Even the most minor accident can have disastrous effects. Medical bills are expensive, and if you need any time to recover, missed work makes it hard to pay for anything, let alone treatment. You could be able to get compensation for all of that.
If you or a loved one was a victim of a personal injury accident in Huntsville, you have the legal right to seek a payout for your accident-related losses. Recover the compensation you need and deserve. A Huntsville personal injury lawyer can help you prove your case.
Our law firm can offer you a free consultation with a member of our personal injury team. We have over 40 years of experience in personal injury law. Our results speak for themselves. Let us give you the support you need to move forward.
Why Choose Morris Bart for Your Huntsville Personal Injury Case
- We have experience. Our Huntsville personal injury lawyers have spent more than 40 years fighting for justice on behalf of our clients. We will put our experience to work for you.
- Our lawyers will put you first. You will stay in frequent contact with your attorney and benefit from one-on-one care and attention. We personalize our legal strategies for each client.
- We get real results. We have collected over $1 billion for our clients in successful settlements and jury verdicts. Our trial attorneys can litigate your case in court, if necessary.
- You won’t pay unless we win. Our Huntsville injury lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only charge a fee if and when we win a client’s case.
For a free legal consultation with a Personal Injury lawyer serving Huntsville, call (256) 666-3010
Damages You Can Recover After an Accident in Huntsville
When we represent victims of Huntsville personal injury accidents, our goal is to help them hold the at-fault parties liable and recover a payout for their accident-related expenses and losses. We may be able to file a claim and support it with evidence that shows how much you or your loved one has lost as a result of the accident.
Filing a claim with a strong case to support it may lead to a settlement with the insurance company, but only if they are willing to negotiate a fair value for the case. If they continue to undercut us with lowball offers, we may need to take the case to trial and let the court decide.
Recoverable damages in a personal injury case may include:
- Hospitalization and medical treatment
- Current and future lost income and benefits
- Diminished earning capacity
- Property damages related to the accident
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death damages
Your personal injury attorney in Huntsville will know how to calculate all of your damages, both what you’ve already had to pay and what you’re likely to pay in the future. By showing the full breadth of your expenses, they will make sure you can support yourself while you recover.
Economic and noneconomic damages such as those listed above are known as compensatory damages. They are awarded to compensate an accident victim for the losses he or she suffered due to the accident and related injuries. The other category of damages that may potentially be available is punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded in rare cases when a judge believes the defendant should be punished for his or her actions in causing the plaintiff’s injuries or death.
Punitive damages are meant to penalize a defendant for especially wrongful or egregious acts, as well as set an example for others in the community to deter similar acts of wrongdoing in the future. In Alabama, Code Section 6-11-20 states that punitive damages may only be awarded in a tort action where it is proven with clear and convincing evidence that the defendant consciously or deliberately committed oppression, fraud, wantonness or malice in regard to the plaintiff.
A punitive damage award could affect your potential compensation by increasing the overall value of your judgment award. If the defendant involved in your claim deliberately tried to injure you or exhibited a wanton disregard for your safety, you may qualify for this additional type of compensation. The Morris Bart law firm is passionate about bringing wrongdoers to justice. Your lawyer can help you gather evidence and present it to a judge or jury to seek punitive damages if this is a possibility during your personal injury case.
Caps on Damage Recovery in Alabama
Alabama is one of several states that have caps on damages, meaning the amount awarded to a plaintiff in financial compensation cannot exceed a certain maximum limit. These caps can limit or reduce your damage award based on the specific language of a statute. Two different types of damages are capped in Alabama:
- Wrongful death damages: Alabama is the only state that does not permit the recovery of compensatory damages in wrongful death lawsuits. This means a family cannot seek economic or noneconomic damages for wrongful death. Instead, they may only seek punitive damages.
- Punitive damages: the cap under Section 6-11-21 of the law is three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded or $1.5 million, whichever is greater. In cases that do not involve physical injury, the cap is three times the compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is greater.
Your lawyer can help you understand and navigate Alabama’s damage caps, as well as argue for the maximum available financial compensation for your losses under the applicable rules. You can trust your lawyer to advocate for the best possible case results on your behalf during negotiations with an insurance company or a personal injury trial in Huntsville.
Alabama’s Contributory Negligence Laws
Even if there is no cap imposed on the damages you seek, your financial recovery could be limited in other ways – for example, by Alabama’s contributory negligence law. Alabama is one of only a few states that abide by a pure contributory negligence law rather than a more plaintiff-friendly comparative fault law. Under this rule, if an accident victim is even 1 percent responsible for causing the injury, he or she cannot recover any financial damages.
