If you are like most people who contact our Tuscaloosa accident law firm following a car crash, a commercial truck wreck, or some other type of serious or catastrophic accident, you are probably wondering what your case is worth.
You have questions like:
These are all fair questions that the Tuscaloosa accident law firm attorneys at Cross & Smith will be able to discuss with you in detail during an initial meeting. In the meantime, the information provided below will help you understand the different types of damages that can be awarded in an Alabama personal injury case.
Under Alabama law, if you become injured as a result of another person’s negligent or intentional actions, you are entitled to seek damages as compensation for your injuries. In some cases, additional damages — known as punitive damages — may be awarded as a kind of punishment to discourage people from behaving badly.
Compensatory damages — also referred to as actual damages — are designed to put you back into the position you were in before the accident happened. In other words, these damages are supposed to make you whole. There are two categories of compensatory damages: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include out-of-pocket expenses that can be calculated or reasonably estimated, such as:
The amounts you may recover for non-economic compensatory damages are more subjective. Non-economic damages usually include amounts to compensate you for:
While every person injured by the negligence of another can be awarded compensatory damages, that is not the case with punitive damages. As your Tuscaloosa accident law firm attorneys will explain in greater detail, in order to receive punitive damages in Alabama you have to show the party responsible for your suffering was more than merely negligent, they were what the courts call “malicious or egregiously reckless.” In other words, they did what they did on purpose or without caring whether you or others were harmed or not.
Because they are designed to discourage this kind of bad behavior, punitive damages awards in Alabama can be quite large, as much as three times the amount that you might collect for compensatory damages, with a cap of $1.5 million.
How much you might actually be able to recover in your case depends on a lot of factors. The Tuscaloosa accident law firm attorneys at Cross & Smith will discuss your case and possible recovery scenarios at your initial consultation. Please contact us online or call our office at (877) 375-0256 for a free confidential consultation.