress and allowing you to focus on your recovery.
We’re a full-service law firm that takes our commitments to our clients seriously. Need help with your medical care? We’ll help you find the right doctors to fit your needs. We’ll keep you informed at every step and work on your schedule. You can call us 24/7 to get your questions answered and your concerns allayed.
If your personal injury claim can’t be settled out of court, you may have to file a lawsuit in an Alabama civil court. Pursuing a lawsuit requires filing pleadings, engaging in the discovery process, and readying the case for trial. It also requires meeting critical deadlines, which vary depending on your circumstances.
Handling a personal injury case without a lawyer is difficult, especially while recovering from your injuries. You need someone who knows the legal system and has experience settling and litigating personal injury cases in Alabama. A Wetumpka personal injury attorney from Stokes Stemle, LLC will assert your rights throughout the process and work hard to recover compensation on your behalf. This commitment has helped us secure our clients’ many six- and seven-figure settlements and awards. Now we’re ready to put that experience and commitment to work on your behalf.
Contact our Wetumpka personal injury law firm today to learn more about your potential case in a free consultation.