What You Need To Know About Alabama’s Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury

Personal injury cases can be complex and emotional. Here’s everything you need to know about Alabama’s statute of limitations for personal injuries.

In Alabama, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is 2 years. Courts can raise personal injury claims on the following grounds: negligence, strict liability, or intentional wrongs.

How Does the Statute of Limitations Work?

Statute of limitations are laws dictating how long after a certain event occurs that a case can be opened and tried in court. If the statute of limitations has passed, an individual can no longer file a claim in court. Statute of limitations aim to ensure fairness and protect the integrity of the case. Over long periods of time, evidence and memories can erode, comprising a fair trial. Statute of limitations help ensure cases are tried in a fair and timely manner.

Statute of limitations can vary by state. To find the statute of limitations for Alabama in particular, all statute of limitations for the state of Alabama can be found here.

What are Personal Injury Cases?

Personal injury cases are legal disputes that arise when an individual is injured or harmed on account of “someone else’s act or failure to act.

Related: Bodily Injury vs Personal Injury: The Difference

Making a Personal Injury Claim

Personal Injury law is the occurrence of injury to a person’s being, emotions, or reputation. Courts typically raise personal injury claims raised on three legal grounds:

1. Negligence

Negligence in the courts of law is the failure to behave with an appropriate level of care someone would normally have behaved with under the same circumstance. This behavior can consist of actions, but also include someone’s lack of action when called for. For example, a driver who fails to stop at a stop sign can be liable for negligence and hence a personal injury lawsuit if their failure to stop causes an injury crash.

2. Strict Liability

Strict Liability holds manufacturers strictly liable for any personal injuries resulting from a defective product. Under strict liability, the injured person does not need to claim negligence by the manufacturer, but rather prove the product was designed in a damaging and dangerous manner when used as supposed.

3. Intentional Wrongs

Intentional wrongs in personal injury cases occur from an intentional act by the accused party. Although acts intentionally causing injury to a person are typically tried as criminal cases, an individual can also claim personal injury in civil court. For example, if someone hits you as part of a practical joke, then they can be held responsible for the injury inflicted.

Personal injury claims are made in the event another party has inflicted injury unto an individual. Regardless of what legal ground the personal injury claim is made, one must establish liability and damages. In particular, whether the accused is truly liable for the harm sustained, and, if so, what is the extent of the harm.

What is Alabama’s Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury?

Alabama’s statute of limitations for personal injury is set at 2 years. Per Section 6-2-38 of Alabama Code, any actions to recover damages for any wrongful act, omission, or negligence causing death/injury must be commenced within 2 years of the accident.

Related: Benefits of Settling a Personal Injury Case

What Happens if a Personal Injury Case Reaches the 2-Year Statute of Limitations?

If a personal injury case reaches its 2 year statute of limitations, courts may reject the lawsuit. There are a couple of exceptions to this limitation.

Exceptions to the 2 year statute of limitations include the following:

Civil action suits involving trespassing, rent collection, and debt collection have an extended limitation of 6 years rather than 2 years
The statute may be extended if an injury was not discovered until after the 2 years have already passed, meaning that the limitation may begin after reasonable discovery of injury rather than the day of the accident.

Extending the statute of limitations occurs only if extenuating circumstances affect the case. Alabama courts will consider each case before ruling on whether or not an extension is warranted.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one would like to learn more about Alabama Personal Injury Statute of Limitations, get your free consultation with one of our Personal Injury Attorneys in Alabama today!