Guide to Alabama Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury
Posted on Tue Aug 03, 2021
If you have been injured in an accident, time is of the essence. The Alabama statute of limitations for personal injury cases, such as traumatic brain injuries, only gives you so long to file your claim. If you fail to meet the statute of limitations, you lose the right to bring your claim and recover damages for your injuries. In addition, your lawyer needs time to prepare your case for filing, so meet with a lawyer well before the statute of limitations. The sooner you get started, the better.
What is the Alabama Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury?
The Alabama statute of limitations is a law that says you only have so long to bring a lawsuit to court and receive an average settlement for any personal injury, such as a traumatic brain injury.
One reason for this law is to protect defendants. People have a right to know within a reasonable period of time if they are going to get sued for something. Also, the statute of limitations protects justice for both parties. Time causes witnesses’ memories to fade and makes other evidence harder to find. This makes it harder or even impossible for the court to determine the truth in an old case to the appropriate burden of proof.
The Alabama statute of limitations for a civil suit is generally two years. This includes most personal claims. The common exception is if it is related to a contract, the statute of limitations may extend to six years. This means that you have two (or six) years from the date you were injured to file your lawsuit in court.
There are also cases where claims made may be prohibited sooner than two years from the accident. For example, a notice of claim against an Alabama municipality must be filed within six months of the accident. A notice of claim against an Alabama county must be filed within one year of the accident. Claims against deceased defendants must be filed in probate court within six months of the opening of the estate.
What if I Miss the Filing Deadline?
If you miss the Alabama statute of limitations for a personal injury claim, you generally lose your right to recover damages for your injury. If you attempt to bring a lawsuit, the defendant can almost always have it dismissed for not meeting the statute of limitations no matter how strong the evidence.
Are There Exceptions to The Alabama Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury?
There are only a few exceptions to the Alabama statute of limitations. Below is a list of the exceptions to be aware of.
Age. A plaintiff under the age of 19 at the time of their injury typically has two years from the time they turned 19 rather than the time of the injury. This is because a minor can't bring a lawsuit without parental involvement, but the injuries may affect the minor as an adult even if their parents didn't bring the lawsuit.
Mental incapacitation. If you are incapacitated due to the injury, a prior disability, or some other reason, the statute of limitations generally extends to two years from the time you regained mental capacity. This gives you more time to earn your average settlement for a traumatic brain injury or another personal injury.
Unaware of the injury. If you are unaware of the injury, such as in cases of medical malpractice or exposure to a dangerous chemical, you may have two years from the time you discovered your injury rather than the time the injury occurred.
Lawsuits against the government. The statute of limitations for lawsuits against government entities is actually shorter — six months for lawsuits against cities or towns and one year for lawsuits against counties.
Consult with your lawyer about these exceptions to find out if you qualify for a claim extension.
Don’t Wait to Recover Damages for Your Personal Injury!
If you want to protect your right to recover damages for your injuries and receive an average settlement for traumatic brain injury or another personal injury, don't wait to start your claim. Even if you think you have time, problems gathering evidence or getting documentation from your doctors could delay filing your case. To ensure your lawyer has the time needed to put a strong case forward, call the law office of Warren & Simpson now.