A Dothan personal injury attorney from the Morris Bart law firm is here to help if you or a loved one were hurt by someone else’s careless behavior. We can investigate the incident, determine who caused it, and hold the liable party or parties responsible, recovering compensation for our clients. This is how victims of personal injuries get justice under Alabama’s tort laws.
We provide complimentary initial consultations and case reviews. During this free meeting with one of our attorneys, we will assess your options for seeking compensation based on the facts of your case. We can explain our services, fees, and your rights, as well as answer any questions you may have about these topics.
Damages Recoverable Based on a Dothan, AL, Personal Injury
If you suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligence, you could likely hold them legally responsible and recover money for the expenses and losses you incurred. One of our attorneys can assess if we believe negligence may have played a role in your case during your free consultation.
The damages a victim can recover in these cases depends greatly on their unique expenses, injuries, losses, and other impacts of the accident. Every case is different, so there is no way to know how much you may be able to recover until we identify your damages and value the claim.
Some common types of recoverable damages in a personal injury case include:
- Medical transportation, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and related expenses, current and future
- Lost wages, benefits, and other income for time missed at work
- Diminished earning capacity if the victim cannot return to their previous job or go back to work at all
- Property damages
- Pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of quality of life, and other intangible damages
For a free legal consultation with a Personal Injury lawyer serving Dothan, call 800-537-8185
Wrongful Death Actions Based on a Dothan Injury Accident
Unfortunately, some victims do not survive their injuries. If this happened to someone you love, their personal representative may be able to seek compensation for the estate. This could include the executor of their will, administrator of the estate plan, or another party identified by the probate court to handle their final affairs.
Under Ala. Code § 6-5-410, the personal representative can file a lawsuit against the liable party or parties and recover punitive damages for the estate and all heirs. Punitive damages are not generally available in most personal injury claims, but they are the only type of damages recoverable in Alabama wrongful death cases.
Punitive damages are not based on the losses the family suffered or the bills they must pay. Instead, they depend on the reckless, heinous, or intentional actions of the at-fault party. The worse the behavior of the defendant, the more punitive damages may be available in a case.
What Options do Victims Have after a Dothan Personal Injury?
If you were hurt in Dothan and believe another party is to blame, a free consultation with our team is a good first step. One of our attorneys can determine your rights, opportunities to recover compensation, and any potential issues with your case.
In general, victims have two options for getting justice:
- Filing an insurance claim based on the at-fault party’s liability policy
- Suing the liable party or parties and going to trial
Most cases can be resolved through the first option. Neither victims nor liable parties and their insurers want to go to court. It costs more, is more time-consuming, and may be more stressful for everyone involved. For this reason, navigating the insurance claims process is much more attractive in many cases. This requires:
- Investigating what happened
- Identifying the liable parties
- Gathering evidence
- Valuing the case
- Demanding a fair payout from the insurer
- Negotiating with the insurance adjuster or another party
- Reaching an agreement, when possible
Some cases may be better suited to legal action in a local civil court. There are many reasons why this can occur. Your attorney will explain them to you and answer your questions when you are deciding if this is the best option for you.
If your case goes to trial, your lawyer from the Morris Bart law firm will detail what you can expect, where you need to go, and what will happen. They will represent your best interests and fight for the compensation you deserve based on the facts of your case.
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Morris Bart & Associates, LLC Has 40+ Years of Personal Injury Experience
At the Morris Bart law firm, we pride ourselves on providing quality legal services to every client we represent. We seek compensation based on their case, winning payouts for 6,500+ people in 2019 alone. We handle a wide variety of personal injury cases, including:
- Car accidents
- Drunk driver crashes
- Uber and Lyft ridesharing collisions
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle crashes
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Slip and falls
- Pool accidents and drownings
- Premises liability
- Workers’ compensation
- Wrongful death
- Offshore injury and Jones Act accidents
- Dangerous drugs
- Defective products
The areas we serve include all of the Gulf South: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. We are proud to be a contingency fee law firm. We never charge our clients anything up front. We only get paid from the compensation we recover for you, and there are no attorney’s fees unless you get paid.
Our free case consultations are available over the phone, via video chat, or in person. We will come to you to discuss your rights and what you can do to build a case and hold the at-fault parties legally responsible for the injuries and pain they caused you.
