When you sit down with one of the attorneys at Gathings Law, one of the first things we will try to determine is the timeline of whatever happened with you. In some situations, figuring out the date an accident happened is easy. It is pretty simple to determine when you were involved in a car accident or when a product broke and hurt you. But the question becomes more difficult for situations that involve more complex issues such as pollution, fraud, or even some cases of medical malpractice.
But no matter what the issue is, the timeline matters because that determines how long we have to take your claim to court. Each situation, a car accident, a dangerous product, toxic exposure, medical malpractice, fraud, or many others, has a different “statute of limitations.” Statutes of limitations are laws that spell out how long you have to file a lawsuit. If you wait too long to file a lawsuit, you can lose all rights to be compensated for your claim and a judge will simply throw out your case.
Determining when the clock starts ticking on your case isn’t always easy. If a builder installed something incorrectly at your house but you didn’t realize the damage for a year, your clock may have started ticking the moment the builder did the work, not when you discovered it. If you realize that a company had dumped pollutants in your neighborhood years before, the statute of limitations may have started the day they stopped dumping or even the day they started dumping. Different defendants can also have different time limits. For example, if you are planning to file a lawsuit against a city government, you may only have six months to file your claim.
Typically in Alabama you have at least two years to file a lawsuit in civil court. But that varies with different issues so it is important to sit down with a lawyer quickly to get advice on how much time you have to act.
Don’t let your day in court slip away because you waited too long to talk with a lawyer. Contact Gathings Law and let us start working for you right away.