How Long After an Accident Can You Sue in Alabama?

hourglass on table represents question, how long after an accident can you sue

How Long After an Accident Can You Sue in Alabama?

If you are trying to understand how long after an accident can you sue, you’ll want to understand how Alabama’s statute of limitations for car accidents works. Section 6-2-38 of the Code of Alabama clarifies that in most cases you have two years from the time of the accident to file a claim. There are exceptions, and we will take a look at those in this article, but if you are looking for a general rule, most of the time you have two years to initiate your claim.

What Are Exceptions to the Two-Year Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims

While the two-year statute dating from the time of the accident covers most claims in Alabama, it is important to know the exceptions. The Code of Alabama specifies several instances that fall outside of the general rule. We’ve outlined exceptions to the statute of limitations below.

Exceptions to the Alabama Statute of Limitations

Accidents Resulting in Wrongful Death Any action to recover damages related to a wrongful death must be commenced within two years from the date of the death — not the date of the accident.
Accidents Involving Government Employee or Entity If the at-fault party is a government entity, there may be specific procedures and timelines to follow. Sovereign immunity can affect the time within which a claim must be filed against a government entity.
Accidents Involving Minors If a minor is involved in a car accident, the statute of limitations may be tolled (suspended) until the minor reaches the age of majority. Once the minor turns 19, they generally have two years to file a claim.
Accidents Product Liability In cases where a defective product (such as a faulty car part) contributed to the accident, product liability laws may have different statutes of limitations.


Consult with an Alabama personal injury attorney to understand how these exceptions may apply to your specific situation. 

Preserving Evidence for a Stronger Case

The best course of action after a car, truck, or motorcycle accident is to connect with a lawyer specializing in personal injury claims — the sooner the better. Sometimes, though, often for reasons out of our control, time passes before we are able to get started and reach out to lawyer. In this section, we’ll go over a checklist of reminders on what to do if you’ve been in a car accident and how to preserve evidence for a stronger case.

Preserving Evidence for a Stronger Case: A Checklist

✅  Ensure Safety First: Prioritize safety by moving to a safe location, checking for injuries, and calling for emergency medical assistance if needed.

✅  Contact Law Enforcement: Report the accident to the police, ensuring an official record of the incident is created. Obtain a copy of the Alabama crash report for your records.

✅  Exchange Information: Exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties involved in the accident. Include names, phone numbers, addresses, insurance details, and vehicle registration information.

✅  Document the Scene: Use your smartphone or a camera to take photographs of the accident scene, vehicle damages, and any visible injuries. These visual records can serve as crucial evidence later.

✅  Gather Witness Information: If there are witnesses, collect their names and contact details. Witness statements can be valuable in supporting your version of events.

✅  Avoid Admitting Fault: Refrain from admitting fault or making statements that could be construed as an admission of liability. Stick to factual information when discussing the accident.

✅  Seek Medical Attention: Even if injuries seem minor, seek prompt medical attention. Some injuries may not manifest immediately, and a medical professional can document your condition.

✅  Notify Your Insurance Company: Inform your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Provide accurate and detailed information while avoiding speculation.

By following these steps, you not only ensure your safety and well-being but also lay the groundwork for a stronger case should you decide to pursue a claim. Remember that consulting with a personal injury attorney soon after the accident can provide personalized guidance based on the specifics of your situation.

Ready to Secure Your Rights and Recovery?

In addition to assessing your case in relation to Alabama’s statute of limitations laws, an experienced Alabama car and truck accident lawyer can help navigate the entire claims process. Take the next step in ensuring your rights are protected and your recovery is prioritized. Whether you’ve recently been in a car accident or you are involved in a wrongful death claim, a car accident lawyer can be your guide.

Don’t let legal complexities add to your stress. Contact a qualified car accident lawyer for a free case review. Your journey to fair compensation and peace of mind begins now—let a dedicated attorney advocate for you.

Jay Pickering, an experienced Alabama car accident lawyer.

Attorney Jay Pickering brings over 27 years of unwavering dedication to personal injury law, with a sharp focus on representing those injured in car, truck, and motorcycle accidents across Alabama. A proud alum of the University of Alabama School of Law, Jay is a member of the Alabama State Bar and the American Bar Association.