A common question we get from clients is: When should I hire a car accident lawyer? If you have been injured the answer is immediately!
We cannot stress this enough. If you suffered injuries in a car accident, you should hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. You should contact a lawyer immediately after receiving proper medical treatment for your injuries.
The personal injury legal process can be stressful and intimidating. Working with a lawyer can help to minimize your stress levels so you can focus on your rehabilitation. Additionally, a lawyer can file your case within the statute of limitations and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations provides the time frame during which you must file your case. Failing to file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires prohibits you from filing it. Statutes of limitation are important to understand because you may not feel the effects of your injury until some time has passed after the accident.
The statute of limitations for most Alabama personal injury cases is two years from the date of the accident. However, there are some notable exceptions.
Minors and Mentally Incompetent Persons
If you were a minor at the time you suffered your injury, you have two years from the date you turn 19 to file your case. If incapacitated at the time of the injury, you have two years from the date a court declares you mentally competent to file your lawsuit.
Lawsuits Against Government Entities
Another exception arises when the defendant’s employer is a town, city, or county and was acting within the scope of their employment at the time of the accident. In these cases, you must file a written notice of claim before you can file a lawsuit.
If the defendant is a city or town, you must file a notice of the claim within six months of the accident. If the defendant is a county, you must file a notice of claim within one year of the accident.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer soon after your accident can help ensure that your case gets filed on time.
Compensation You Could Receive
The compensation you could receive for injuries sustained during a car accident can be in the form of economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages are most commonly awarded to plaintiffs in accident cases. Examples include lost wages and medical expenses.
Non-economic damages are compensation for mental and emotional pain. Examples include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and emotional distress.
Courts award punitive damages in cases where the defendant’s conduct went beyond ordinary negligence. The State of Alabama caps punitive damages at the greater of:
- Three times the sum of economic and non-economic damages, or
Their purpose is to punish the defendant and deter others from performing similar conduct.
Why Hire the Personal Injury Attorneys at the Fob James Law Firm?
If you’ve suffered injuries resulting from a car accident in Birmingham, our aggressive personal injury attorneys at the Fob James Law Firm will handle every aspect of your case with your best interests in mind. We’ll give your case the one-on-one attention it deserves. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.