Each state has it’s unique set of rules when it comes to personal injury cases. In Alabama, seeking compensation for an injury accident can be particularly challenging due to the state’s strict contributory negligence laws. Contributory negligence is a defense in a lawsuit used by the defendant who has been sued for injuring another person, often in a car accident, motorcycle accident, or truck accident case.
Contributory negligence laws in Alabama can prevent an injured person from recovering anything if they were in any way at fault for the accident. That means that negligence could be proven, yet the responsible party would still be able to walk away without paying any damages.
Most other states recognize that whoever is most responsible for an accident should be held accountable for at least a percentage of the victim’s losses. As of 2019, Alabama is one of the few states that use this harsh legal doctrine.
This makes it even more crucial for victims of injury accidents in Alabama to hire a knowledgeable injury attorney to represent them. To recover any compensation for the harm you’ve suffered, your lawyer will have to show that your actions in no way contributed to the accident that caused your injuries. This is a high standard to meet, so your lawyer will need time to investigate and build a convincing case on your behalf.
The Alabama personal injury attorneys of Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., have the experience and skill necessary to deal with contributory negligence laws. We know how to handle injury claims and prove negligence according to Alabama’s contributory negligence standards.
We won’t back down from a fight, and we are ready to help you seek the compensation you deserve. Contact us now for a free claim review and information about your best legal options.
Table of Contents
Comparative vs. Contributory Negligence: What’s the Difference?
Most states use comparative negligence when it comes to injury claims. Often thought to be a fairer way of distributing fault, comparative negligence takes into account the gray areas of life and the law.
Often, there can be more than one contributing factor to an injury. If a property owner is found to be negligent in their duty to maintain safe conditions but the injured person was also careless in some manner, comparative negligence laws help to distribute responsibility to each party.
Let’s say that a property owner is found to have failed to properly warn of a hazard on their property, but the injured party is also found to be negligent in some way. The court will then assign each of them blame as a percentage.
If the property owner is found to be 80% responsible and the injured party 20% responsible for the accident, that affects the payment of damages. If the court finds that the victim suffered $20,000 in damages, the award would be reduced by 20% and they could ultimately collect $16,000.
In Alabama, this scenario would play out differently.
Because the victim shared some of the blame, they would be barred from recovering any compensation under the state’s contributory negligence rules. That’s true even though they could prove that the property owner was negligent.
Even if the distribution of blame were 1% to the injured party and 99% to the property owner, Alabama law prevents any payment of compensation. Many people find these laws to be harsh, since negligent parties are often allowed to avoid paying for the harm they’ve caused others.
Why Alabama’s Contributory Negligence Law Makes Having a Lawyer Important
Building a case and proving negligence against the at-fault party can be difficult no matter where an accident happened. Alabama’s contributory negligence laws can make this task even more challenging.
That’s why you need a skilled lawyer with a thorough knowledge of our state’s contributory negligence doctrine to have a successful claim for compensation. Without the help of an attorney, you could lose your right to compensation and could be forced to pay out of pocket for the losses you’ve suffered.
Choosing the right legal team to handle your case is critical to the success of your claim. You need to hire an attorney who has successfully handled cases like yours in the past. Be sure to ask them about their track record and ask them how they’ll handle your specific case.
Your lawyer should be honest with you about your chances of success, and they should be able to tell you how they’ll approach your case.
Proving that the injured party had no contributory negligence can be challenging, it is not impossible. The right lawyer with the right experience can help you seek the full compensation that you’re owed.
How Can Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., Help Me?
At Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., will work tirelessly to pursue compensation on your behalf. Our firm has the experience and grit to take on the Alabama legal system to prove your case.
We understand the intricacies of Alabama law and can allow you to recover from the physical and emotional toll of an accident with ease. It will bring you peace of mind to know that your case is being handled by a team of competent and successful attorneys. Allow us to handle all the legal heavy lifting so you can focus on getting your life back on track.
At Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., we have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients in Alabama. Our track record of success enables us to draw on our strong experience to build your case. We believe firmly in defending the citizens of Alabama and will work tirelessly on your behalf.
We have been widely recognized for our diligence and advocacy. We were included in the Best Lawyers in America® and among Alabama’s top 100 trial lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers organization.
Our team is well equipped to help you seek the money you need and get through some of the toughest times you may ever face. You have suffered enough and are not alone. Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., is here to serve you.
For guidance on your case, call us, chat with us live, or fill out a contact form to schedule your free consultation.