Alabama Statute of Limitations and Car Accident Laws
If you were injured in an Alabama car accident, you could be entitled to seek compensation for your medical bills and other expenses through a car accident claim. However, you must prove that someone else’s negligence caused your injuries to recover the money you are owed. To prove this, you must understand the laws in Alabama regarding negligence and how fault is determined after a crash.
Alabama Auto Insurance Requirements
Like most states, Alabama follows a fault system regarding auto insurance and car accidents. If someone is at fault for a car accident, injured victims can hold them responsible for their losses.
Alabama has mandatory liability insurance laws, which require vehicle owners and drivers to carry at least:
- $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
- $25,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage
This basic liability coverage pays for medical expenses and property damage costs for other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians involved in an accident you cause. Remember that liability coverage does not pay for your injuries or property damage.
Alabama Fault Laws and System
Another important legal concept is Alabama’s pure contributory negligence doctrine. Under this doctrine, injury victims cannot recover financial compensation in court if they contributed to the accident in any way. This means you are barred from recovery if you are even one percent at fault.
Not only does the pure contributory negligence doctrine prevent Alabama judges and juries from awarding you compensation if you are partially at fault, but it can also influence auto insurance claims. Claims adjusters make their determinations and settlement offers based on what they predict could happen in court. You should be prepared for hardball negotiations if any evidence suggests you share responsibility for a car wreck.
Limits on Recoverable Compensation in Alabama
Generally, Alabama does not limit the compensation you can recover for your losses in a car accident claim. However, there are three important exceptions to this rule:
- Punitive damages – Punitive damages are awarded in rare cases when an at-fault party acted with intentional malice or extreme recklessness. Alabama has a cap for this type of compensation of up to three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded or $1.5 million, whichever is greater.
- Small business claims – If you have a claim against a small business, the most you can claim is $50,000 or up to 10 percent of the company’s net worth, whichever amount is greater.
- Government claims – If you have a claim against a local government agency, the most you can recover is $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident.
Alabama Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Injuries
If you want to pursue a personal injury lawsuit after an Alabama car accident, the statute of limitations gives you just two years from the date of the accident to file. If you don’t begin your lawsuit before the deadline, the court can dismiss your case. Working with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer is essential to keep your case on track.
Contact an Alabama Car Accident Attorney Today
If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence on the road in Alabama, don’t hesitate to contact an Alabama car accident lawyer from Stokes Stemle, LLC. Our consultations are free, and we won’t charge you anything until we win your case.