Compensation in Personal Injury Cases in Alabama | Belt, Bruner & Barnett Personal Injury Lawyers

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Compensation in Personal Injury Settlements in Alabama

If you have filed a personal injury lawsuit in Alabama, you expect to get the maximum compensation for the damages you have suffered. However, the settlement you will receive will depend on several factors.

Personal Injury Compensation Factors in Alabama

No two personal injury cases are alike, and settlements or verdicts can vary drastically. Factors that will affect the final figure of your recovery  include the following:

The Extent of Your Injuries

Generally more extensive injuries can require longer treatment and recovery times, and incur much higher medical bills. Catastrophic injuries like brain injuries or  spinal cord injuries can lead to permanent disabilities. For situations such as these, you should seek compensation for the following:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Permanency of injury or disfigurement
  • Lost income
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Because the nature and degree of one’s injuries are unique to each case, there may be more specific aspects of your recoverable damages than those categories listed above.

Evidence To Establish Your Damages

Some types of  your recoverable damages  may be proven using medical records, bills, or documents already in your possession. However, a wide variety of significant may not be accessible to you without written requests to outside entities or without the issuance of a subpoena. Our personal injury lawyers know the resources to uncover evidence that you may not know exists. For instance, many clients receive discharge paperwork or forms from their medical providers. These documents often only represent a very small portion of the medical records generated as a result of their treatment.

Digital Evidence

Digital evidence such as photographs, videos, or social media posts may also provide valuable tools to demonstrate certain aspects of your damages. For instance, photographs taken of your visible injuries immediately following an incident may be useful to depict the true nature of your pain and suffering during that time. This is especially true for injuries such as burns, cuts, lacerations, or bruising that may fade and become less visible with the passage of time.

Witness Testimony

In addition to tangible evidence, witness testimony is often a compelling form of evidence of your injuries. Examples include testimony from your treating medical providers about the nature and extent of your injuries and treatment and/or family members or friends who were present during the various stages of recovery.

Our personal injury lawyers will also know if your case may benefit from the testimony of expert witnesses who have specialized knowledge concerning aspects of your damages such as the degree of any physical impairments, the cost of your future medical care, your loss of earning capacity, or the costs associated with necessary household services or improvements. Due to our lawyers’ extensive experience representing individuals in personal injury matters, they are familiar with the various types of expert witnesses who may be beneficial in establishing the true nature of your damages.

Types of Personal Injury Damages in Alabama

To better understand the value of your claim, you need to have an understanding of the types of damages available in Alabama personal injury cases.

In Alabama, three types of damages are available:

Economic Damages

Sometimes referred to as special damages, economic damages compensate the injured party for verifiable financial losses that resulted from injuries sustained. Some of the economic damages you can be compensated for include:

  • Medical expensesYou are entitled to receive reimbursement for any “necessary and reasonable” medical expenses you have incurred as a result of the injury. Some of these medical expenses include emergency room visits, hospital stays, doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, required surgeries, prescription medications, and mental health counseling. These damages may include past expenses already incurred as well as future expenses that are reasonably expected to be incurred in the future.
  • Loss of incomeYou are entitled to reimbursement for the loss of income resulting from your injury. For example, suppose you missed several months of work because you could not walk after your accident. In that case, you would be entitled to the wages that would have been earned during those months. If your injury is more severe and results in a disability that lowers your future ability to earn money, you would be entitled to receive compensation for that future loss.
  • Property damagesIf any of your personal property, such as your car or belongings, was damaged in the accident, you are entitled to receive reimbursement for repairing or replacing that property.

Non-Economic Damages

These damages, sometimes called general damages, are intended to compensate the injury victim for the non-monetary losses caused by the accident. Unlike economic damages, there is no objective or standardized value for these damages. For example, the value of a missed year of work is worth your verifiable salary. But what is the value of a year of excruciating physical pain? The experience of our personal injury lawyers allow them to best demonstrate the value of these generalized damages in your case.

These damages include:

  • Mental anguish and emotional distress – If you suffer mentally from your injuries, you are entitled to compensation for the nature and degree of your anguish. Your lawyer will work with you, your family, and other damages witness to craft a strategy to best demonstrate the value of your unique experience
  • Physical pain and suffering – You can receive compensation for past and future pain and suffering experienced from your injuries. Because everyone’s pain and suffering is different, our lawyers utilize state-of-the-art techniques to make these experiences relatable to your adversary’s insurance company and/or a jury.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life – This category of damages includes the inability to participate in hobbies, activities, or other aspects of our lives that usually mean the most to us. Our lawyers help develop effective messages, arguments, and demonstrations through tangible evidence and witness testimony to exemplify your particular losses.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages may be available depending on the facts of your case. Unlike most other states, Alabama only allows for the recovery of punitive damages in a wrongful death case. While personal injury cases in Alabama focus on the harms and losses sustained by the injured party, wrongful death cases are solely focused on the nature of the reprehensible conduct of the wrongdoer. State lawmakers decided long ago that the policy of Alabama would favor against trying to place a monetary value on human life. The result was a punitive-damages-only scheme that is designed to serve two purposes: 1). To punish the wrongdoer for their conduct and 2). To deter the wrongdoer and others from engaging in similar conduct in the future.

In addition to wrongful death cases, punitive damages may be available in personal injury cases if the wrongdoer engaged in certain types of conduct. While compensatory damages are the primary available recovery in personal injury cases, punitive damages may be available in instances where the wrongdoer acted towards the injured party with oppression, malice, fraud, or wantonness. The availability of punitive damages in personal injury cases involves a highly fact-intensive analysis and may involve elevated burdens of proof. Our lawyers understand the nuances of these damages and will seek to recover punitive damages if the circumstances of your incident provide a legal avenue to do so.

Receive the Compensation You Deserve: Call Belt, Bruner & Barnett P.C.

The experienced lawyers at Belt, Bruner & Barnett  P.C. have the knowledge needed to get you the best settlement for your personal injury case in Alabama. Call us today at (205) 933-1500 or online to receive a free consultation.

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