If you are looking to file a personal injury lawsuit in Alabama, then there are some facts that you should know before proceeding. Here are some laws that will directly affect your lawsuit:
The Statute of Limitations
First of all, you need to make sure that you file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations is up. In Alabama, you generally have 2 years to file your claim.
If you do not, then your lawsuit will likely be thrown out. There are exceptions to this, such as when a minor wants to file or when the actual injury was not discovered until after the statute of limitations expired.
Minors should file when they reach legal age, which is 19 in Alabama. For injuries that were undiscovered, you will need to file soon after you do discover the injuries, since your 2 years will usually begin counting from the date of discovery.
Caps on Damages
Many states have strict limits on certain types of damages, and Alabama is no exception. However, these restrictions do not actually apply to the vast majority of personal injury lawsuits for reasons that will soon become evident.
The first restriction is that punitive damages are normally limited to either $1,500,000 or 3 times the size of your other damages, whichever is greater. However, most cases don't actually allow for punitive damages, since they require extremely specific criteria to be met. If you cannot prove that the other party acted out of gross negligence, then you aren't going to win punitive damages. On top of that, punitive damages are meant to punish the other party, rather than to provide you with compensation.
There are other restrictions that may come into play if you intend to file a lawsuit against the government or a healthcare provider, but those cases tend to be judged uniquely. You should talk to an expert before filing against either of those entities, since there are a lot of laws created specifically for those situations.
Another important legal element that you will need to consider is exactly how responsible you were for your injury. In some states, if the other party can prove that you were 20% responsible for your injury, the court will reduce your compensation by 20%.
This is NOT the case in Alabama, which subscribes to a much harsher system. If the other party can prove that you were responsible in any capacity, you cannot sue them for any damages whatsoever.
For more information, contact Knochel Law or a similar firm.
My husband has worked in the construction industry for nearly twenty years. Three years ago, he decided to open his own business performing renovation work. Having so much experience helped him land clients and showed him that he has to protect himself from the clients that aren't so easy to please. We started working with an attorney in the beginning to have all of the contracts drawn up and have called when things go badly with clients. This blog will show you what you need to do to protect yourself from legal liabilities when you work as a contractor in today's world.