If you are injured in a slip and fall, work injury, auto accident, or another incident in Alabama, financial compensation is available. Personal injury claims can help AL residents with medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Statute of Limitations
All states have a time limit for filing a personal injury claim called a statue of limitations. Alabama has a statute of limitations of TWO YEARS from the date of the accident to file a claim.
- If you were a minor at the time of the accident, the two-year period does not start until you turn 19.
Motor Vehicle Insurance and AL
Alabama is a fault state when it comes to auto insurance. This means that if you are injured in an auto accident, you are able to seek compensation from the at-fault driver. To do this, you have a few different options:
- File a claim with your own insurance company
- File a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance, called a third party claim
- File a personal injury claim in court against the at-fault driver
Who is at Fault for an Accident in AL
Alabama is one of a handful of states that follows the “contributory negligence” rule. This means that if a court determines you are partially responsible for the incident in any way, even a very small way, you may not be able to receive any compensation. EXAMPLE:
Paul Rossi was reading an email on his mobile phone while in line at a coffee shop. When it was his turn in line, he slipped and fell on a spill in front of him, breaking his wrist. The judge determined that because Paul was looking at his phone and not paying attention, he was 20% responsible for the accident. The court awarded Paul $4,000 in damages, but because of the contributory negligence rule, he did not receive any portion of the money.
A Previous Alabama Personal Injury Claim
According to Justia U.S. Law, a recent personal injury case in Alabama was Yanmar America Corporation v. Nichols. Nichols purchased a tractor from Yanmar America Corporation and lent it to his brother, who suffered severe and permanent injuries when the machine allegedly malfunctioned and flipped over. The court awarded Nichols a $90,000 settlement.
Damage Caps in Alabama
Some states limit the amount of compensation you can receive for a personal injury claim, which is called a damage cap. Alabama currently does not have a damage cap, with a few exceptions:
- For punitive damages, there is a $1,500,000 damage cap, and the injured party must provide clear evidence that the other party acted with malicious intent beyond just negligence.
- In cases where a city, town, or county is the at-fault party, the damage cap is $100,000.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Alabama
If you have suffered a personal injury due to the actions of another individual, such as an injury from an auto accident or slip and fall incident, you should consult with a Alabama personal injury attorney. Your attorney will help you to, establish fault, determine what damages you should seek, and recover any losses you may have suffered due to the injury.