Personal Injury Statute of Limitations in Alabama

The right to file a personal injury lawsuit in Alabama is not unlimited. Like any lawsuit, there is a time limit on when you can file it in court. This is known as the statute of limitations. If you miss this deadline, there are few exceptions that allow you to file a lawsuit, meaning you would lose the ability to seek financial compensation now and in the future. It is essential that you consult with a Wedowee personal injury attorney immediately. Steve Morris Law can help you seek financial compensation in your case.

The Statute of Limitations in Alabama

In Alabama, you have two years from the time you were injured or should have known that you were injured to file a personal injury lawsuit. This is a non-negotiable deadline that courts take seriously, and you have the burden of proof to show if an exception applies. Arguing for an exception is often a moot exercise, as it is rarely accepted.

One of the major exceptions to the statute of limitations is the discovery rule. You may not have known right away that you were injured. For example, you may have been injured by medical malpractice, which may not have been immediately apparent. You may only discover your injuries months or years later.

That said, it is incumbent upon you to recognize and not deliberately ignore signs of an injury. You must use your own due diligence, such as seeing a doctor, to determine if you have been injured. If you have ignored signs of an injury for too long, the defendant may argue that the statute of limitations should have begun to run at the time when you should have known of your injury.

What if I Wait Too Long to File a Lawsuit?

The court does not have the legal authority to hear any case that is filed past the statute of limitations.

The defendant may file an answer in your case, claiming the statute of limitations as an affirmative defense, and could file a motion to dismiss your case. Alternatively, the court may raise the issue itself, leaving it to both parties to brief the court on the issue so that the court can potentially dismiss the case for missing the statute of limitations.

Two Years Is Not as Long as You Think

Lawyers aren’t using the statute of limitations to get you to hire them immediately for your case. They understand that it takes time to investigate a claim and put you in a position to file a lawsuit. The longer you wait to make a case, the more at risk your case may become.

In many instances, you may not go directly to court. Your attorney may explore filing an insurance claim against the responsible party’s policy. It takes time to both file the claim and negotiate with the insurance company. As you approach the statute of limitations, it may be in your best interest to file a lawsuit and begin the legal process in court.

Either way, time passes quickly in a personal injury case. It is better to hire an attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will handle all the details of your case, including tracking the necessary deadlines so you can file your lawsuit in time.

Do Not Wait Until the Last Minute

It never helps to wait until the last minute for a number of reasons. It will take an extended amount of time from when you file a claim or lawsuit to receive any check. There is an extensive legal process before you can be paid. While you are not obligated to hire a lawyer, you put yourself in the best position when you engage professional legal support.

Your lawyer needs time to work on your case and to ensure you don’t lose valuable evidence that can be used to prove your case. If you do not give your lawyer enough time, it becomes exponentially harder to get a full and fair financial recovery for your injuries.

Contact an Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you have been injured in an accident, call Steve Morris Law today to begin the process of seeking financial compensation for your injuries. There is no reason why you can or should try to handle a personal injury case on your own. You can schedule a free initial consultation with our law office by messaging us online or by calling us today at 256-357-9211. We are ready and able to help.

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