Understanding the Statute of Limitations and Your Personal Injury Case
If you need a little help understanding the statute of limitations and your personal injury case, you have come to the right place.
The attorneys at Lattof & Lattof, PC, have years of experience in the legal industry and would be more than happy to provide you with the information you require.
What is a Statute of Limitations?
In personal injury law, a statute of limitations is the time limit within which an injured party must file a claim for compensation against the person or business entity that is liable for their damages.
The length of this period varies from state to state. Individuals who fail to file their personal injury claims before their statute of limitations expires typically lose their right to pursue compensation.
Why Does Alabama Have a Statute of Limitations for Civil Claims?
The state of Alabama has had a statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits for decades. It has these regulations in place for many reasons, such as:
- To encourage injured parties to file a lawsuit without delay
- To make sure witnesses have a clear recollection of events and all other physical evidence presented in court is recent
- To prevent plaintiffs from using litigation as a long-term threat against liable parties
Having statutes of limitations in place also makes it possible for the state of Alabama to prevent injured persons from abusing the court system by filing claims for injuries that have not impacted their lives in decades.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Alabama Personal Injury Cases?
Wondering what the statute of limitations is for your compensation claim? The skilled personal injury lawyers at Lattof & Lattof, PC, have compiled the following guide:
Car Accident Claims
Every year, thousands of Alabama residents suffer broken bones, burns, and other injuries in car accidents. Section 6-2-38 of the Alabama Code explains that these people have a two-year statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim against the party that caused their crash.
Bicycle Accident Claims
When bicycle riders in Mobile get hit by passing cars and trucks, they can sustain injuries ranging from brain damage to severed limbs. The victims of these collisions can file lawsuits against the at-fault motorist for up to two years.
Pedestrian Accident Claims
Mobile is not a pedestrian-friendly city. As such, it is not at all uncommon for walkers to get hit by motorists while traveling to work or to the shops.
People who sustain injuries in accidents of this nature can take legal action against the liable party for two years under Alabama law.
Slip and Fall Accident Claims
Mobile residents regularly slip, fall, and injure themselves in restaurants, construction sites, hotels, and warehouses. When they do, they have two years from the date of the accident to take legal action against the liable person or business entity.
Medical Malpractice Claims
It is, unfortunately, not uncommon for doctors and nurses in Alabama hospitals and medical clinics to make mistakes that leave patients with debilitating injuries. When errors of this nature occur, state law grants victims two years to sue the at-fault party.
Dog Bite Claims
Dogs are commonly known as man’s best friend. However, when their owners fail to train them, they can attack innocent people and leave them with severe lacerations, organ damage, and other injuries.
Under Alabama law, individuals who sustain these types of injuries have two years to file suit against the animal’s owner.
Product Liability Claims
Every year, defective medical devices, toys, dangerous drugs, and other consumer goods cause Mobile residents to sustain life-altering injuries. When these accidents occur, victims can take legal action against the manufacturer or the distributor at any point before the second anniversary of the incident.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
Alabama workers suffer on-the-job injuries just about every day. These injuries occur most frequently in:
- Construction sites
In the Yellowhammer State, individuals who suffer a work injury of this nature must file for workers’ compensation benefits within two years of the date of their injury or two years of the date of their last compensation payment.
Wrongful Death Claims
When Alabama residents get into car crashes and slip and fall accidents, they often lose their lives. When they do, their families can file wrongful death lawsuits against the liable parties to seek damages for their:
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of inheritance
- Funeral expenses
Families who wish to pursue these types of lawsuits must generally do so before the second anniversary of their loved one’s death.
Would you like to have an attorney from Lattof & Lattof, PC, help you file your personal injury lawsuit? If so, please give us a call or contact our law firm online to set up a free consultation at our office in Mobile. We have been working on cases like yours for years, and we know what it takes to win.
Do Statutes of Limitations Change When the Government is Involved?
In the state of Alabama, the statute of limitations for cases involving the government depends on whether the at-fault party is an employee or an agency. For government claims in which a local or municipal worker is the defendant, the statutory window remains open for two years.
When an injured party wishes to file a personal injury lawsuit against a government agency, however, they must do so more quickly. Section 11-47-23 of the Alabama Code explains that plaintiffs must bring claims of this nature within a six-month time period.
When Do Alabama Courts Extend the Statute of Limitations in Civil Cases?
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in the state of Alabama is almost always between six months and two years. However, there are a few circumstances under which the law allows courts to extend or toll the amount of time injured parties have to take legal action, including:
The Liable Party Leaving the State of Alabama
In an effort to escape justice, individuals who cause car crashes and slip and fall accidents frequently leave the state of Alabama. However, when this situation occurs, the injured party’s statutory clock does not continue to run. Instead, the court pauses (or tolls) it until the defendant returns to the state.
Injuries to Children
Alabama law does not permit children to file lawsuits when they sustain injuries in animal attacks or bicycle accidents. As a result, their statutory clock does not begin to tick on the day of their incident. Instead, it starts on their 19th birthday – and can last for as long as three years.
Delays in the Discovery of Harm
It is not at all unusual for accident victims in the state of Alabama to go weeks or months without noticing their injuries. When situations like this happen, the statutory clock does not start on the day of the incident. It begins on the day the victim’s doctor diagnoses their injury.
Need Help Understanding the Statute of Limitations and Your Personal Injury Case? Call Our Alabama Law Firm Today
Do you require additional help understanding the statute of limitations and your personal injury case? If so, please do not hesitate to reach out to the knowledgeable attorneys at Lattof & Lattof, PC, in Mobile. We have a comprehensive understanding of Alabama law, and we would be happy to provide you with the information you seek.