Alabama Personal Injury Laws | Belt, Bruner & Barnett P.C.

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Alabama Personal Injury Laws

If you were injured due to another person’s negligence, you could seek compensation through a personal injury claim. Here’s what you should know about Alabama’s personal injury laws, what to expect if you file a claim, and how an attorney with Belt, Bruner & Barnett P.C. can help.


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Personal Injury

Defining Personal Injury in Alabama

Personal injuries include any harm to someone’s body or emotional health (this doesn’t include property damage). An injured party can recover compensation from the party responsible for the harm, also known as the liable party. Two essential elements of a personal injury claim are demonstrating that the other party is at fault and their fault was the cause of your damages.

Other Party’s Fault

Under Alabama law, there may be various ways to demonstrate that a party is liable, or at fault, for a particular incidence. The most common legal action to demonstrate fault is to demonstrate the other party was negligent. Negligence is generally defined as a party’s failure to act as a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances. Before a party can be considered negligent, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the at-fault party owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. This is typically established by statute or the factual relationship existing between the two parties.

More than one individual or group can be liable for your injuries. An attorney can help you identify all responsible parties and hold them accountable.


In addition to proving that the other party is at-fault for a plaintiff’s damages, a plaintiff must also prove that the at-fault party’s conduct was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. Alabama law defines another’s conduct as being the proximate cause of a plaintiff’s damages if (1) the conduct naturally and probably brought about the harm and (2) the harm would not have happened without the conduct.

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Alabama Personal Injury Claim and Lawsuit Process

After a personal injury, the first step should be the preservation of evidence. This may include photographs or measurements of an accident roadway scene, preservation of vehicles for further inspection, or the identification and obtaining statements from witnesses. This evidence will serve as the backbone of moving forward in the claim, whether resolution is pursued via a pre-suit settlement attempt or by immediately filing a lawsuit. It is best to speak with an experienced Alabama personal injury lawyer to determine whether your particular case warrants the filing of an immediate lawsuit or whether an attempt at a pre-lawsuit insurance settlement is best.

If it is determined that a pre-suit insurance resolution is the most advantageous strategy, your lawyer will still collect and preserve evidence to prove your claim and then submit proof of all damages you’re your damages are complete. Typically, this requires that an injured party complete medical treatment for their injuries before anyone can evaluate the full-extent of damages caused by the other party’s conduct.

Once that evaluation is complete, the evidence of the other party’s liability and your damages are presented to the insurance company for review. The insurance company will respond with a settlement offer valuing their opinion of your damages and injuries. If the insurance company acts reasonably, then negotiations can continue towards an amount acceptable to the injured party.

Our lawyers will provide guidance along the way. If, however, an insurance company offers insufficient money to compensate you for your loses, you always have the ability to proceed with the filing of a lawsuit.

When a Lawsuit Is Necessary

Many personal injury cases settle before a lawsuit is filed. In some cases, however, filing a lawsuit may be necessary. If you are unable to reach a settlement you’re happy with, taking the case to trial gives you a chance to seek justice in court. A lawsuit can help you definitively prove that the other party is totally responsible for your injuries.

The lawsuit process begins with a discovery phase, where your attorney and the liable party will exchange documents and records supporting each side of the case. The case will then be argued in front of a judge or jury, and a verdict will be rendered. However, the filing of a lawsuit, or prosecution of the lawsuit, does not necessary mean that a trial is inevitable. Even after filing a lawsuit, it is possible to reach a settlement at any time prior to the trial.

You Have Limited Time to File a Claim

You only have a certain amount of time to file a personal injury claim after an accident. In most cases in Alabama, this deadline, known as the statute of limitations, is two years from the date of the injury. This only means that a lawsuit must be filed in court before the second anniversary of the harmful event. If you miss the deadline and do not file a lawsuit by that time, you won’t be able to recover any compensation.

However, once a timely lawsuit is filed, you are allowed to continue with the prosecution of the lawsuit even if the resolution is not reached until after the statute of limitations. Some factors can change the deadline, such as the type of at-fault party, the injured party’s age, or the nature of the case pursued It is best to speak with an experienced Alabama personal injury lawyer to determine the applicable statute of limitations and identify any potential exceptions to that timeline based on your particular case.

Damages and Compensation in a Personal Injury Claim

Several factors can affect the value of a personal injury claim, such as the extent of your injuries and how much they affect your quality of life. There are two types of damages frequently awarded in personal injury claims:

Economic Damages

Economic damages can be easily quantified and accounted for with receipts and invoices. Eonomic damages are awarded for injury-related expenses such as medical bills, medical supplies and prescription costs, and lost wages. Future damages can also be awarded for things like anticipated medical costs and lost income.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are harder to assign a monetary value to. They can be sought for emotional injuries such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and disfigurement.

Claims Against the Government

Personal injury claims can also be filed against the state or federal government — for example, if you slipped and fell on a wet floor in a government building or were hurt by someone driving a government vehicle, such as a mail truck.

Alabama law has few exceptions to its sovereign immunity clause, which protects it from most personal injury claims. However, cases can be successful in some circumstances where a state agent was willfully negligent or acted maliciously. These cases are extremely dependent on the specific facts of your incident. Our lawyers can help your navigate the intricacies involved in pursuing claims against various governmental agencies and/or entities.

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We’ve successfully represented clients who have suffered many types of injuries, and we’ll do our best to pursue maximum compensation for your losses. We will deliver the attention you deserve and take care of all the details of your case so you can focus on recovery.

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Common Personal Injury Scenarios and Related Laws

Premises Liability

Negligent property owners can be held accountable for injuries that occur on their premises. For example, slip and fall cases are a common personal injury claim resulting from premises liability. Inadequate maintenance on a property can also result in injuries.

Medical Malpractice

When medical providers fail to provide reasonable care and their negligence results in harm, medical malpractice has occurred. The criteria for a successful medical malpractice claim is outlined in Alabama Medical Liability Act (AMLA) Section 6-5-548(a). You must provide evidence that a “health care provider failed to exercise reasonable care, skill, and diligence as other similarly situated health care providers in the same general line of practice ordinarily have and exercise in a like case.”

Wrongful Death

Wrongful death claims can be brought against parties whose negligence resulted in a loss of life. Alabama Code §6-5-410 outlines the criteria for a wrongful death claim, who can bring such claims, who can receive compensation, and more.

Other Types of Personal Injury

Negligence can cause injuries in many ways. We have years of experience with a variety of personal injury cases and types, such as:

No matter how you were hurt, our team of attorneys will hear your story and fight for the financial recovery you deserve. We have a record of success in securing significant settlements for personal injury clients — including 86 verdicts and settlements of $1 million or more.

When You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer

Whether your claim settles or goes through litigation, having an attorney can be invaluable. A personal injury lawyer can handle each step of your case, such as:

  • Gathering evidence
  • Determining the value of your case
  • Negotiating with the insurer
  • Filing legal documents
  • Recruiting expert witnesses
  • Advocating on your behalf at trial, if necessary
  • Filing an appeal for a more desirable outcome

Don’t take on the personal injury claims process alone. Having a lawyer on your side makes the process smoother and more efficient so that you can focus on recovery.

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12,750,000 Truck Accident Settlement

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Call Belt, Bruner & Barnett PC for Help with Your Personal Injury Claim

Alabama personal injury law can be complex, but you don’t have to handle your claim alone.

The attorneys of Belt, Bruner & Barnett P.C. are knowledgeable in personal injury laws and can help you understand all your legal options.

You won’t pay any fees unless we secure compensation for you. Call to schedule a free consultation today at (205) 933-1500 or reach out online.