Building a Case to Hold the Negligent Party Responsible for Your Injuries
Developing a case for compensation based on your Dothan personal injuries requires an investigation into the incident to determine:
- What happened
- What caused it
- Who was involved
- What role each party played
- Who is legally liable
- What damages the victim suffered
- How much the damages are worth
When our attorneys conduct an investigation, we use our four decades of experience handling similar cases to benefit our clients. We know how to uncover, collect, and analyze evidence and how to prove negligence occurred. Some of the actions we take when investigating a personal injury accident may include:
- Obtaining any reports filed by law enforcement or other first responders
- Gathering data collected or recorded by the potentially liable parties
- Identifying and interviewing eyewitnesses
- Finding and analyzing any video of the incident
- Looking at photographs from the scene
- Working with accident reconstruction specialists when necessary
- Enlisting the help of experts, including doctors, industry experts, and economists
- Documenting our client’s expenses and losses
The goal of our investigation is to prove negligence and liability. All personal injury cases require us to prove negligence. To do so, we must have evidence that all four elements of negligence are met. These include:
- The liable party owed our client a specific duty of care.
- They breached the duty of care, putting the client in danger.
- Their breach caused the incident and our client’s injuries.
- Our client suffered physical, emotional, and financial harm as a result.
For example, imagine a man fell after slipping in spilled water in a local Dothan restaurant. Property owners and occupiers have a duty of care to customers and others who visit to clean up hazards as soon as possible. Video shows several servers and a manager walking by the spill before the man fell. It is clear he slid because of the wet tile floor. His medical records show he suffered a knee injury and required surgery.
With the evidence we collected during our investigation, we should be able to hold the property owner or lessee—the restaurant owners—legally liable for our client’s injuries. By filing an insurance claim or lawsuit, we can likely recover appropriate compensation for them based on their medical bills, missed work, and other damages.
While this example makes these cases seem cut and dried, it is rarely this simple. We have experience, resources, and access to experts that you would not have if you tried to manage your claim on your own. This is one reason why we always recommend speaking with an attorney before you sign anything, talk to the opposing party or their insurer, or agree to an out-of-court settlement.
In addition, there are also several statutes in Alabama that could significantly affect your case. These include:
Commercial Vehicle Accidents and Vicarious Liability
Alabama case law recognizes respondeat superior under the 1929 Alabama Supreme Court decision in St. Louis-San Francisco Ry. Co. v. Robbins. This makes companies vicariously liable for the actions of their employees while they are on the clock. This opinion states: “A master is responsible for the acts of his servant or agent done within the scope of his employment.”
This is most commonly used in truck accidents and other collisions caused by commercial drivers. If a motorist acts carelessly or recklessly and causes a collision while on the clock, their employer is also likely legally responsible for the injuries and losses you suffered. It may also apply in some premises liability cases.
Our team knows how to use this case law and help our clients seek and recover compensation from a worker and their employer when possible.
Alabama’s Laws on Shared Fault
Alabama has an unusual take on shared fault that can significantly affect your case. We know how to counter allegations of shared fault and preserve our clients’ rights to recover compensation when possible.
Under the 1980 Alabama Supreme Court decision in Golden v. McCurry, Alabama is a pure contributory negligence state. It is one of only four states that recognizes this type of shared fault. Per this decision, if you contributed to your own accident or injuries in any way, you cannot recover compensation in the case.
This means that the court could determine the other party was 98 percent at fault, but you cannot recover compensation because of the 2 percent fault you share. This is a common allegation by the defense in Alabama personal injury cases and one reason why you may want to enlist the help of our firm instead of trying to manage your claim on your own.
Holding a Government Agency Liable
There are laws that bar suing a government agency—including cities, counties, and state governments—except under very specific circumstances. Our attorneys understand how these laws work and will help you navigate them as necessary. It is important to note that these cases often have much shorter deadlines than your typical case, so acting quickly to connect with us is vital.
Governments or government agencies can be liable for personal injuries in many ways. Consider a fall in the local courthouse, a crash caused by a city garbage truck, an accident with a public school bus, or an assault that occurred at a local park. Any of these circumstances could include negligence on behalf of a government or its agency.
Deadline for Suing the Liable Party
There is only a short period when you can begin a lawsuit based on a personal injury case. All states have statutes of limitations that create deadlines for suing the responsible party. In Alabama, Ala. Code § 6-2-38 establishes a deadline of two years from the accident date in most cases.
Missing this deadline could mean losing your right to sue and take the case in front of a jury. The judge will likely bar your lawsuit if you try to file the paperwork to start it after this date.
There are exceptions to this rule. Some may give you less time, such as in cases filed against a government agency. Some could offer more time. This usually occurs in a case based on a child’s injuries, such as a birth injury medical malpractice claim.
Meet With an Attorney at Morris Bart & Associates, LLC for Free Today
At the Morris Bart law firm, our team provides free and confidential case reviews and consultations for victims of personal injury accidents. If you were hurt in Dothan and believe another party may be at fault, we are here for you. One of our attorneys will sit down with you for free to discuss what happened, your injuries, and your legal rights. We can determine your best options for seeking compensation and develop a plan with you to take action.
Call us now to speak with a lawyer from the Morris Bart law firm for free today.
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