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Alabama's Statutes of Limitations for Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death

Statutes of limitations set the time limits within which every lawsuit must be filed or be barred and forever lost. In Alabama, an action for medical malpractice or wrongful death must be commenced within two (2) years of the accrual of the cause of action. Exceptions and tolling provisions apply to actions for medical malpractice.

Alabama Statutes of Limitations
Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death

Medical Malpractice - Two (2) Years with Exceptions

Section 6-5-482 Limitation on time for commencement of action.

(a) All actions against physicians, surgeons, dentists, medical institutions, or other health care providers for liability, error, mistake, or failure to cure, whether based on contract or tort, must be commenced within two years next after the act, or omission, or failure giving rise to the claim, and not afterwards; provided, that if the cause of action is not discovered and could not reasonably have been discovered within such period, then the action may be commenced within six months from the date of such discovery or the date of discovery of facts which would reasonably lead to such discovery, whichever is earlier; provided further, that in no event may the action be commenced more than four years after such act; except, that an error, mistake, act, omission, or failure to cure giving rise to a claim which occurred before September 23, 1975, shall not in any event be barred until the expiration of one year from such date.


(b) Subsection (a) of this section shall be subject to all existing provisions of law relating to the computation of statutory periods of limitation for the commencement of actions, namely, Sections 6-2-1 [Applicability of chapter — Generally], 6-2-2 [Applicability of chapter — Exceptions.], 6-2-3 [Accrual of claim — Fraud.], 6-2-5 [Right of entry not tolled.], 6-2-6 [Commencement of limitation — Principal against deputy or agent.] , 6-2-8 [Suspension of limitation — Disabilities.], 6-2-9 [Suspension of limitation — Claims against estates.], 6-2-10 [Computation of time — Absence of person from state.], 6-2-13 [Computation of time — Contracts during war.], 6-2-15 [Agreement or stipulation to limit time prescribed void; exception.], 6-2-16 [Sufficiency of partial payment or written promise to remove bar.], 6-2-17 [Effect of foreign statutes upon actions on contracts.], 6-2-30 [Commencement of actions — Generally; actions for injuries resulting from exposure to asbestos.], and 6-2-39; provided, that notwithstanding any provisions of such sections, no action shall be commenced more than four years after the act, omission, or failure complained of; except, that in the case of a minor under four years of age, such minor shall have until his eighth birthday to commence such action.

Wrongful Death - Two (2) Years

Section 6-2-38 Commencement of actions - two years.

(a) An action by a representative to recover damages for wrongful act, omission, or negligence causing the death of the decedent under Sections 6-5-391 and 6-5-410 must be commenced within two years from the death.


** To view all Alabama Statutes of Limitations, click on the link below:

Code of Alabama, Title 6, Chapter 2 LIMITATION OF ACTIONS


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