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Alabama Negligence Laws

Let’s say you were changing lanes on I-65, and the car that was speeding in the lane next to you collided with your truck. If you get injured, who is at fault? And could you file a lawsuit based on negligence? This is an introduction to negligence laws in Alabama.

General Negligence Law

Negligence cases are the legal system’s attempt to determine who is to blame for injuries resulting from an accident. The first steps are figuring out if one person has a duty of care to another and whether he or she failed in fulfilling that duty. If so, that person might be liable for any injuries that result from their lack of care. In the example above, because the car was speeding, the driver of the car may be at fault.

Under Alabama law however, there is a doctrine known as “contributory negligence,” which can be a defense if the plaintiff, in this case you, contributed to accident. Let’s say you failed to use your blinker or look over your shoulder when you were changing lanes. If you were also negligent in the accident, this could bar recovery under the law.

Negligence Laws in Alabama

Each state has its own negligence laws based on their particular civil justice system. Negligence laws in Alabama are highlighted in the table below.

Code Section

None

Comparative Negligence

-

Contributory Negligence-Limit to Plaintiff's Recovery

Plaintiff's negligence is a bar to recovery. Contributory negligence is an affirmative defense. (ARCP, Rule 8(c)) Jackson v. Waller, 410 So.2d 98 (1982)

Contribution Among Tortfeasors

No. Gobble v. Bradford, 147 So. 619 (1933); But yes if executed instrument with joint payees or indorsers, §7-3-116

Uniform Act

No

Negligence Cases

If you do take an accident case to court, there are several elements of a negligence case you must prove in order for the claim to be successful:

  • Duty: the other party owed you a duty of care;
  • Breach of Duty: the other party failed to meet that duty;
  • Cause in Fact: but for the other party’s failure, you would not have been injured;
  • Proximate Cause: the other party’s failure (and not something else) caused your injury; and
  • Damages: you have actually been injured and suffered some loss.

Alabama Negligence Laws: Related Resources

Negligence law has a lot of particulars that can be difficult for the layperson to understand. You can contact an experienced Alabama personal injury attorney if you would like legal assistance with a negligence matter. You can also visit FindLaw's section on Negligence for additional articles and information on this topic.

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