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What is a Tort Case, and What does it Involve in Alabama?

Tort cases address civil wrongs between individuals or between persons and organizations. A tort occurs when a person’s actions or inactions cause harm, loss, damage, or injury to another person. The purpose of a tort case is to seek redress for the victim, shifting the burden of compensation or damages from the victim to the liable party. Alabama’s Tort Law and Rules of Civil Procedure guide tort cases, providing guidelines for time limitations, types of torts, commencing a tort case, and other vital processes. In Alabama, the District Court hears tort cases. Persons aged 19 or older who have legal claims are eligible to file tort cases in Alabama.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

What is Alabama Tort Law?

Alabama Tort Law lays out general tort principles, statutes of limitation, and other elements and processes in a tort claims case. It addresses liability and restitution options available to claimants in the state. The Rules for Civil Procedure also provide guidelines for tort claims cases, including filing, service, pleadings, trials, and the case parties’ rights and responsibilities.

What Kinds of Cases are Covered by Tort Law in Alabama?

The state of Alabama hears the following types of cases under the tort law:

  • Negligence: This is a tort case where a person’s inaction or negligence causes loss or damage to another person
  • Intentional tort: The opposite of negligence tort cases, intentional tort cases are ones where a person deliberately performs an act that causes injury or loss to another person
  • Strict liability: In some tort cases, a person or an entity may be liable for damages caused to another person through no direct fault of the person or entity. A person or entity may be responsible for damages to the claimant, even if the action that caused the injury or loss is not the defendant’s direct fault.
  • Wrongful death: A wrongful death tort case involves the death of a person due to another person’s deliberate or negligent actions. Only the deceased’s estate may recover damages in a wrongful death tort case.
  • Fraud: A fraud tort arises when a person suffers loss or injury because another person misrepresented or falsely represented a fact.
  • Medical malpractice: If a person sustains loss or injuries due to a medical practitioner’s deliberate or negligent actions, a medical malpractice tort arises, and the medical practitioner or institution is liable.

What are the Differences Between Criminal Law and Tort Law in Alabama?

A tort is a civil wrong between individuals. If a person suffers loss or injury due to another person’s actions, the person who suffered the injury may file a civil claim against the perpetrator of the act. Tort law guides the process of damage recovery or restitution in tort claim cases. Criminal law exists to maintain law and order in society by penalizing offenders. The criminal law object is to protect society by focusing on the offender and the offender’s acts, while tort law considers the offender’s intent. A tort and a criminal offense may arise out of a single action; in this case, the court will penalize the offender under the criminal law and liable for damages.

What is the Purpose of Tort Law in Alabama?

Tort law in Alabama exists to offer relief to persons who suffer injury or laws due to others’ actions or inactions. Typically, Alabama’s tort claims offer monetary damages; however, other forms of relief, such as restitution, are also possible. Tort law also holds the parties whose actions resulted in injury or loss liable for damages, thus, discouraging other members of society from committing the same or other harmful acts.

What is a Tort Claim in Alabama?

A tort claim is a civil case that an injured party files against the party whose actions resulted in the injury or loss. Depending on the nature of the tort, the statute of limitations for filing a tort claim in Alabama ranges from two to six years. The Alabama District Court hears tort cases in the state.

How Do You File a Tort Claim in Alabama?

A tort claims case begins in Alabama when an injured party files a complaint with the accompanying cover sheet against the party whose actions caused the injury. The claimant must provide personal identifying details and the defendant’s contact information. Additionally, the claimant must provide a clear and detailed description of the injury and the events that led to the injury. The claimant must then file the completed and signed complaint and summons with the District Court Clerk in the county where the defendant lives or does business or in the county where the event occurred.

What Does a Tort Claim Contain in Alabama?

Alabama tort claims contain:

  • Claimant’s personal information such as names, addresses, and social security number
  • Claimant’s phone number and email
  • Claimant’s attorney’s name, address, and phone number
  • Facts of the claim, including the date, location, and a description of events
  • The defendant’s name and contact information
  • The claim amount
  • The claimant’s signature

What Happens after a Tort Claim is Filed in Alabama?

When a party files a claim, they must ensure that the defendant or the defaulting party receives a copy of the complaint and the summons. The plaintiff may serve the defendant through the Sherrif’s Office or any other person aged 19 or older. After the plaintiff serves the defendant the summons, the defendant must respond within a stipulated time. Following the defendant’s response, the discovery process, which is one of the first steps in the settlement, begins. Settlement begins after discovery; case parties may reach a settlement through arbitration, mediation, or any alternative dispute resolution method. If case parties do not reach a settlement this way, the case may go to trial.

Why Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer for a Tort Claim?

Personal injury lawyers are specialized professionals who offer legal expertise and know-how in personal injury torts and other tort claims. Tort claim parties may appear in court Pro Se; however, case parties may also have legal representation. Personal injury lawyers help case parties interpret state laws accurately. Personal injury lawyers also help case parties with claim filing, information collection, investigation, discovery, mediation, and trial. A personal injury lawyer works to protect the client’s interest and maximize reward or damages.

How Can I Find a Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me?

The Alabama State Bar offers a Lawyer Referral Service, a database of lawyers, and a volunteer lawyers program. Interested parties may access high-quality legal services through the Alabama State Bar services. Alternatively, interested parties may contact local law offices or conduct internet searches for local personal injury lawyers.

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