Gulf Shores is a city located on Alabama’s Gulf Coast with a population of almost 11,000 residents. It is notable in part for being the southernmost community in the state of Alabama. Residents and visitors can enjoy the Gulf State Park, which offers beaches, trails, and a pier. Other attractions in the area include the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, the Gulf State Park Fishing Pier, the Gulf Shores Museum, and the Gulf Shores Public Beach. If you or someone close to you has been hurt in an accident there that was caused by someone else's negligence, it may be possible to recover damages for your harm by retaining a Gulf Shores personal injury lawyer to bring a lawsuit against the at-fault party. Whit A. Thomas can assist people who need a car accident attorney or representation in a wide range of other personal injury cases.Bringing a Personal Injury Claim for Damages
Personal injury law covers situations in which a person is hurt due to someone else’s carelessness or wrongdoing. Some common accidents that lead to these claims include motor vehicle collisions, slip and falls, job-related accidents, medical malpractice, and injuries caused by defective products.
Most personal injury claims are based on negligence, with a few exceptions. Negligence is a failure to exercise reasonable care that causes harm to someone else. Reasonable care is defined in most circumstances as how an ordinary person would act in the same or a similar context. To win in a personal injury case, the plaintiff must establish certain key points by a preponderance of the evidence:
- The defendant had a duty of care toward the plaintiff;
- The defendant breached that duty of care;
- The defendant’s breach was a direct cause of the accident; and
- The plaintiff suffered compensable damages because of the accident.
Alabama is one of only a few states that follow the principle of contributory negligence, which bars the victim from recovering any damages at all if they contributed to their injuries. This is one reason why it is important to get assistance from a personal injury attorney after an accident. Navigating the legal system and dealing with insurance companies without an attorney may put a victim at a severe disadvantage and allow a defendant or insurer to avoid paying the full amount that is owed.
Many accidents lead to serious and long-term injuries that may require costly treatment. Alabama law permits accident victims to recover both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are designed to compensate an injured person for their losses. Examples of these types of damages include medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, property damage, and lost income. Non-economic damages are awarded for non-pecuniary losses. Examples of non-economic damages include pain and suffering, disability, and disfigurement. However, the specific types of damages that a plaintiff will be entitled to receive will depend on the nature of the accident. Gathering a wide range of evidence to demonstrate the various forms of harm that a victim has suffered is critical to proving liability.
Just as in other states, personal injury claims in Alabama must be filed within a certain time period, known as the statute of limitations. A plaintiff has two years from the date of an accident to file a lawsuit in civil court. Failing to file within this time frame likely would mean losing your right to recover compensation altogether. There are limited exceptions to this rule, however. A lawyer can review your case and help determine whether any of these exceptions would apply if you are concerned that you may have missed the deadline.Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Gulf Shores
We know that the process of bringing a lawsuit is daunting and potentially confusing, and you should not have to go through the process alone. Gulf Shores personal injury attorney Whit A. Thomas can work diligently to make sure that your rights are protected at every step of the way. He also represents victims in other areas of Southern Alabama, including in Fairhope, Daphne, Mobile, Altmore, Monroeville, and other cities in Baldwin, Mobile, Escambia, and Monroe Counties. To discuss your case in more detail with a personal injury or wrongful death attorney, call us at (251) 943-9330 or contact us online.