Negligence Law Alabama
Negligence Law Definition
The legal system’s attempt to determine who is at fault for injuries from an accident is what negligence cases are all about. Finding out if a person has a duty to care for another person as well as whether he or she fulfilled that duty constituent the first steps. If a lack of care is found, the person is liable for injuries which stemmed from that lack of care.
Alabama has a doctrine which is known as “contributory negligence”. Contributory negligence can be used as a defense if the plaintiff contributed to an accident. If you are found negligent in an accident, recovery could be barred as per the law.
Different states have different laws when it comes to negligence. Alabama’s negligence laws state that the plaintiff’s negligence is a bar to recovery.
What must be proved in the event of a negligence case?
Several elements of a negligence case must be proved in order for a claim to be successful. Let’s take a look at these elements.
- Duty – You were owed a duty of care by the other party
- Breach of duty – The other party is guilty of a failure to meet that duty
- Cause in fact – You were injured because of the other party’s failure. You wouldn’t have been injured if the other party didn’t fail their duty.
- Proximate cause – Nothing else caused your injury other than the other party’s failure to do their duty
- Damages – You were injured and suffered losses as a result of the other party’s failure to do their duty.
Punishment for Negligence in Alabama
If a person causes the death of another person by criminal negligence, he or she is said to have committed a crime of criminally negligent homicide.
The Code of Alabama Section 13A-2-2 defines criminal negligence as failing to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstances exist. In fact, the risk as to be of such a degree and nature that failure to perceive the risk can be seen as a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would follow in the same situation.
The punishment for criminally negligent homicide is a Class A misdemeanor. In fact, the sentence should not be for more than a single year in the county jail.
What is Contributory Negligence?
Let’s take a look at an example to understand how contributory negligence works. Let’s assume that there are two drivers. Driver A is driving down a highway while driver B has stopped at an intersection with a stop sign. Driver B sees driver A but still pulls out of his lane to go in the same direction. Driver B is going 15 miles over the speed limit and tries to stop. Unfortunately, driver A collides with driver B.
Under normal circumstances, driver B would be at fault because of a failure to yield to driver A. However, in this circumstance, most juries would deny driver A recovery because driver A was driving over the speed limit. In this circumstance, driver A’s negligence contributed to the accident.
Some states have adopted a comparative negligence approach while other states have adopted a pure comparative negligence approach. The comparative negligence approach allows the injured party to recover for his/her injuries even if he is partially at fault for the accident. There are some states which let the plaintiff recover if his/her negligence is found to be less than 50% of the total negligence.
If you’re charged with a case of negligence, the best course of action would be to schedule a consultation with a lawyer. Professional advice will inform you of the best route to take to defend yourself.