Once the statute of limitations is up on a wrongful death suit, can the family come back, set up an estate, and sue again, if the case is dismissed

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Once the statute of limitations is up on a wrongful death suit, can the family come back, set up an estate, and sue again, if the case is dismissed

Asked on April 29, 2009 under Accident Law, Alabama

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Okay, anyone can sue anyone at any time.  The question is whether they will prevail.  If the statute of limitations is up, it is up.  As long as it is not tolled (delayed).  

In Alabama:

Here are some relevant statutes for you to review. Then, hire an attorney in Alabama if you have been served with a lawsuit. Try www.attorneypages.com.

Section 6-2-34

Commencement of actions - Six years.

The following must be commenced within six years:

(1) Actions for any trespass to person or liberty, such as false imprisonment or assault and battery;

(2) Actions for any trespass to real or personal property;

(3) Actions for the detention or conversion of personal property;

(4) Actions founded on promises in writing not under seal;

(5) Actions for the recovery of money upon a loan, upon a stated or liquidated account or for arrears of rent due upon a parol demise;

(6) Actions for the use and occupation of land;

(7) Motions and other actions against the sureties of any sheriff, coroner, constable, or any public officer and actions against the sureties of executors, administrators, or guardians for any nonfeasance, misfeasance, or malfeasance, whatsoever, of their principal, the time to be computed from the act done or omitted by their principal which fixes the liability of the surety;

(8) Motions and other actions against attorneys-at-law for failure to pay over money of their clients or for neglect or omission of duty; and

(9) Actions upon any simple contract or speciality not specifically enumerated in this section.

(Code 1852, §2477; Code 1867, §2901; Code 1876, §3226; Code 1886, §2615; Code 1896, §2796; Code 1907, §4835; Code 1923, §8944; Code 1940, T. 7, §21.)

 

Section 6-2-37

Commencement of actions - Three years.

The following must be commenced within three years:

(1) Actions to recover money due by open or unliquidated account, the time to be computed from the date of the last item of the account or from the time when, by contract or usage, the account is due; and

(2) Proceedings in any court of this state to disbar any attorney authorized to practice law in this state.

(Code 1852, §2480; Code 1867, §2904; Code 1876, §3229; Code 1886, §2618; Code 1896, §2799; Code 1907, §4838; Acts 1915, No. 814, p. 928; Code 1923, §8947; Code 1940, T. 7, §24.)

 

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.

(b) All actions by common carriers of property subject to Chapter 3 of Title 37 for recovery of their charges, or any part thereof, shall be begun within two years from the time the cause of action accrues and not after.

(c) For recovery of charges, action shall be begun against common carriers of property by motor vehicles subject to this article within two years from the time the cause of action accrues and not after, except as provided in subsection (d) of this section; provided, that if claim for the overcharge has been presented in writing to the carrier within the two year period of limitation, said period shall be extended to include six months from the time notice in writing is given by the carrier to the claimant of disallowance of the claim, or any part or parts thereof, specified in the notice.

(d) If on or before the expiration of the two-year period of limitation in subsection (c) of this section, a common carrier by motor vehicle subject to Chapter 3 of Title 37 begins action under subsection (c) of this section for recovery of charges in respect of the same transportation service or, without beginning action, collects charges in respect of that service, said period of limitation shall be extended to include 90 days from the time such action is begun or such charges are collected by the carrier.

(e) The cause of action in respect of a shipment of property shall, for the purpose of subsections (b) through (f) of this section, be deemed to accrue upon delivery or tender of delivery thereof by the carrier and not after.

(f) The term "overcharges" as used in subsections (b) through (e) of this section shall mean charges for transportation services in excess of those applicable thereto under the tariffs lawfully on file with the public service commission.

(g) Any action brought under Section 25-5-11(b) must be brought within two years of such injury or death.

(h) All actions for malicious prosecution must be brought within two years.

(i) All actions for seduction must be brought within two years.

(j) All actions qui tam or for a penalty given by statute to the party aggrieved, unless the statute imposing it prescribes a different limitation, must be brought within two years.

(k) All actions of libel or slander must be brought within two years.

(l) All actions for any injury to the person or rights of another not arising from contract and not specifically enumerated in this section must be brought within two years.

(m) All actions for the recovery of wages, overtime, damages, fees, or penalties accruing under laws respecting the payment of wages, overtime, damages, fees, and penalties must be brought within two years.

(n) All actions commenced to recover damages for injury to the person or property of another wherein a principal or master is sought to be held liable for the act or conduct of his agent, servant, or employee under the doctrine of respondeat superior must be brought within two years.

(o) All actions commenced under Section 6-5-411 to recover damages for injury or damage to property of a decedent must be brought within two years.

(p) If any action is commenced before the time limited has expired, judgment is entered for the plaintiff and such judgment is arrested or reversed on appeal, the plaintiff or his legal representative may commence an action again within one year from the reversal or arrest of such judgment though the period limited may in the meantime have expired; and in like manner, if more than one judgment is arrested or reversed, an action may be recommenced within one year.

(Code 1896, §2800; Code 1907, §4839; Code 1923, §8948; Code 1940, T. 7, §25; Acts 1953, No. 760, p. 1022, §§1-4; Acts 1984, 2nd Ex. Sess., No. 85-39, p. 40, §1.)

 

Section 6-5-391

Wrongful death of minor.

(a) When the death of a minor child is caused by the wrongful act, omission, or negligence of any person, persons, or corporation, or the servants or agents of either, the father, or the mother as specified in Section 6-5-390, or, if the father and mother are both dead or if they decline to commence the action, or fail to do so, within six months from the death of the minor, the personal representative of the minor may commence an action.

(b) An action under subsection (a) for the wrongful death of the minor shall be a bar to another action either under this section or under Section 6-5-410.

(c) Any damages recovered in an action under this section shall be distributed according to the laws of intestate succession, Article 3 (commencing with Section 43-8-40) of Chapter 8 of Title 43.

(Code 1876, §2899; Code 1886, §2588; Code 1896, §26; Code 1907, §2485; Code 1923, §5695; Code 1940, T. 7, §119; Acts 1995, No. 95-774, p. 1834, §1.)

 

Section 6-5-410

Wrongful act, omission, or negligence causing death.

(a) A personal representative may commence an action and recover such damages as the jury may assess in a court of competent jurisdiction within the State of Alabama, and not elsewhere, for the wrongful act, omission, or negligence of any person, persons, or corporation, his or their servants or agents, whereby the death of his testator or intestate was caused, provided the testator or intestate could have commenced an action for such wrongful act, omission, or negligence if it had not caused death.

(b) Such action shall not abate by the death of the defendant, but may be revived against his personal representative and may be maintained though there has not been prosecution, conviction or acquittal of the defendant for the wrongful act, omission, or negligence.

(c) The damages recovered are not subject to the payment of the debts or liabilities of the testator or intestate, but must be distributed according to the statute of distributions.

(d) Such action must be commenced within two years from and after the death of the testator or intestate.

(Code 1852, §§1940, 1941; Code 1867, §§2299, 2300; Code 1876, §§2641-2643; Code 1886, §2589; Code 1896, §27; Code 1907, §2486; Acts 1911, No. 455, p. 484; Code 1923, §5696; Code 1940, T. 7, §123.)

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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