When you sustain injuries in an accident caused by another party’s actions, you could have the legal right to pursue financial reimbursement from the negligent party.
However, you only have a limited time to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your injuries. This deadline is known as the Georgia statute of limitations for personal injury claims.
Failure to file within the allotted time limit could have dire consequences for your case.
If you have a personal injury claim in Georgia, contact an experienced Georgia personal injury lawyer right away.
The legal team at MG Law has years of experience assisting injured victims in Georgia to recover the money they deserve in personal injury cases.
Let us protect your rights and help you fight for the maximum compensation possible.
What Does Statute of Limitations Mean?
A statute of limitations is legal jargon that refers to the amount of time the law allows you to file a lawsuit against the party who wronged you. Almost every type of accident or crime has a statute of limitations.
The primary exception is murder. That means someone can commit a murder and still face charges 20, 30, or 50 years later.
The law in every state imposes a statute of limitations for civil actions, so there is a resolution in a reasonable amount of time.
What benefit is there to suing someone 30 years later for a car accident?
Evidence is probably long gone, records hard to subpoena, and witnesses’ memories will have faded. The defendant may be impossible to track down too.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury in Georgia?
In general, most personal injury plaintiffs have two years from the date of the accident to bring a lawsuit for damages in Georgia. While two years might seem like a long time, it can fly by quickly.
If you have severe injuries, you might not have even recovered from your injuries in two years. You might have future surgeries scheduled or need lifelong assistance. If you aren’t careful, you can easily miss the filing deadline.
While the general rule is two years, this is not absolute, nor does it apply to every type of personal injury or civil matter.
For example, the limitation period for a libel or slander case is only one year, while property damage only claims are four years. A wrongful death claim is two years from the date of death rather than the date of injury.
Medical malpractice claims differ and can be rather complicated. You typically have two years from the date of injury to bring a lawsuit unless you do not discover the damage right away.
If a surgeon leaves a foreign object in your body, you only have one year, which starts running once you discover the object.
However, there’s something called the statute of repose, which cuts off any malpractice action five years after the treatment that gave rise to your claim. If you discover the foreign object six years later, the law will bar you from filing a lawsuit.
Claims Against Government Agencies
If your claim involves a government entity, you could have very different deadlines to adhere to in a personal injury claim.
For example, in most situations, you have only six months to file a notice of legal action against a county or city-owned vehicle. There are also precise notice requirements.
Each government agency will have specific rules and deadlines. Speak with the legal team at MG Law right away if your claim involves a government employee.
Extending the GA Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury
Statute of limitations exceptions exist in Georgia. One of these is referred to as tolling the statute of limitation. Tolling means the clock stops running on the limitation period for a specified amount of time.
Potential examples include:
- Someone imprisoned or legally incompetent due to mental illness or mental disability when the cause of action accrues.
- There is evidence of fraud, such as new evidence that shows the defendant’s attorney lied in the case or fraudulent medical records or other documentation.
- The plaintiff is a minor and therefore not legally competent until 18.
- In some situations, the defendant leaving the state could toll the statute provided the plaintiff cannot serve them the lawsuit through methods allowed by the “long-arm statute.”
- The plaintiff’s injuries stem from a criminal act, and the defendant is currently undergoing proceedings related to the criminal charges.
Determining the Georgia Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury can be challenging. Don’t assume you have the correct date without confirming the proper statute of limitations.
Speak with an experienced Georgia personal injury lawyer to ensure you don’t inadvertently miss the filing date. Consider hiring an attorney early in the claims process rather than risk missing the legal deadline for your specific case.
Can You Sue After the Statute of Limitations Expires?
It’s crucial not to delay filing a lawsuit. The court will likely dismiss your case if you miss the filing deadline. That means you would be barred from any financial recovery.
It does not matter if the defendant had extended a settlement offer just before the statute expired.
The defendant is under no legal obligation to continue settlement negotiations without any proof that you preserved the statute of limitations.
Don’t jeopardize your potential recovery by risking missing the legal deadline. Courts are not very forgiving to plaintiffs who fail to file a lawsuit timely.
Contact Our Georgia Lawyers Today
While there are limited exceptions to the Georgia personal injury statute of limitations, don’t count on your case falling under one of these categories.
Filing a lawsuit doesn’t mean your case will go to trial either. Preserving the statute of limitations means you can continue fighting for compensation once the deadline has passed.
If you sustained injuries in a personal injury accident in Georgia, speak with a lawyer at MG Law today. We understand what a stressful and emotional time this is for you.
When you hire MG Law to represent you, our Georgia personal injury attorneys will handle all the frustrating legal aspects so you can concentrate on your health and return to work.
Contact us to schedule an initial, no-obligation consultation with one of our passionate and professional Georgia personal injury attorneys.