If an investigation finds that a plaintiff contributed to his or her injury to any degree, the victim will be unable to collect financial compensation from a defendant – even if the defendant was 99 percent at fault. In comparative negligence states, on the other hand, victims can still recover partial financial compensation after being found at fault for their injuries. Depending on state law, recovery may be barred at 49 to 51 percent of fault, or a victim may still recover even with 99 percent of fault.
Alabama’s strict contributory negligence law makes it important to contact an injury attorney if the defendant’s insurance company is alleging that you contributed to your injuries in even the most minor way. Without help from a lawyer, you could lose the right to collect any compensation from the defendant. A lawyer can help you combat the contributory negligence defense and prove the defendant’s negligence to protect your right to recover.
How do You Prove Negligence?
Most personal injury cases revolve around negligence. When your injuries are caused by a negligent party, they are liable to pay for your damages. That means, for your case to be valid, the following must be true:
- The other party owed you a duty of care. This is the standard to which anyone in a certain situation can be expected to treat others. That can be following traffic laws, keeping safe premises, giving you the medical treatment you need, or any other actions to keep you safe and healthy.
- The other party breached that duty of care. That breach of duty is what lawyers call “negligence.”
- The liable party’s actions caused your accident and injuries.
- The other party’s breach of duty caused specific damages.
Even if your case seems clear-cut to you, your lawyer will still need to prove that it is more likely than not that the other party was negligent. To do that, they’ll investigate your case and gather evidence that shows what happened and how it affected you. That can include:
- Security footage
- Photos or video of the accident scene
- Medical documents
- Licenses or driving records
- Accident reconstruction
- Witness statements
- Expert testimony
Our personal injury lawyers know what they’re doing. We have years of experience helping injury victims, and we know exactly where to look to find the evidence you need.
How do You Choose the Right Personal Injury Attorney in Huntsville for Your Case?
When choosing a personal injury lawyer, it’s very important to pick one who works well with you and has your best interests in mind. Plenty of lawyers seem nice enough, but they only care about making money. There are some telltale signs you can look for that show how well an attorney is going to handle your case and what they care about.
To choose the right Huntsville personal injury lawyer, you should look for:
- Experience: A law firm that has worked with cases like yours for years may be able to get the results you need more than an inexperienced attorney.
- Results: It may help you to look at what a personal injury law firm has done for others so you can see what they’re capable of. Good results for other injured people could mean good results for you as well.
- No up-front charges: If a lawyer wants you to pay them part or all of their fees before your case is over, then that’s a sign that they may just want to make money. You should choose a firm that doesn’t charge anything until you get results.
- Free consultations: When an attorney offers a free consultation, it’s a good sign that they’re confident in their abilities. You shouldn’t have to pay just to see how a lawyer can help you.
One of our personal injury lawyers in Huntsville will talk to you for free so you can get a good idea of what our firm is about. Anyone who works for us will show you why people in Alabama look to the Morris Bart law firm after an accident.
Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle
If you were hurt in an accident, our Huntsville personal injury lawyers may be able to help you prove that another person’s negligent actions led to the accident that caused your injuries.
We handle a wide variety of personal injury accident cases, including:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Wrongful death
- Medical malpractice
If you believe someone else caused your accident and injuries, your case may support a personal injury claim. A personal injury lawyer in Huntsville can review your case to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.
Exceptions to Filing in Alabama
Not every personal injury accident will give a victim the right to file an injury claim. Alabama law includes a handful of exceptions to the general rule that you can sue an individual for acts of negligence that cause an injury. These exceptions to filing involve protections for certain individuals. To find out if you have grounds to bring a personal injury action against one or more defendants in Huntsville, consult with our attorneys. We will listen to your story and explain your legal rights.
People who are acting with an honest intent to help or render aid in an emergency, including doctors and paramedics, are protected from liability for injuries they may cause, in most cases. Alabama Code Section 6-5-332 states that a person who is rendering emergency care in good faith (referred to as a Good Samaritan) shall be immune from civil liability for any personal injury that arises as a result of care, treatment or failure to act, except for injuries that result from gross negligence.
A rule known as sovereign immunity protects government agencies from liability in many scenarios. Article I, Section 14 of the Alabama Constitution says that the State of Alabama shall never be made a defendant in any court of law. While many states waive sovereign immunity in certain circumstances – such as for the negligence of a government agent – Alabama does not. You may only bring a claim against a government employee if he or she was acting contrary to the scope and course of employment.
