If you’re injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligent behavior or ill intent, you are entitled to compensation. The financial award you receive is classified as “damages.” As the injured party or plaintiff, you are required to prove that you suffered damages due to the incident. In Alabama, the standard of proof is considerably high. Here are some important things you should know if you’re involved in an accident that took place in Alabama.
Economic and Non-Economic Damages
Damages are meant to restore you financially if you’re injured or suffered losses from an accident. These damages are typically divided into non-economic and economic categories.
Economic damages are the costs that were incurred by the victim of the accident and are paid to the plaintiff to restore them after the incident. Examples can include medical expenses, which are often very expensive after a car accident. For example, a victim may have to receive ongoing treatment for broken limbs or internal injuries. Accident victims may also have to pay for physical therapy or medical devices to improve mobility.
Loss of earnings is also considered part of economic damage. It refers to the time the victim has spent off work to recover from the accident. If the accident caused a permanent disability for the victim, part of the personal injury settlement would include compensation for loss of future earning ability.
Damages are also paid to the plaintiff for property loss. In personal injury cases in Alabama, plaintiffs are entitled to compensation if their vehicles are damaged or totaled in the accident. You’ll have to have the damage to your vehicle assessed by a professional to determine how much the financial award should be.
Non-economic damages suffered by the injured party and their relatives are damages that can’t be quantified in a dollar amount. These damages can include pain and suffering, which means that the plaintiff should be compensated for any physical pain they sustained because of the accident. Pain and suffering also include a settlement for psychological conditions such as fear, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and PTSD.
Some victims experienced a diminished quality of life which classifies as non-economic damage. In some cases, they are unable to engage in activities they enjoyed before the accident, such as walking, running, working out, or gardening. A financial reward is given to victims whose quality of life has diminished due to the incident. Loss of quality of life also includes loss of consortium. It means that the victim’s spouse can pursue separate compensation if the victim is unable to perform marital duties due to a crucial injury or wrongful death.
For instance, if you’ve been hurt in a car wreck in the Birmingham area, you’ll need to gather the necessary information to discuss with a Birmingham personal injury attorney. A car accident – or any injury for that matter – can be devastating for individuals and families, and victims should have legal representation as soon as possible.
In Alabama, there are rare instances in which the dangerous or irresponsible actions of the party that caused the accident results in punitive damages for the plaintiff. This is known as punitive damages. This financial penalty is meant to punish the defendant for their wrongdoing and hopefully discourage them from engaging in similar behavior in the future.
Most of the time, punitive damages are only awarded in Alabama in wrongful death personal injury cases or in cases where the victim has catastrophic injuries resulting from the accident. Evidence must clearly prove that the liable party acted recklessly or purposely intended to harm the victim. In addition, Alabama has several regulations on how much a jury can award the victim or their family members for punitive damages.
The bottom line is that you need outstanding legal representation, no matter your case. Your lawyer will review all the evidence of your case and help you get the settlement you deserve for your injuries and financial losses. An attorney will also represent you as you negotiate with insurance companies to make sure you’re receiving fair compensation for your injuries.
With a law degree under his belt and years of experience, Mark Scott set off to make the law more accessible to all. He decided to help people lost in the maze of legal terminology to find their way. Mark writes clear and concise pieces and gives simple advice that is easy to follow. On account of positive feedback from readers, he decided to dedicate more of his time to this goal and became a legal columnist. In his writings, Mark covers a wide array of topics, like how to seek legal counsel, or how to deal with different procedures. Furthermore, he directs his readers toward other trustworthy resources for more in-depth information.
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