Accidents are undesirable occurrences that happen in a fraction of a second and can lead to serious injuries. In some instances, accidents could be due to our own actions while others could be caused by other people's actions. If you've suffered injuries due to the negligence or willful intent of another person, then you may have a valid personal injury case.
While personal injury claims can be settled without going to trial, going about a personal injury claim alone poses various risks. In most personal injury cases, the defendant will deny liability and you have to prove that they were responsible for the accident that caused your injuries. Working with a qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer in Montgomery can help you prove liability to ensure that you're awarded compensation for your injuries.
At Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, we understand the pain and anguish that comes with personal injury cases. We are dedicated to offering top-tier legal representation to personal injury victims to help them receive compensation for their losses and injuries. If you or a loved one have been injured due to another person's negligence, call us at 334-666-5000 to speak to a Montgomery personal injury lawyer about your rights and options.
What Should I Do After an Injury?
Whether you've been involved in a car accident, workplace accident, slip and fall accident, or have been bitten by a dog, doing the right things could have a desirable impact on your claim. If you're not sure of what to do after an accident, it is important that you take the following steps:
Get medical treatment if needed.
Some accidents like truck accidents are characterized by huge impact, and victims often require urgent medical assistance. In such cases, ensure that you call for an ambulance to get treatment in a medical facility. Remember to keep all the records for your treatment, including medical bills and doctor's reports.
Take photos/video if you can.
If you haven't suffered any serious injuries following the accident, ensure that you document the scene by taking clear photos or videos of the scene. Be sure to capture the damage to your vehicle or any visible injuries.
Get names and numbers of those involved.
In the case of motor vehicle accidents, victims should ensure that they exchange vital information with the involved parties, including names, physical addresses, insurance policy numbers, driver's license number, vehicle registration number, and other descriptive features of the vehicles. In any other accident, it also important that you get the contact information of the witnesses present.
Report the incident to the relevant authorities.
In the case of a workplace accident, be sure to report to your employer or supervisor as soon as possible. For a motor vehicle accident, call the police and inform them of the accident. In slip and fall cases, ensure that you report the incident to the premise owner or manager.
Never admit fault
This makes it very difficult for you to recover any damages following an accident.
Call a personal injury attorney in Montgomery.
In personal injury cases, working with an experienced lawyer is the best way to protect your rights to receive compensation for the injuries and losses suffered following an accident.
Why do I Need a Lawyer?
The benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer in the event of an accident can't be emphasized enough. The following are ways in which a lawyer can help you with your personal injury case:
Case Preparation/Filing a Lawsuit
Getting it right from the word go gives you a real chance of winning your case and receiving compensation for your injuries and losses. Hiring a personal injury lawyer ensures that you prepare a strong case against the defendant by proving that they were responsible for your injuries and losses.
Particularly, your lawyer will come in handy in your case's investigation to ensure that all the facts of the case are presented. Besides collecting the relevant documents such as police and doctor's reports, your personal injury lawyer will work with experts such as accident reconstruction experts to find out how the accident occurred in a bid to prove that the defendant was at fault.
Most personal injury cases don't go to trial. The insurance company of the at-faulty is usually willing to make an offer to the injured party to compensate them for their losses in a bid to prevent further legal action. While these cases can be solved out of court, having a personal injury lawyer to represent you helps you negotiate the maximum award possible to ensure that all your losses and injuries are covered.
Insurance companies are known to make low-ball offers hoping that you'll accept an early offer and walk away. A personal injury lawyer helps you understand the value of your claim and the amount you can expect in compensation. When an insurance company makes an inconsiderable offer, your lawyer will advise you to take your case to court.
Trial Preparation & Representation
Whenever your case goes to court, you are required to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant was negligent and was liable for the accident that resulted in your injuries and losses. Proving negligence is not always easy, but having a personal injury lawyer to represent you could make things a lot easier.
Before presenting your case before a jury, your lawyer will ready evidence showing that the defendant was indeed negligent and responsible for the accident. Personal injury lawyers are also used to courtroom proceedings and will have no problems presenting a compelling case against the defendant and convincing the jury that you deserve compensation for your losses.
What Type of Damages Can I Recover?
In personal injury cases, the injured party can receive various types of damages for their losses and injuries. Below are some of the most common.
These are damages awarded to the injured person for actual monetary losses. Some common economic damages include:
- Loss of present and future income
- Medical expenses, including hospital bills, prescriptions, and doctor visitation costs
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Rehabilitation costs, such as physical therapy costs.
- Out-of-pocket costs
Sometimes, the losses suffered by an injured party may not be easily established in terms of their dollar value, and non-economic damages are awarded to compensate for these. Some of them include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional and mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium (for spouses)
- Aggravation of a pre-existing condition or injury
In some personal injury cases, a jury may find that the defendant failed to consider the well-being of others and that their actions amounted to willful wrongdoing or gross negligence. In such cases, the jury may award punitive damages to prevent future acts of wanton wrongdoing.
How is Liability Determined?
