Car accidents can cause serious, lasting injuries that affect victims for years to come. Even minor accidents can result in injuries that are expensive to treat and require significant time off work. Many people are aware that there are several avenues to explore in order to recover these costs, but most do not realize that there is a time limit for filing a civil lawsuit for injuries.
Even if you intend on filing your claim for injury compensation via an insurance company, it is important to keep these time limits in mind. At the Morris Bart law firm, we regularly represent clients who have suffered injuries due to another company or individual’s negligence, and we may be able to do the same for you. We can look through the specifics of your accident and advise you on how to proceed.
Call us today at (800) 537-8185 to schedule an appointment. An experienced Mobile personal-injury lawyer can meet with you to discuss your options. In the meantime, read on to learn more about the statute of limitations in Alabama.
Personal Injury Claim Time Limits in Alabama
As in other states, there is a time limit for filing a civil claim in Alabama. This means that if you approach the courts with a claim regarding injuries you sustained in a car crash after the specified time limit, it is likely they will not hear the matter. They can turn you away without any other reason. By allowing time to expire without action, you have essentially forfeited your right to pursue fair compensation. You must avoid delaying to protect your rights.
According to the Alabama Code, you must commence any legal action to recover damages relating to negligence within two years of the incident. The court will typically consider the start date to be the date when the accident occurred or the date when a reasonable person would have discovered the damages. If your personal injury claim relates to toxic substances, the case time limit will usually commence when your symptoms begin to show, and medical malpractice suits typically have a four-year time limit.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
Exceptions to the Deadline Set by the Statute of Limitations
Under some circumstances, you may have more or less than two years to file your initial paperwork and begin a civil suit in Alabama. While the two-year statute applies to the vast majority of cases, some have delayed start dates or additional deadlines that alter the timeline.
You May Have Less Time to File if a Government Agency Caused the Accident
One reason that you may have significantly less time than you believe is when the liable party is a government agency such as a municipality, county, public school, or similar entity. This situation can occur when:
- An employee caused your injuries while on the job.
- You suffered injuries on the agency’s property.
- Your child was hurt in a school bus accident.
- You were hit by a garbage truck or other government vehicle.
When building a case against a government agency, you may only have a few weeks to notify them of your injuries and begin the claims process. We encourage you to contact us right away if you believe the city, county, or state may be responsible for your accident and injuries.
Minors or Those With Disabilities May Have More Time to Take Action
You may have more time than you realize if the victim was your child or a loved one who did not have the mental capacity to discover and report their injuries immediately afterward. When a child or someone with limited cognitive abilities is hurt, it may toll the deadline until they reach a certain age or are able to make decisions on their own.
It is important to note, though, that this is not always the case, so you should make every effort to meet the two-year deadline.
Why the Time Limit Is Important
It may be difficult or impossible to recover the money you need to pay your bills, cover losses, and get back on your feet through a negotiated settlement if you wait too long. While the statute of limitations does not technically apply to insurance claims, it can affect your ability to convince the insurance company you are due appropriate compensation.
Legal experts suggest that you adhere to these time limits and take action against the negligent individual even if you do not necessarily intend on filing a civil lawsuit. The threat of a lawsuit is often enough to encourage insurance companies to pay compensation, and they may be more difficult to work with if they are aware that the statute of limitations has expired.
Furthermore, if your insurance claim is not successful, you will still have the legal option to fall back on. In other words, having the ability to sue, if necessary, provides crucial leverage when negotiating for a fair and just payout from the other party’s insurance company.
How to Protect Your Right to Seek a Financial Recovery
To help ensure your right to fair compensation for your injuries and losses, consider reaching out to a personal injury law firm as soon as possible after your injuries stabilize. One of their lawyers can determine the deadlines that apply in your case and go to work developing and supporting an insurance claim on your behalf.
If it has already been several weeks or months since your injuries occurred, act now. The sooner a lawyer evaluates your case and explains the deadlines, the sooner you can get started.
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Connect With an Attorney from Morris Bart & Associates, LLC
An experienced personal injury lawyer can look through the case and determine if you have a valid claim. If you sustained injuries in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, call the Morris Bart law office today at (800) 537-8185.
An experienced Mobile personal injury attorney can assess the specifics of your case to determine if you may have a legitimate claim for damages. You may be able to recover costs associated with medical expenses and lost wages, and we will work with you to give you the best chance of success.
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