Frequently Asked Questions on Alabama Law
If you have a pressing legal issue, it will not be surprising if you have lots of questions about what the law says about your case or how the process works. Below are answers to some of the questions the attorneys at the Carter Law Firm hear most often, as we help people in Mobile and Baldwin counties in the areas of personal injury, criminal defense, family law, bankruptcy, and more. If you have other questions, give us a call at 251-433-6500. We would be glad to answer any questions you have.
Q. How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit?
A. Every state has a “statute of limitations” saying how long you have after you have been injured to file a lawsuit. If you wait until after this time limit has expired, the court may refuse to hear your case, so it is very important to know the applicable statute of limitations in your case. Unfortunately, Alabama law contains a confusing set of statutes with different timelines depending upon whether your injury was caused by negligence or an intentional tort, medical malpractice, products liability, or involved wrongful death. The general rule is two years in most cases, but it could be considerably shorter, for instance if your claim involves a government vehicle or accident on public property. Be sure and contact an experienced personal injury attorney soon after the accident, not only to make sure you don’t miss the statute of limitations, but also to collect and preserve evidence and position yourself for the best possible settlement.
Q. Do I have to let the police search my car if they pull me over?
A. The police need to have probable cause to conduct a search of your car, although they may not need a warrant. If the police search your car without cause, your attorney can work to have any evidence they gathered suppressed, or even get the case thrown out and the charges dropped. Probable cause is a technical legal matter. All you need to know at the time is whether the police are asking your permission to search or are telling you to step aside while they search the car. If the police are asking for your permission or consent, they may not have cause to search without your permission. In that case, you are within your rights to politely refuse. While you should not stand in the way of the police, you should make it clear that you do not consent to a search, even if you want to cooperate and have nothing to hide. This is just a matter of protecting your rights.
Q. How long does it take to get divorced?
A. An uncontested divorce can be finalized in as little as 30 days from the date a petition is filed. When the divorce is contested, the length of time the process takes depends on how quickly the parties can resolve the issues between them, and whether litigation in court is required to settle matters like child custody, child support, alimony and the division of marital property.
Going through a divorce can be difficult emotionally, and you may want to get through it as quickly as possible and move on with your life. However, the issues decided in a divorce can impact your life for years to come, so it is more important that you take the time necessary to have your divorce handled professionally by an experienced attorney who can advise you on your rights and protect your interests as you move forward.