What is a Personal Injury Case?
In a personal injury case, you may receive compensation for medical expenses or other damages if someone else is responsible for your accident. In most cases, you file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company. A personal injury attorney in Birmingham, AL can file a claim on your behalf and represent you to get a fair settlement.
How Does It Work?
If you decide to move forward with your case, your first step is to consult a lawyer. An attorney will discuss your case and go over the details of the accident. A legal team may investigate the accident and obtain evidence of fault and liability. They will also assess the value of your case and determine how much compensation you should receive. Your lawyer will collect all documents and submits the claim to the other party and their insurance company.
Once the insurance company receives the claim, they may request more documents or evidence. An adjuster will assess the claim and either reject it or offer a settlement. Working with your attorney, you decide if you want to accept the settlement. If so, the case is complete. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the case, you may have the option to file a lawsuit and take your case to court. Your attorney will handle litigation and represent you in the courtroom. A judge or jury will hear the case and render a verdict.
Why Bring a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
If you are injured in an accident, you may incur a wide range of medical expenses, as well as lost pay, and noneconomic damages. These losses can hurt you financially, as you are stuck with bills you can’t pay. If someone else is responsible for your accident, then the at-fault party should compensate you for your losses.
Types of Personal Injury Cases
A personal injury lawyer handles a wide range of personal injury accident cases such as:
- Personal and commercial auto accidents
- Boating accidents
- Slip and fall
- Premises liability
- Brain and spinal cord injuries
- Dog bites
- Sexual assault
- Workers’ compensation
- Burn or fire injuries
- Medical malpractice
- Wrongful death
- Negligent security
How Much is Your Case Worth?
The value of your case depends on the nature of the accident, the severity of your injuries, and the total amount of your losses. While an insurance coverage limit may affect the actual payout, it does not determine what your case is actually worth. Your lawyer can help you assess your case by looking at all the evidence and the sum of your financial losses. Noneconomic damages may also determine the final value of your case.
What Are Damages
Damages are all economic and noneconomic losses you incurred as a result of the accident. Your damages may include the following:
You may have incurred a range of medical expenses such as an ER visit, hospitalization, surgical procedures, doctor visits, prescriptions, physical therapy, or in-home care.
If you were out of work during recovery, you may have lost considerable pay or benefits from your employer. You may also be eligible for disability if you can no longer work.
In addition to medical expenses and lost wages, you may also qualify for noneconomic damages, including pain & suffering, loss of consortium, or loss of quality of life, or punitive damages.
In a wrongful death suit, you may account for medical expenses, burial expenses, lost income, loss of consortium or parental support, and emotional distress.
The Role of Your Personal Injury Lawyer
Your personal injury attorney is responsible for managing your case from start to finish. They work one-on-one with you to get you a fair settlement from the insurance company.
Some of the services they provide include:
- Ongoing consultation and legal guidance
- Handle all paperwork and clerical tasks
- Gather evidence of fault and liability
- Reach out to all relevant parties on your behalf
- Develop a legal strategy that strengthens your case
- Negotiate a settlement with the insurance companies
- File a lawsuit against the at-fault party, if necessary
Your lawyer is your negotiator. They work on your behalf to take on the insurance company. They also represent you in court and handle all aspects of litigation.
Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Most personal injury claims follow a certain procedure that is similar to this:
1. Consult an Attorney
Contact a local attorney in Birmingham, Alabama, whose practice area is personal injury. This is your opportunity to discuss your case, ask questions, find out more about what you can expect if you file a claim.
2. Build Your Case
Your lawyer or legal team will formulate a strategy for winning your case. They will attempt to establish fault and liability and obtain evidence to support your claim. Your lawyer will also establish the value of your claim.
3. Negotiate a Settlement with the Insurance Company
Your attorney will send a demand letter to the insurance company and begin the negotiations. The adjuster will either accept the claim and offer a settlement or reject the claim. If you are satisfied with the offer, then your case is settled. If you are not satisfied, then you may have the option to file a lawsuit and take your case to an Alabama court.
4. File a Lawsuit
Your attorney will file a lawsuit on your behalf. The legal team will continue to formulate a strategy and solidify your case.
5. Discovery Period
During the discovery period, both parties share documents and continue to gather additional evidence. Your lawyer will reinvestigate the case to ensure that all evidence has been gathered. Evidence may include photos, video footage eyewitness testimony, expert testimony, police report, and medical documents. They may also request proof of lost pay.
During the trial, a judge or jury will hear the arguments. Your attorney may continue to negotiate with the insurance company. If both parties come to an agreement, then the case is settled. If they do not, then the judge or jury may render a verdict.
Your Role in a Personal Injury Case
Although your attorney is responsible for handling the majority of your cases you also play a role in ensuring that you win your case.
You must be honest and discreet in all matters. Your attorney needs to trust that you are going to practice good judgment and not make rash decisions. Second, trust your attorney. Allow them to help you with your case and act on your behalf. Your attorney is your biggest advocate. However, they must be able to do their job. Next, provide exceptional communication at all times. Your attorney may need to contact you immediately for any reason. So, make yourself available. Also, be responsive. Fulfill all requests as quickly as possible. Last, make sure you keep careful records and documents.
Can You Afford a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Most lawyers work on a contingency basis. If you win your case, the fee is a percentage of your settlement or the amount you are awarded in court. Your lawyer will discuss all fees in your initial consultation so you can decide if you want to move forward with the case.
Statute of Limitation for Personal Injury Cases in Alabama
According to Ala. Code § 6-2-38, you have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit from the date of the accident. After the deadline passes, you may not be able to file a lawsuit or a lawsuit against the party or their insurance company. Therefore, if you have a personal injury case in Birmingham, AL, you may want to consult an attorney to explore your options. An attorney can file your lawsuit before the two-year deadline.
Contact Collins Law in Birmingham, AL Today
With the support of a legal team, you may have the leverage you need to win your claim and collect fair compensation for your losses. Collins Law can help you every step of the way. To schedule a free, no-obligation case review with a personal injury attorney in Birmingham, AL, call us today at (205) 881-0403.