What is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury in Alabama?

Like other states, Alabama has set a deadline for accident victims to file a lawsuit. You can find the deadline in the relevant statute of limitations. Generally, the law gives you two years to file a lawsuit, but there are exceptions, which we discuss in this article.

General Rule: Two Years to File a Lawsuit

You can find the law at Alabama Code § 6-2-38(l). It states that you get two years to file for “any injury” to a person.

Typically, your action accrues on the day you are hurt. This is usually the day of the accident. Someone struck in a motor vehicle crash will typically know right away they are injured, so the clock will begin on that date.

This two-year deadline applies to many common accidents, such as:Car accident rear end

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Slip and falls
  • Pedestrian collisions

The Discovery Rule

With most accidents, a victim knows they are hurt almost immediately. But with some accidents, an injury will develop only slowly over time. In that case, the discovery rule might apply.

Under this rule, the clock doesn’t begin to run until you discover your injury or you should have discovered it. For example, you might be involved in an accident in January but not realize you’ve suffered brain injuries until July. The clock shouldn’t begin until July.

We strongly encourage you not to rely on the discovery rule. Instead, you should call our firm as soon as possible.

Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death: Two Years from the Date of Death


A loved one might have died in an accident, which could provide the basis for a wrongful death claim. The statute of limitations gives you two years to file from the day of the death (not the day of the accident).

Defective Product: 1 Year to Sue

Many people are injured by a product which is defective in design or possibly was made with shoddy materials. Other products are defective when they lack sufficient warnings or labels.

Our clients are injured by all sorts of defective products, including:

  • Furniture
  • Batteries
  • Appliances
  • Clothing
  • Children’s toys
  • Bicycles and All-terrain vehicles
  • Motor vehicle parts

You have one year to file a lawsuit from the date of the injury. That is not a lot of time, so contact The Harris Firm right away.

Medical Malpractice: Two Years

Medical malpractice also has a two-year statute of limitation. The discovery rule applies more often with medical malpractice cases, because some time passes from the date you received inadequate care to the day you discover its effects.

Harris Firm AttorneysFor example, a doctor might have failed to diagnose cancer, and you don’t get a correct diagnosis until several years have passed.

What if Your Child is Injured?

The law creates special rules for minors under 19, who are considered d

isabled. That means the clock won’t start until your child reaches 19. Still, you can try to negotiate by calling our firm.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

Accident victims should not handle their own cases. Let us review whether you have a solid case and your odds of success bringing a claim. Call The Harris Firm at (205) 578-6470 to schedule your free consultation.

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