To determine liability in a Montgomery personal injury case, the plaintiff must show that the defendant was negligent and that their negligence resulted in their losses or injuries. To do this, they must prove the following elements of negligence:
- Duty of Care: The defendant owed you a legal duty of care.
- Breach of Duty of Care: The defendant failed to meet that duty of care.
- Causation: Your injury was caused by an accident that resulted from the defendant's negligence and nothing else.
- Damages: You have indeed suffered losses or an injury following the accident.
In Alabama, personal injury cases governed by the doctrine of Pure Contributory Negligence. It follows that if the plaintiff is making a claim based on the defendant's negligence, entitlement to receive damages will be defeated if they contributed to their own injury, even if they were 1% at-fault. However, there are some exceptions, including plaintiffs under the age of 14 and those with limited competence.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Montgomery?
According to the Code of Alabama section 6-2-38, plaintiffs have 2 years from the date of the underlying accident to file a personal injury claim. Failure to observe these time limits, the plaintiff's claim will almost always be dismissed when brought to court.
Personal Injury Claims Process
Whenever you have been involved in an accident, it is imperative that you first seek medical treatment and then reach out to a personal injury lawyer. With the help of your lawyer, you can begin the personal injury claim process, which often involves the following activities or steps:
Here, your lawyer will want to find out more about the accident, your injuries, and medical treatment. Essentially you are required to provide accurate information to your lawyer by answering all the questions they ask you. Your lawyer also collects the relevant documents, including police reports, medical reports and bills, and any other pertinent information that will help build your case.
Depending on the accident, your lawyer will help assess all the damages resulting from the incident, including property damage and bodily injuries.
Demand Letter and Negotiating
Most minor personal injury claims are settled before a lawsuit is filed. Your lawyer may therefore make a demand to the defendant's attorney or the defendant's insurance company. Normally, your lawyer will wait until you've reached a point of maximum medical improvement, which is essentially after you have recovered as much as possible.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Whenever negotiations fail, your case goes to trial. Be sure to observe the time limits in your state and file your claim within these time limits.
This refers to the phase where each party tries to find out what the other party's legal claims and defenses are. It involves sending interrogatories, document requests, and taking depositions of involved parties, including the plaintiff, defendant, and witnesses.
Whenever your personal injury case goes to trial, the decision of whether or not you'll be awarded compensation rests on a judge. Your personal injury lawyer can help convince the judge that you deserve compensation for the damages suffered. After the award of your compensation, the claim process is closed. If you're not pleased with the jury's verdict, you have the right to appeal.
How Much Will a Montgomery Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
At Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, we operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you don't pay a dime before we win your case and you're awarded compensation. After you receive your compensation, a portion of the award goes to lawyer fees. Normally, this won't be greater than 33% of the total amount received as compensation.
Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers
About 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year – a clear indication of how common dog bite cases are. If you're bitten by a dog in public or in another person's premises, you can pursue financial compensation from the owner for your injuries.
In medical malpractice cases, you can hold the medical facility or the medical practitioner, or both, liable for their negligence that resulted in injuries. Our medical malpractice lawyers can prove that any of these parties or both were negligent and help you recover the compensation you deserve.
It is possible to get injured while at a public or private premise. If the accident was the result of the premise owner's negligence, then the injured party has a right to seek compensation through a premise liability claim for their injuries.
Manufacturers of defective products may be held liable if such products result in injuries to users. Whenever you buy a product and use it for its intended purpose, you shouldn't be harmed, and can therefore file a product liability case against the manufacturer.
Slip and Fall
These cases are common in public, workplaces, and private premises. If you suffer injuries following a slip and fall accident due to another person's negligence, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries.
Employees who suffer injuries following work-related injuries or occupational diseases have the right to receive monetary benefits. If your employer or their insurer denies your claim, you have a right to take legal action against them, and having a workers' comp lawyer by your side is very important.
In some personal injury cases, plaintiffs may not make it through their injuries. In such cases, their families have a right to file a wrongful death claim if the accident that resulted in their death was due to another person's negligence.
Auto accidents are common, and most of them happen when another driver or road user acts in a negligent manner. If you're injured due to another driver's negligence, contact a car accident lawyer in Montgomery as you may have the right to seek compensation from them or their insurer.
These accidents are characterized by high impact and are often fatal. Injuries sustained in truck accidents are often life-long, and victims can pursue compensation from the at-fault party since most may never be able to resume their daily activities.
Contact Our Montgomery Personal Injury Lawyers For a Free Consultation
Personal injury refers to when a person acts in a negligent manner, and their carelessness causes harm to another person. Cases such as car accidents, slip and fall, dog bites, truck accidents, and even premise liability all fall under personal injury cases, and the injured party has the right to pursue compensation from the negligent party.
Proving negligence in personal injury cases may not always be straightforward, but working with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you show that the other party was negligent, improving your bid to recover compensation. If you or a loved one have been injured due to another person's negligence, don't hesitate to seek legal assistance. Reach out to Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers at 334-666-5000 to speak to our Montgomery personal injury lawyer to find out the validity of your claim.