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Personal Injury Law

The Law Office of Mitchell J. Howie & Associates, P.L.L.C. understands the many trials and tribulations that can accompany an injury to a loved one or a family member. As a trial lawyer, Mr. Howie also personally understands that insurance companies often are intimidating, and sometimes unresponsive to those who have been injured. The Law Office of Mitchell J. Howie & Associates, P.L.L.C. believes in fighting for all of their clients to ensure every client receives the maximum compensation and justice they are entitled under the law. As skilled trial attorneys, The Law Office of Mitchell J. Howie & Associates, P.L.L.C. possesses the strength, knowledge, and confidence to fight against big insurance companies on behalf of individuals who have been injured. In all personal injury cases, WE GET PAID ONLY IF WE SUCCEED so contact us now for a free consultation and let us devote our energy and expertise to your personal and financial recovery

You can contact the Law Office of Mitchell J. Howie & Associates, P.L.L.C. for your free personal injury consultation with a Texas Attorney or an Alabama attorney in Huntsville, Alabama by calling (256) 533-8074.

Personal Injury Law: The Basics

Personal injury law deals with a specific wrong. You and/or your property were injured. If that injury was the result of someone else's negligence, then you can take that person to court in order to prove they failed in their duty to prevent injury. If they are found negligent, then you may be awarded money for medical costs, property losses, loss of consortium, loss of wages and pain and suffering. The defendant's ability to pay will, to a large extent, determine how much you can collect. If your injuries were caused by an unemployed street person, then you essentially have no case. They may have been extremely negligent, but they also have no assets to compensate your loss. If the defendant is insured or has their own resources, you may be able to recoup your losses. The information contained in this message is general and should not substitute for the advice and counsel of a licensed attorney.

What is a "tort"?
A tort is a wrongful act that does not involve a breach of contract and results in an injury, or a loss or damage for which the injured party can bring a lawsuit to recover or compensate their losses. There are several types of torts including medical and legal malpractice, slander and libel. The last two involve damage not to a tangible thing like a persona or property, but to a reputation or to a person's feelings. There are different legal proofs and hurdles in each state which must be overcome in order to make your case. Once a court has determined that injuries have resulted from someone's negligence, the court may decide to what extent the defendant must compensate the plaintiff. The compensation is usually based upon certain formulas and the actual dollar losses and expenses the plaintiff has faced along with pain and suffering. The information contained in this message is general and should not substitute for the advice and counsel of a licensed attorney.

What is "negligence"?
The term negligence is essential to tort law. Everyone is expected to take normal ordinary care to ensure that their actions or the actions of others under their control do not cause anyone harm. If an individual/business entity falls below that standard, and someone is injured or their property damaged, then that individual/business entity becomes negligent. Negligence does not mean that the person deliberately intended to cause harm. It only means that they did not take reasonable care or they did not act the way any reasonable person would have. An example would be the homeowner who decides to plant a tree next to the sidewalk. He digs a huge hole, then leaves to pick up the tree. While he is gone, someone steps into the hole and breaks a leg. Reasonable care would have called for the homeowner to cover or mark the hole to prevent accidents. The information contained in this message is general and should not substitute for the advice and counsel of a licensed attorney.

What is "strict liability"?
Strict liability means that one does not have to prove negligence to recover damages. In the case of product liability, the law now holds that you do not have to prove the manufacturer was negligent if someone is injured while using a product. One only has to prove the product was defective. A lawsuit can be brought against anyone participating in the chain of manufacture for that product, from the manufacturer, to the designer, to the retail store - all can share in the liability. Anyone participating in an act which is inherently dangerous, such as the transport of hazardous substances, will be held strictly liable for any injuries they may cause while engaged in that act. The information contained in this message is general and should not substitute for the advice and counsel of a licensed attorney.

What damages can I recover?
There are two basic types of damages which are related to personal injury suits, punitive and compensatory damages. If you prove your case, you are generally awarded damages by the judge or a jury for your actual losses and past and projected medical costs. These are called compensatory damages. You may be compensated for loss of wages, pain and suffering and loss of consortium as well. The amount you receive will be determined by many factors. Punitive damages are sometimes awarded when the act which injured you proves to be intentional. These types of awards are not frequently assessed but are assessed in order to punish the party that was negligent and to protect the general public from these extremely bad actors and acts. Most often they are assessed against corporations which the court finds to have acted recklessly or against the public interest. By making the corporation pay these sums, the court sends a message that the egregious conduct should not happen again and therefore attempts to protect the general public by deterring others from engaging in the wrongful conduct in the future. The information contained in this message is general and should not substitute for the advice and counsel of a licensed attorney.

Personal Injury Damages

What damages can I recover?
There are two basic types of damages which are related to personal injury suits, punitive and compensatory damages. If you prove your case, you are generally awarded damages by the judge or a jury for your actual losses and past and projected medical costs. These are called compensatory damages. You may be compensated for loss of wages, pain and suffering and loss of consortium as well. The amount you receive will be determined by many factors. Punitive damages are sometimes awarded when the act which injured you proves to be intentional. These types of awards are not frequently assessed but are assessed in order to punish the party that was negligent and to protect the general public from these extremely bad actors and acts. Most often they are assessed against corporations which the court finds to have acted recklessly or against the public interest. By making the corporation pay these sums, the court sends a message that the egregious conduct should not happen again and therefore attempts to protect the general public by deterring others from engaging in the wrongful conduct in the future. The information contained in this message is general and should not substitute for the advice and counsel of a licensed attorney.

Can I recover for emotional distress?
It is very difficult to recover damages for emotional distress. One rare type of case would involve a hospital calling you after a relative had checked in and then informing you that your relative had passed away when they were obviously alive. You might be devastated, emotionally wrecked, but while it may be possible to recover damages, it is a slim chance at best. These days, the courts tend to hold that actual injuries must be inflicted before emotional distress can be factored into the personal injury equation. As you know, there are any number of emotional injuries we all suffer throughout our lives for which we generally do not seek monetary compensation. The little knocks and bruises of life are par for the course. However, if it can be shown that someone intentionally caused emotional distress, you may have a case. If you are unsure about your emotional distress case, contact a professional. The information contained in this message is general and should not substitute for the advice and counsel of a licensed attorney.

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