If an individual under the age of 18 causes injury to someone, he or she typically cannot be held liable. However, the minor’s parents may be held vicariously responsible for the actions or negligence of the child. It may be possible to bring a claim against the parents for acts or omissions committed by the child. If the child is a certain age, such as an older adolescent or teenager, it may be possible to hold him or her legally liable for negligence. This applies to teen drivers, for example, who drive recklessly and cause car accidents.
How a Huntsville Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Build a Strong Case
We understand how an accident can affect almost every aspect of your life. You may suddenly need help taking care of everyday tasks, be unable to work, and must undergo extensive treatment and rehabilitation.
When you let us handle your claim, you can focus on your physical recovery while we seek a financial recovery on your behalf. Our Huntsville personal injury lawyers can help you in the following ways:
- Investigate the cause of your accident
- Identify the at-fault party
- Gather evidence to support your claim
- Confer with medical experts about your recovery
- Calculate your financial losses due to the accident
- Handle all communications with insurance for you
- Negotiate your settlement
- Represent you in court, if necessary
Your lawyer will simplify the legal proceedings and address any questions or concerns you may have. Working with a personal injury attorney in Huntsville lets you focus on your recovery while we handle your case.
How Much Is My Huntsville Personal Injury Case Worth?
This question is asked by most personal injury plaintiffs in Alabama, but the answer is different for anyone. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all settlement or judgment award given to every accident victim. Instead, the value of a personal injury case is based on factors that are unique to the case and individual. Examples include:
- Injury severity: in general, severe injuries are worth more than minor injuries. Serious injuries have greater associated medical costs and take more of an emotional toll on the victim. For these reasons, they are typically valued higher than minor injuries.
- Maximum medical improvement: how long it will take the victim to recover from his or her injuries – or reach the point of maximum medical improvement – will impact case value, as longer recovery times will result in more time missed from work.
- Whether the case goes to trial: while most personal injury claims in Alabama reach settlements, some cannot be resolved outside of court. If a case goes to trial, this can affect the plaintiff’s recovery. A jury verdict could be much higher than a settlement offer, but the plaintiff will also need to factor in the costs of the trial.
- The insurance coverage available: the ability of the defendant to pay can affect case value. Naming multiple defendants in a personal injury case could increase a victim’s payout, as it may lead to greater insurance coverage available.
Limitations on damages must also be considered, such as contributory negligence or damage caps. The best way to understand how much your case could be worth is by consulting with an attorney. Our lawyers at Morris Bart will carefully review your case, analyze your losses and fight for the amount of financial compensation that you deserve.
How Much does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
We understand that an accident can leave you with medical bills and the inability to work and earn a living. Our law firm will not contribute to your financial concerns. We offer free, no-obligation case reviews for new clients to hear about their legal options.
Our attorneys work on a contingency-fee basis. Our legal fee is paid by a percentage of your settlement or court award. We only get paid fees when you do. If we can’t secure a financial win, you owe us no attorney’s fees.
How Long do I Have to File a Personal Injury Case?
There are deadlines for filing a personal injury lawsuit after your accident, as outlined in Ala. Code §6-2-38. You typically only have two years after your accident to initiate your case. This means you will need to act promptly.
Ideally, your lawyer should get started on your case as soon as possible to navigate each step as it comes and give it the full attention it deserves.
What You Should Do After Your Huntsville Personal Injury Accident
There are several actions you can take after an accident that can affect the outcome of your claim or lawsuit. After an accident, personal injury victims should:
- Avoid communication with other involved parties: At the scene of the accident, you should exchange contact information with the liable party and any witnesses. Beyond that, you should not discuss details of your personal injury case. You don’t want to say the wrong thing and have the other party try to place fault on you.
- Stay off social media: Insurance companies can look at your social media accounts after an accident. If you post anything about your personal injury case online, the insurer might take your words out of context to try to lower your settlement offer.
- Visit a doctor: After a personal injury accident, you should immediately see a doctor. Your medical records can help us build your case, and you will want a treatment plan to follow.
- Consider hiring an attorney: You may want to think about hiring an attorney after your accident. Our experienced personal injury lawyers understand that you need to take time to recover from your mental or physical injuries. We can handle your case while you recover.
Our Huntsville Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You
The Huntsville personal injury lawyers at the Morris Bart law firm represent Alabama clients after they suffer accidents due to someone else’s carelessness, negligence, or recklessness. Our attorneys are ready to help you recover your financial losses.
Call us today to make an appointment for your initial consultation.
Questions?Call us, Alabama.