Personal Injury & Wrongful Death
Dedicated Injury Attorneys Serving Florida and Alabama Victims
A serious accident can change your life. You may not be able to work for a long time, even as you accumulate medical bills. You may need vocational rehabilitation, and you may experience significant, lasting pain. If you were hurt because of someone else’s careless actions, an injury lawyer at Milam & Milam can bring a lawsuit in Florida or Alabama against whoever was responsible to pursue compensation. We handle a wide range of these cases, including those related to car accidents, wrongful death, product liability, professional liability, and toxic torts.
Filing a Negligence Lawsuit to Seek Damages
Often, an accident victim chooses to file a negligence claim. These cases arise when another person or several other people fail to use reasonable care in a certain situation and cause an accident. Negligence cases have four elements:
- The defendant’s duty to act with reasonable care
- A breach of that duty through some careless or reckless conduct
- Causation of the victim’s injuries
- Actual damages incurred by the victim as a result of the injuries
Someone filing a negligence lawsuit must show all four of these elements to get compensation. The third element, causation, has two components. A victim must show that he or she would not have been hurt if the defendant had acted with reasonable care, and also that the injury was a logically foreseeable result of the defendant’s breach. If you successfully prove the elements of negligence, you may be able to recover damages for your medical bills, lost wages, vocational rehabilitation, pain and suffering.
Many accidents happen because more than one person, sometimes including the victim, failed to use the appropriate level of care. If you were partly responsible for your own injuries, your ability to recover compensation may depend on where you were hurt.
Florida follows the doctrine of comparative negligence. This means that you can still recover a reduced amount of damages if your own actions contributed to the accident. Percentages of fault will be assigned to both you and the defendant. For example, the jury may find you 20% responsible for a car crash and the other driver 80% responsible. If the damages are $200,000, you may recover up to $160,000 from the other driver.
In contrast, Alabama is a contributory negligence state. This means that an accident victim cannot obtain damages from a defendant if he or she was at all responsible for causing his or her own injuries. If you are found 20% at fault in Alabama, you will not be able to recover anything. This harsher standard is one reason it is important to find a personal injury attorney who can work with capable accident reconstruction specialists and present a strong case on your behalf to a mediator or the jury.
Retain an Experienced Gulf Coast Accident Lawyer
After an accident, the other party's insurer may offer a settlement. However friendly the representative may appear to be, he or she is not there to help you. Any amount offered will likely be lower than what you need and contingent on your signing a settlement agreement that would preclude you from recovering any larger sum later, even if it turns out your injuries are worse than you thought. The Gulf Coast accident attorneys at Milam & Milam are located in Fairhope, Alabama on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay. We have 25 years of combined experience and serve clients in both Alabama and Florida. Contact us by calling 251-928-0191 or request a consultation through our online form. We serve individuals in Montgomery, Birmingham, Pensacola, and Panama City, among other locations throughout the Gulf Coast region.