As a southeastern state in the United States, Alabama is well-known as the Heart of Dixie, Yellowhammer State, and Cotton State. It is located between Georgia and Mississippi. Alabama attracts many travelers with its beauty and charm, but it also has its share of busy and dangerous roads.
If you have been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence in Alabama, then you can claim compensation for your injuries and losses. Consulting personal injury lawyers in Alabama will greatly help this cause.
However, before you file a personal injury claim or lawsuit, you must understand the personal injury law in Alabama. In this article, we have discussed six important things you need to consider about personal injury law in Alabama.
- Statute of Limitations
Alabama has deadlines for filing personal injury lawsuits in court. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations. You should file a personal injury claim within two years from the date of the injury.
For specific types of personal injury cases, Alabama has different statutes of limitations. For a minor, the two-year period starts after they turn 19. Claims against a county must be filed within a year. If a claim is rejected, you have six months to file a lawsuit.
- Contributory Negligence
Alabama still follows the contributory negligence rule. Under this rule, you cannot collect any compensation if you are found responsible for your injuries in any way. This contributory negligence rule applies only to individuals who are 14 years old or older.
Basically, contributory negligence works like a claim killer. The contributory negligence rule in Alabama can be used by insurance providers and defendants to reduce or deny your claim. They will try to argue that you were partly to blame for your injury by pointing out any errors or mistakes that you made.
They will also try to use any statements or evidence that you provide to support their argument. So, insurance providers will use this contributory negligence as leverage in settlement negotiations.
- Limits on Compensation (Damage Caps)
Alabama does not have any limit on compensation for damages in personal injury cases against a private individual.
For punitive damages to be awarded, you must prove the negligent party acted with conscious malice or deliberate intent. If deliberate or conscious malice is determined, the limit on recovery is increased.
The recovery of damages against a government entity has a limit of $100,000 for injuries or death in personal injury cases.
- Dog Bites Claim
While most states follow the one-bite rule, Alabama follows strict liability laws. This means that the dog owner is responsible for the injuries caused by their dog.
The dog bite law in Alabama applies not only to bites but also to any other injury or harm caused by a dog. Victims need to file a lawsuit within two years. They can claim compensation for
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
If an accident is caused by minors, then they will not be held responsible for causing injuries. Because Alabama applies different standards to minors. Depending on their age, their parents will be held liable for negligence.
At a specific age, minors can be held liable for intentional injuries they cause. Older children, such as teenagers, can be held legally responsible for their wrongdoing or negligence.
- Special Rules for Claims Against Counties and Municipalities
In Alabama, it is important to file a formal or written notice for a wrongful death or personal injury claim if the liable party is a government entity, such as a town, city, or county. You should provide the government with written notice of your personal injury claim.
Alabama declared that a wrongful death or personal injury claim should be presented against a town or city within six months. For counties, you should present your claim within 12 months.
Understanding personal injury law is important for victims who want to file a personal injury claim. Alabama has different personal injury laws. So, it is necessary to consult an experienced attorney in Alabama while filing a personal injury claim.