Personal Injury Law Offices in Alabama
The personal injury attorneys at Kanner & Pintaluga are committed to fighting for clients in Alabama who have suffered an injury due to another person’s negligence or reckless actions. Contact the office nearest you for a fast, free case evaluation.
What Makes Alabama Personal Injury Law Unique?
Alabama is NOT like most other states in terms of personal injury laws, as it abides by classic Contributory Negligence. Meaning, if the injured party is even one percent at fault, total recovery is barred. Another specific statute unique to Alabama is the Guest Passenger Statute bar to recovery, AL Stat. 32-1-2. Essentially, if you are passenger in the at fault vehicle, unless you either paid the driver compensation for the transportation, and/or the driver was reckless/intoxicated while driving, recovery against the driver of the vehicle in which you are a passenger is completely barred. The following are just some of regulations that may impact an Alabama personal injury victim’s ability to file a claim or limit the total damages they receive.
Alabama Personal Injury Laws
- Alabama has a two-year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim. If you are injured in Alabama, you must file your claim within two years of the injury.
- There was a time when Alabama had caps on some types of personal injury damages. These laws were primarily targeted at medical malpractice injury and wrongful death cases. The Alabama Supreme Court found those laws to be unconstitutional and they were struck down.
- There is still a $1,500,000 cap on punitive damages, if they are available for your injury. Punitive damages are not available in all cases and are intended to act as a deterrent to prevent the negligent party from committing the same transgression in the future. Drunk driving accident injuries, for example, may warrant punitive damages.
- Another unique aspect of Alabama personal injury law is the $100,000 limit for municipal liability. Municipal liability is specific to injuries caused by a city, county or other government body. This essentially means even if actions of city workers, such as law enforcement officers, or negligence in something like road maintenance leads to a crash, the maximum compensation the injury victim can receive from the liable municipality would be $100,000. In some cases, this relatively small settlement may not be enough to cover treatment, rehabilitation and continued care after an accident.
- In addition to compensation limitations, there are also stricter time limitations for filing a personal injury case if the negligent party injured you while carrying out their duties as a government agent or employee. If you were injured by the actions of a city worker, you must file your claim against the city within six months of your injury rather than the standard two years. If you were injured by a county employee, you must file a claim within one year. These claims are separate from your personal injury claim, but if you do not follow this procedural step you may not be able to file a personal injury claim after the time limit has passed.
- Alabama has stricter dog bite injury rules than many other states. Some states shield dog owners from lawsuits for the dog’s first bite if the owner had no reason to suspect the dog was dangerous prior to the bite occurring. Alabama does not have a one bite rule and holds dog owners liable for dog bites regardless of whether the dog has shown aggressive tendencies in the past or not.