By Adam W. Pittman on March 25, 2022
AL Code § 6-2-38 generally gives you two years to file a car accident lawsuit. Your filing deadline begins from the date of your collision. However, some exceptions may apply.
What Is the Statute of Limitations? How Does It Affect My Case?
The statute of limitations sets the deadline for how long you have to file your case. It serves many purposes. For instance, it prevents old civil cases from clogging up the judicial system. It also allows for the prompt collection of time-sensitive evidence, such as traffic camera footage.
You must abide by Alabama’s car accident statute of limitations because:
- The court will dismiss your case if you file after the standard two-year period expires.
- You would be unable to file your case again – even if additional evidence came to light.
- The insurance company would have little incentive to approve your claim if too much time has passed between your collision and now.
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Certain Exceptions Could Affect How Much Time You Have
While most car accident cases must follow the two-year filing deadline, some do not. In some cases, your filing deadline could be altered if you sustained your injuries as a minor. You could have additional time from the date of your 18th birthday to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
When you partner with a car accident lawyer, they can evaluate your situation and explain how long you have to file.
The Statute of Limitations Isn’t the Only Time-Sensitive Aspect of Your Case
You want as much evidence as possible to support your case. However, as noted, evidence does not last forever. For instance, traffic camera footage can get automatically deleted. In addition, eyewitnesses may move away or forget critical details.
You want to gather evidence as soon as possible. By promptly considering your legal options, you can get the information you need to support your case.
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The Statute of Limitations Applies to Car Accident Lawsuits, Not Insurance Claims
The Alabama Department of Revenue notes that all motorists must carry liability insurance. Therefore, after getting hurt in an accident, you would file a claim with the liable driver’s insurance company, whether yours or the other party’s.
Each insurance company sets its filing deadline. However, most companies want to know about collisions as soon as they happen. As a result, partnering with a car accident attorney benefits you because they’ll manage everything about your claim or lawsuit, including the filing deadline.
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Filing Your Lawsuit on Time Lets You Pursue These Losses
By filing your lawsuit within Alabama’s car accident statute of limitations, you allow yourself to recover these damages:
- Car repair or replacement expenses
- Medical bills, both past and future
- Lost income, benefits, and bonuses
- Lost job opportunities
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
If you lost a loved one in a car accident in Alabama, you can pursue recovery against the person responsible and recover punitive damages to punish wrongdoing and deter others from doing the same wrongful conduct. You would also have two years to file your wrongful death lawsuit, except your filing deadline would begin from the date of your loved one’s passing, not their accident.
Consider Partnering With a Car Accident Lawyer on Your Case
You don’t have to navigate the legal system on your own. Instead, you have the opportunity to partner with a lawyer on your insurance claim or lawsuit. They will handle everything your case requires—from calculating your losses to filing your lawsuit.
While thinking about legal representation, consider the following:
- Many car accident lawyers work on a contingency-fee basis. If you partner with one of these attorneys, you will pay nothing upfront or out-of-pocket for their help.
- Your lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company. If it offers a settlement, you wouldn’t have to file a lawsuit and go to trial.
- You don’t want to accept an offer that doesn’t fairly compensate you for your losses. When you partner with a car accident lawyer, they can calculate your damages (including pain and suffering) and recover what you’re owed.
You should consider hiring a lawyer with positive feedback, years of experience, and a wealth of legal resources.
Connect With Cory Watson Attorneys to Explore Your Legal Options
Cory Watson Attorneys has secured more than $3 billion in damages for injured claimants. We extend legal aid to accident victims living in Alabama.
If you’re interested in partnering with our firm, call our team today at (205) 328-2200. Your initial consultation is free, and you can ask us anything about your options.