One of the first questions that must be answered before filing an automobile accident claim is the question of whether the claim is beyond the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the time period that the law allows for asserting a claim. If a claim is not brought within the time period allowed by the statute of limitations, it will be barred. This means that even if you have a clear cut case against someone arising out of an automobile accident, the court will dismiss your claim if you do not file it within the time period allowed by the statute of limitations.
Alabama law has a two-year statute of limitations for the filing of a personal injury or car accident claim. This means that because your claim was not filed at the expiration of two years, it is forever barred. Of course, as with most any rule of law, there are certain exceptions. The statute of limitations does not always apply to claims by minors or incompetents. Certain provisions can extend the time for claims by minors or those who are mentally disabled.
The overwhelming majority of personal injury claims are based in tort theories such as negligence, assault, recklessness, product liability, etc. "Tort" is defined as a civil wrong that justifies an award of monetary compensation. So, Alabama law puts most tort claims in one group for purposes of the statute of limitations.
OTHER TYPE CASES:
PERSONAL INJURY/NEGLIGENCE --- Two years
WRONGFUL DEATH --- Two years from date of death.
PRODUCTS LIABILITY --- Two years.
BREACH OF WARRANTY - Four years from the date of injury for consumer goods.
LIBEL AND SLANDER --- Two years.
MALICIOUS PROSECUTION --- Two years.
BREACH OF CONTRACT --- Six years.
FRAUD --- Two years from when plaintiff knew or reasonably should have known. This is one of only a few statutes allowing for a discovery period before the claim accrues.
BAD FAITH --- Two years. Bad Faith is a species of fraud, and gets the benefit of the discovery rule.
TRESPASS, CONVERSION, ASSAULT AND BATTERY, FALSE IMPRISONMENT, BREACH OF CONTRACT --- Six years. Date of accrual for contracts cases generally begins when the breach of the agreement occurred rather than when resulting damages were incurred.
Nelson, Bryan and Jones represents clients in the following areas: Social Security Disability, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Wrongful Death Cases, Personal Injury Actions, Defective Products, Insurance Disputes and Bad Faith, Fire Loss cases, Trucking Accidents, Worker’s Compensation, Drug Recalls, Employment Law and Property Damage Claims.
If you have any questions about a Statute of Limitations issue or any other legal issue, give us a call at Nelson, Bryan and Jones for a free consultation.
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