For any Alabama injury that leads to a lawsuit, your case will fall under a given category of personal injury.
Some of the common areas of personal injury law include:
- Products Liability
- Strict Liability
- Negligence (Slip and Fall Accidents, Car Accidents, Employer Negligence, Etc.)
- Professional Malpractice (Medical Malpractice Is Most Common)
- Wrongful Death
Each of these categories of Alabama personal injury have their own bodies of statutory and case law, but for injury victims, the most important information to know pertains to the statute of limitations.
Alabama Statute of Limitations
In Alabama, you have a time limit to file your personal injury claim. This time limit, known as a statute of limitations, stipulates that your injury claim must be filed with an Alabama injury court in a timely manner.
In general, Alabama has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases. The law does allow exceptions when the injured party is a minor or is incompetent. In such cases, the two-year time period can be tolled — this is a legal term referring to the fact that something has stopped the statute timeline from counting down — to protect the injured victim until they are able to make their own decision or can have a guardian appointed on their behalf by an Alabama court.
Additionally, the statute of limitations may be tolled when the injury is not yet known. For example, an injury resulting from a doctor’s negligence may not be discovered until a few years after the procedure. In such cases, the statute of limitations does not begin until the injury is actually discovered. This is known as the discovery rule. If an injury is first discovered years after the injury occurred, an exception to the two-year rule may apply.
Alabama personal injury cases typically adhere to the two-year rule, as noted, but there are meaningful exceptions. A product liability injury case, for example, has a one-year statute of limitations period that runs from the date of injury. However, when a product liability case involves ingestion of a harmful substance or exposure to a harmful substance, a plaintiff may use the discovery rule to commence a lawsuit within one year of the date that the injury was or should have been discovered.
In any case, no matter what category your Alabama personal injury case falls under, it is in your best interest to seek out a trusted Alabama injury attorney as soon as possible. If you file even one day too late under the typical two-year statute of limitations scenario, you may have waived your right to file a lawsuit.
Still, it is worth contacting an Alabama injury attorney if you believe the statute of limitations has run its course. There may be an exception to the standard limitation period. Either way, find an attorney as soon as you are aware of the injury so you can file a lawsuit and receive the compensation to which you may be entitled.
The next part of this Guide to Alabama Injury Law will shed light on the types of Alabama injury claims and how liability is determined for each claim type. Contact Alabama injury attorney Noel B. Leonard or call 251-943-8638 for a legal consultation with a trusted Alabama injury attorney who protects the rights of injured Alabamans. Noel’s office is located in Foley, which allows him to represent injured victims in the city of Foley as well as Baldwin, Mobile and Escambia Counties.
To learn more about Alabama Personal Injury, review all six parts to this guide: