13 May STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS: HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO FILE MY LAWSUIT?
by: William Channing Brashaw, Attorney
The statute of limitations is a critical part of the process when it comes to filing and maintaining a lawsuit. Both the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require for plaintiffs to file their lawsuit within a certain amount of time. This amount of time is referred to as the statute of limitations.
Primarily, the statute of limitations is determined by either state law or federal law. For example, one can find the statute of limitations for Alabama civil state law claims in Alabama Code §6-2-30 to §6-2-41 which can be found here.
However, be aware that the statute of limitations is not the same for every claim and/or offense. While the statute of limitation in Alabama for a negligence action (i.e. an injury caused by a negligent driver) is two years, the statute of limitations for a contract action (i.e. a tenant’s failure to pay rent) is six years. Not only are the statute of limitations different for different state law claims, but it also differs with different federal claims. A different statute of limitations can even be found in the same claim. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the statute of limitations changes depending on the conduct of the employer. If the employer acted negligently in failing to pay minimum wage or overtime pay, then the statute of limitations is two years. However, if the employer was willful in their refusal to pay minimum wage or overtime pay, then the statute of limitations is expanded to three years.
It is obvious from this brief discussion regarding the statute of limitations that navigating the legal process can be confusing, even when it is just trying to figure out how long you may have to file a lawsuit. If you believe you may have a case and have questions about whether your time limit has expired, please give the experienced Alabama personal injury attorneys at The Patton Firm a call today.
Disclaimer: No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services to be performed by other lawyers