In an Alabama car accident claim, a plaintiff is required to prove the damages he or she claims to have sustained in the accident. Depending on the type of case and the injuries involved, there are different types of damages a plaintiff may be able to recover. One type is compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are meant to compensate the plaintiff for the plaintiff’s injuries and other losses. Examples of compensatory damages include medical expenses, property damages, and lost income. They can also include compensation for a plaintiff’s pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Another type of damages is punitive damages, which are available only in certain claims. Punitive damages are meant to deter harmful conduct and to punish the defendant. Since the purpose of punitive damages is not to compensate the plaintiff, an award of punitive damages is largely within the discretion of the jury. However, punitive damages are only available in Alabama in wrongful death claims or in claims in which the plaintiff proves that the defendant consciously or deliberately engaged in oppression, fraud, wantonness, or malice.
Plaintiffs who are injured in an accident are entitled to compensation for their injuries, despite any preexisting conditions or unique conditions. In other words, the defendant takes the plaintiff “as is.” That means that even if a plaintiff’s injuries are more severe than the average person’s would be, the defendant is still liable for all of the plaintiff’s injuries and damages caused by the defendant’s negligence.
Former NASCAR Driver and Son Killed in Crash While Leaving Alabama
A former NASCAR driver and his son were recently killed in a tragic accident while leaving Alabama, according to one news source. The former NASCAR driver and his son were killed when the driver of a pick-up truck lost control of the vehicle. At the time of the accident, another individual was driving the truck with the NASCAR driver and his son riding as passengers.
The driver of the truck told police that he was changing lanes as he tried to pass a slower vehicle when another car tried to change lanes at the same time. The driver said he was forced onto the shoulder of the road to avoid a collision, but he lost control of the truck and crashed through a damaged guardrail. The vehicle went flying over a creek bed and hit an embankment. Both passengers died at the scene. The well-known NASCAR driver was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.
Alabama’s Seat Belt Non-Use Law
Under Alabama Code 32-5B-7, Alabama law prevents a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit from using a plaintiff’s failure to wear a seatbelt as evidence of negligence. In addition, seatbelt non-use evidence is not admissible at trial by the defense in an attempt to reduce the amount of damages a plaintiff may be entitled to obtain. Essentially, Alabama lawmakers have determined that whether a motorist uses a seatbelt is not relevant to their personal injury claim.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Decatur
If you have been injured in an Alabama car accident due to someone else’s carelessness or wrongdoing, you may be entitled to bring a legal claim for compensation. At the Reeves Law Firm, we understand how important it is that you obtain the compensation to which you may be entitled. Whether you are injured on the road, on the job, or in another area of life, you should contact the Reeves Law Firm. Call us at 256-355-3311 or use our online form to set up a free consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Ford Recalls Nearly 1.4 Million Cars for Steering Wheels That Might Fall Off, Alabama Injury Lawyer Blog, March 26, 2018
Does Failing to Wear a Seat Belt Affect an Alabama Victim’s Ability to Recover Damages?, Alabama Injury Lawyer Blog, March 14, 2018