You’ve undoubtedly seen ads for personal injury lawyers, ranging from billboards to TV commercials and ads on social media. But if you’re like most people, you may not know everything about what a personal injury lawyer does – specifically, what kind of personal injury cases he or she can handle.
There are quite a few different types of cases that fall under this umbrella. They all have something in common: a plaintiff who was injured by the negligent or intentional actions of someone else. The goal with these cases is to get compensation to pay for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other forms of distress.
Here are the types of cases and what you should do if you think you have one.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
In Alabama, according to the Center for Advanced Public Safety at the University of Alabama, a typical driver in our state has over a one-in-three chance of being involved in a car accident that causes a serious injury or death. Every day, over 100 injuries are caused by motor vehicle accidents on our roads and highways.
Driving a vehicle is dangerous. And when you’re injured in a car wreck through the negligence or intentional actions of another driver, you may have a personal injury case.
We trust our medical providers – doctors, nurses, and specialists – to take good care of us. But sometimes, through negligence or recklessness, their lack of care results in serious injury – or worse.
Health care providers are required to offer care that is competent, necessary, and reasonably skilled. They can be held liable for what happens to you if they violate these standards of care. Due to how complex medical malpractice cases can be, they are often considered to be a separate type of case by some lawyers, but still fall under the personal injury umbrella.
The owner of a property has a legal obligation to make sure their premises are reasonably safe and free from hazards, as to avoid injuring anyone on the premises. When they fail to do this, and someone is hurt, the owner can be held liable in a premises liability case.
One very common example is the slip and fall case, where someone was at a grocery store and slipped on a puddle that wasn’t marked and hurt themselves in the fall. But not every injury on someone else’s property is a premises liability case. You have to talk to a personal injury lawyer to see if the property owner is liable for your injury.
Dog Bite Cases
What if you’ve been bitten by someone else’s dog and have become seriously injured? Can you sue? Under Alabama law, the answer is yes.
Dog bite cases are more common than you think. In general, under Alabama law, the owner of the dog can be held liable for the damage his or her dog committed. Of course, there are some mitigating circumstances, such as the fact that the bite had to have occurred on the dog owner’s property or the dog had to have pursued the victim off the property.
Also, a dog owner can defend himself by asserting that he “had no knowledge of any circumstances indicating such dog to be or to have been vicious or dangerous or mischievous.” This means the dog owner is then only liable for the actual expenses that the victim incurred.
One Alabama Personal Injury Fact to Know
One thing that people often don’t know about Alabama personal injury law is the doctrine of contributory negligence.
This basically means that if you contributed to your injury in any way – even if you were only 1% responsible and the other party was 99% responsible – then you can be denied compensation. Many people have seen their lawsuits fail due to this, so it’s important to be honest and open with your personal injury attorney so he or she can help you potentially avoid this pitfall.
Personal injury cases are all about getting compensation and justice for your injury. Talking to a lawyer is the first thing you should do after getting medical treatment for your injuries.
Wettermark Keith has a roster of experienced personal injury attorneys who have represented families from all walks of life in serious accident cases. Our commitment to caring for you and your family is built on a strong foundation of compassion. Contact our team to learn how you can get justice for your case.