Every state has time limits for filing personal injury and other types of civil lawsuits in state courts, and Alabama is no exception. Known as the “statute of limitations,” this rule sets a deadline for filing an injury claim. Claims filed after the deadline cannot be heard in state courts, making this deadline essential to protecting your rights if another party has harmed you through negligence.
For cases involving personal injury or property damage in Alabama, the following statutes of limitations typically apply:
- Personal Injuries: 2 years, or 6 years under certain contracts
- Property Damage: 2 years if caused by negligence, or 6 years if related to trespass
- Medical Malpractice: 2 years
In most injury cases, the time period for filing the claim begins to run on the date the injury occurs. For instance, if you are injured in a car accident, you most likely have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
Some claims, however, have limitations periods that begin to run on the date the injury was discovered, not the date it occurred. This may be the case if you have an injury that could not have been reasonably discovered on the date it happened, such as an injury resulting from a medical misdiagnosis that you could not have known occurred until it became clear you were misdiagnosed.
Other types of “torts,” or civil wrongs, are subject to other deadlines. For instance, claims for trespass or collection of rent have a six year statute of limitations in many situations, as do claims for breach of contract. The statute of limitations on collecting a judgment can be as long as twenty years.
If you’ve been injured by another party’s negligence in Alabama, you have a limited amount of time to file your case in a court. Talk to an experienced Birmingham injury attorney as soon as possible, so you can ensure that your case is filed within the statute of limitations.