Montgomery is a historic city that provides people with a quality of life unmatched by many other communities. The capital of Alabama, Montgomery includes many government workers but also has several universities and a large military presence with Maxwell Air Force Base.
In any large community, accidents involving personal injury can happen quickly. The consequences can be grave. An accident due to negligence such as a slip and fall, a swimming or boating accident or some other accident linked to someone's careless or reckless behavior may give rise to a personal injury claim.
- Will the personal injury case settle?
- What is the process of filing a lawsuit?
- Are there deadlines for filing a lawsuit?
- What types of damages are awarded?
- Why should I retain a lawyer?
If you were injured and it wasn't your fault, you may pursue a claim against the person who caused you harm. In most cases, you file a claim against the insurance company, and the case "settles" before there is a need to file a lawsuit. By settling your case, you agree to accept money from the insurance company for the at-fault party. In return, you won't seek further legal action against that individual.
When you work with a Montgomery personal injury attorney, you will be able to get a better understanding of the settlement offer. Your attorney can help you decide whether to accept the settlement or move forward with a lawsuit.
There are pros and cons to filing a lawsuit. You may end up with more money if the jury decides in your favor. On the other hand, the jury may side with the defendant (the person or company that you believe was at fault) and you may get nothing or much less than you might have received had you settled the case.
After your lawyer files the lawsuit in the appropriate court, the process begins with the gathering of facts. Attorneys will exchange written questions known as interrogatories and take depositions, which are questions asked in person and under oath. After this "discovery" process, the case may settle before going to trial. Some cases do go to trial, but the majority of personal injury lawsuits end in settlements.
Each state has a statute of limitations, which means people injured due to negligence have a time limit to file a lawsuit. In Alabama, you have two years from the date of the accident or death to file a lawsuit. No two cases are alike, so it's important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible about your deadline for taking legal action.
If you're injured in an accident because of someone's negligence, you may be entitled to "damages." This is a legal term that refers to the money you receive for things like pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and other accident-related losses.
The following is a brief description of the types of damages that are typically awarded in a personal injury case:
Compensatory Damages: This refers to out-of-pocket expenses - your medical bills, wage losses, and other monetary expenses. These types of damages cover the replacement of what you've lost. "Actual damages" refers to items you paid money for. "General damages" refers to things you haven't paid for, like pain and suffering, loss of consortium (when the injury affects your relations with a spouse), and future lost wages.
Punitive Damages: In some cases where a defendant's behavior was particularly heinous, victims may be entitled to receive "punitive damages." This is money above and beyond compensatory damages. Punitive damages are designed to act as a punishment and deter others from engaging in similar behavior.
Nominal damages: These types of damages are awarded in cases where the victim receives a minimal amount of compensation. Generally, the person has not suffered a substantial injury, but the courts want to recognize the plaintiff was harmed by the defendant's negligence.
Court costs and fees for the lawyer: In some cases, a defendant may be ordered to pay for the plaintiff's court costs and legal fees.
While you can file a personal injury lawsuit in a Montgomery court on your own, you may regret going through the process without the help of an experienced attorney. Slocumb Law Firm has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of clients, having handled many different types of personal injury claims over the years. The attorneys are well-versed in Alabama's laws and know how to deal with insurance company adjusters.
Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay no fees unless we win your case. We will help you with the red tape. You won't have to worry about understanding complicated legal procedures and medical terms. We will take care of that for you. We often reach out to outside experts in specialized areas to help support claims.
Talk to us today to find out more about your personal injury claim in Montgomery. Call Slocumb Law Firm now: 334-277-1753.