Injuries caused by someone else’s negligence are especially tragic because in most instances, they could have been avoided. When you lose a loved one because someone behaved badly, used poor judgment or was downright reckless, you may be entitled to monetary compensation to help pay for the expenses associated with the death and to help you deal with other financial troubles that have come your way. A personal injury attorney specializes in cases in which people have died or have been severely harmed in some way by the negligence or wrongdoing of others. You will need an Alabama personal injury lawyer to proceed with legal action against the party or parties who harmed you or a loved one.
One very important factor to note if you believe you have a personal injury claim is that there are time limits to file suit; these time periods are referred to as “statutes of limitations,” and they vary for each type of personal injury case. Your lawyer will be able to tell you if you have time to take legal action and recover monetary compensation, but don’t delay because the longer you wait, the more you lessen your chances of meeting the deadline to file. There’s a two-year statute of limitations for most personal injury cases in Alabama. Let’s take a look at some other specific areas of law and the statutes of limitations that apply to those areas.
Medical Malpractice Statutes of Limitations in Alabama
In Alabama, the statutes of limitations for medical malpractice are quite involved and can be confusing to the layperson. Your attorney, however, will know them inside and out and will be able to explain how these time periods apply after he/she hears the details of your situation. With medical malpractice statutes of limitations, there is a standard deadline, which gives victims of medical malpractice two years to take legal action. Unless you fall within one of the exceptions created by the other parts of the statute of limitations, you won’t be able to file after the two-year mark.
What is referred to as the “discovery rule” is another aspect of the statute of limitations for Alabama medical malpractice cases. The discovery rule applies when the victim could not reasonably have learned that he or she even had a medical malpractice case because the injury or harm was not evident. The discovery rule states that if the injured person did not discover the injury and could not reasonably have discovered the injury within the two-year time period, the lawsuit may be filed within six months from the date of discovery or the date of discovery of information which would reasonably lead to discovery of the injury, whichever date comes first.
Another part of the statute of limitations is the deadline for minors (children under age eighteen) or their parents or legal guardians to take legal action. In Alabama, there is a special deadline only for minor children under age four at the time of the malpractice; if a child under four is the victim of medical malpractice, he/she has until the eighth birthday to file a lawsuit.
Alabama Product Liability Statute of Limitations
The standard time period to take legal action for product liability cases is two years in Alabama. However, Alabama’s discovery rule gives you an additional 12 months from when you discovered (or should have discovered) the injury or harm if it was not immediately evident. In many cases with defective products, the defect does not manifest itself for years after the product was first sold. Your Alabama product liability attorney will be able to explain the specifics of product liability statutes of limitations after hearing the facts of your case.
Breach of Contract Statute of Limitations
In Alabama, there is a six-year statute of limitations for breach of contract for both verbal and written contracts. The one exception is that sale of goods contracts have only a four-year time period to file suit.
Talk to a law firm in your area if you have questions about Alabama laws.