Personal injury accidents, including car accidents and slip and fall accidents, are far too common. These types of accidents can happen anywhere and cause severe injuries. Every year, just under 100 million Americans visit an emergency room for an unintentional injury. The number of deaths related to unintentional injuries is just below 175,000 in the United States. Being injured in an unintentional injury or accident is the third most common cause of death. If you or your loved one have been injured in an accident, you may be wondering whether your injuries are serious enough to pursue money through a personal injury lawsuit.
Requirements for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Alabama
Not everyone who has been injured in an accident will have a right to pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Before a person can take legal action through a personal injury lawsuit, they will need to determine who is liable for their damages. In personal injury lawsuits, the injured plaintiff files a lawsuit against the defendant who is legally responsible for compensating the victim or their injuries.
The plaintiff must prove several legal elements to hold a person or company accountable through a lawsuit. First, the plaintiff will need to show that the defendant had a duty of care to the plaintiff to act reasonably under the circumstances. In other words, as the plaintiff, you will need to show that the defendant had a legal obligation to act with reasonable care, failed to use reasonable care, and caused your injuries.
For example, suppose you slipped and fell in a grocery store and became injured. The grocery store owner would have a legal duty to keep the store reasonably safe for customers like you. If you can show that the grocery store owner knew about or should have known about the dangerously slippery conditions and failed to prevent them, you will be able to bring a lawsuit for damages.
Proving the Elements of Negligence
Most personal injury lawsuits involve a legal theory called negligence. A person acts negligently when they fail to use reasonable care under the circumstances. There are many different situations in which people become injured by parties that may be liable, but this does not always mean that the person who caused the accident acted negligently under Alabama law. Many different situations have unforeseen events, errors, or malfunctions that are beyond the power of a liable party to address and prevent.
In these cases, the plaintiff may have contributed to your injuries but may not have acted negligently, preventing you from suing them in court. If you are unsure who is liable for your injuries and whether or not they have acted negligently under the law, one of the best things you can do is discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible.
The Severity of Your Injuries
Suppose you have identified which person or company is legally at fault for your injuries, and you know you have a right to pursue compensation. You know you have a legal right to sue, and now it is time to consider whether you should bring a lawsuit or not. An important factor in deciding whether to pursue a lawsuit would be the severity of your injuries. Filing a personal injury lawsuit requires an injury or injuries that cause enough damage to warrant legal action.
In most cases, a victim does not need to suffer egregious physical injuries like a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, or third-degree burns. The important factor is how much a person has suffered due to their injuries. For example, a broken leg from a car accident is not typically considered a severe injury. However, many people who experience a broken leg require significant time off of work. If an individual has a physically demanding job, a broken leg can prevent him or her from returning to work and making an income. A personal injury lawsuit is worth pursuing when an injury leads to lost wages, lost career opportunities, or even ends a person’s career.
Discuss Your Case With a Skilled Alabama Personal Injury Attorney
If you or your loved one have been seriously injured in an Alabama accident, you may be wondering whether your injuries are severe enough to pursue a lawsuit. Contact the skilled Alabama personal injury attorneys at Heninger Garrison Davis today to schedule your free initial case evaluation to learn more about whether you have a case worth pursuing.