A personal injury may result in high medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and emotional trauma. Fortunately, Alabama injury laws allow victims of personal injury to seek compensation. Below is some more information on this topic.
Visit the Henry Dailey Law Firm for more detailed information on Alabama injury laws as they apply to your case.
Statute of Limitations
Although personal injury claims in Alabama are based on different tort theories, including product liability, recklessness, negligence, and assault, Alabama injury laws put all tort claims in one group for the purposes of the statute of limitations.
The time limit for filing a personal injury claim in Alabama (statute of limitations) is two years. In other words, you must file a personal injury claim against any potential defendant within two years of the date you incurred the personal injury. However, there are several exceptions to this two-year rule. Specifically, a court can extend or “toll” the two-year period if the plaintiff is a minor or incompetent, or if the injury fails to manifest itself until after two years from the date of the accident. In case the plaintiff is a minor, the time starts to run out when the minor turns nineteen and is capable of making his or her own decisions. At the same time, the court may appoint a guardian to represent an incompetent plaintiff.
If you fail to file your personal injury claim within the two-year period, you can still file a breach of contract claim within six years of the date of the accident. For your breach of contract lawsuit to be successful, you would need to prove that your injury was caused by the defendant’s failure to comply with the terms of a contract.
Because Alabama still follows the “contributory negligence” rule, the defendant may claim that you were partially responsible for the accident that caused your injury. If the defendant succeeds in doing this, you will be unable to recover any compensation from the defendant or anyone else, even if the jury determines that the defendant was mostly to blame for the accident.
This means that you should discuss your case in detail with your Alabama personal injury attorney before you file a claim. If you do not have a watertight case against the defendant, a better option would be to settle your injury claim with an insurance adjuster. However, the adjuster will most likely offer a lowball settlement, so you should hire an experienced personal injury attorney to handle the settlement negotiations on your behalf.
Limitations on Damages
Although Alabama does not have damage caps, your estimation of damages, especially damages for future lost wages and medical expenses, should be reasonably accurate. This is particularly important become some restrictions do exist under certain situations.
For instance, more subjective damages, such as the non-economic damages or damages not based on your medical expenses, may be limited either by the circumstances of your situation or by the Alabama injury laws. Examples of such damages include the loss of companionship and services of your spouse, as well as pain and suffering.
Additionally, you may also receive punitive damages if your personal injury attorney in Birmingham can prove that the defendant willfully or maliciously injured you. However, punitive damages cannot exceed three times the actual damages or $1,500,000, or whichever is greater.
Injury Claims Against the Government
The rules are somewhat different if the defendant is an agent or employee of a government body (federal, state, municipal, county, town, or city). For starters, you would first need to file a formal claim. If you want to sue a municipality, you would need to do that within six months of the accident.
On the other hand, if you intend to sue a county, you would need to file a formal claim within one year of the accident. It is worth noting that, if you fail to file the formal claim properly, you may be unable to file a lawsuit later.
If you or your loved one has suffered a personal injury, you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately. Your attorney will help you get the compensation you deserve.