Personal Injury -
Statute of Limitations on a Personal Injury Case in Georgia
When one is injured due to the negligence of another, that person is allowed to seek financial compensation from the one responsible. This can happen in a number of ways for a number of reasons, but as long as it can be proven that the other person is at fault, they will owe the victim a settlement. However, there are rules to this, and one of the biggest is the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations is the amount of time granted after an accident in which the victim can file a claim to seek compensation. A lot of factors go into that amount of time, and there are different rules for different situations.
With the help of experienced injury lawyers, this should not be much of a problem. They can tell you exactly how much time you have and help you file the claim before the deadline. Even so, a Georgia resident should understand the rules behind this.
What Is Georgia’s Statute of Limitations?
Almost every state has different rules on their statute of limitations, though there tends to be some overlap. One should note that this applies to criminal charges as well, and that brings its own rules to observe. Residents of Georgia should familiarize themselves with these statutes, as you never know when you may be in a situation where they apply.
If you have any questions regarding these complex matters, a Georgia personal injury law firm will be more than happy to clear them up for you. These, though, are the basic rules to follow.
Time Limits for Civil Lawsuits
With a Georgia civil lawsuit, you have four years after the accident to file a claim for property damage. This is only for this type of civil lawsuits, as matters involving personal injuries have a two-year statute of limitations. Once this time is up, you will be unable to seek compensation, no matter the offense.
It should be noted that this is only a limit on when you can file the claim. As long as you and your lawyer file your suit within the allotted two or four years, you have an opportunity to get compensated fairly for your injuries or losses.
Claims Against Government Agencies
A personal injury claim against a government agency is much more complicated than one against an individual. Often, Georgia government entities are immune to civil claims, and even when you are able, you have to notify them of your intent.
When suing a state government agency in Georgia, your statute of limitations is greatly reduced to one year. If the entity in question is the city government, you have only six months.
Though this may seem especially daunting, you can rely on your personal injury law firm to guide you through it. As long as you act quickly, you may still have hope with the help of a lawyer.
Discovery Rules for Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice cases are especially frightening for a few reasons, one of the main reasons being that you may not even know you have been hurt for weeks, months, or even years after the malpractice occurred. You generally have two years to file a medical malpractice suit, but in cases where the injury is not immediately discovered, you have extra time.
No matter when the injury is discovered, you have one year past the date of discovery to file a suit. This is generally when one finds surgical equipment left inside them, though there are a few possible reasons. Either way, it is important to work quickly and consult an attorney, so that you do not miss the deadline.
Tolling: Reasons Your Statute of Limitations May Be Extended
While these rules are mostly inflexible, there are a few rare exceptions. Medical malpractice discovery is one of them, but there are also other extensions to the deadline.
For example, the accident victim may be mentally incompetent or under 18, in which case a few extra years are granted. There are also cases of fraud, which moves the time limit. There are also instances where someone has left Georgia after the accident, but before the claim is filed. That puts the suit on hold until they return.
What Happens if I Miss My Deadline?
Given all of these exceptions, if you try to file a claim after your cutoff date, the suit is void. There are no real alternatives, no matter the severity of the accident. This is why working with an attorney and acting quickly are so important.
How an Attorney Can Help You Meet Your Time Limits
With a personal injury case, you want to identify the person responsible for the accident, make sure you have strong enough evidence against them, and file before the statute of limitations is up. All three of those things should be simple for a personal injury law firm.
A personal injury attorney can work within whatever time frame, moving things along at the pace needed. It is certainly best to give them as much time as possible, both for their sake and yours. Whether it is six months or four years, gathering evidence is always going to be easier when the accident is fresher. The longer you hesitate, the more difficult it will be to build your case.
Even then, you may not even be sure how much time your case is allowed. A lawyer will be able to answer that, so you are not left in the dark. Working with a personal injury attorney is the surest way of knowing your claim will get off the ground before it is too late.
Act in Time with a Personal Injury Attorney in Georgia
If you believe you have been injured in an accident caused by another person, you very likely have a personal injury case. You should contact a Georgia personal injury firm as soon as you can for a consultation, so that you have plenty of time to file. Our law office offers a free consultation, so you have nothing to lose.
T. Madden and Associates, PC is an experienced law firm dedicated to serving Georgia, and they will be happy to help you ensure your claim is filed in time. Reach out as soon as you can, because time may be running out.Back to Blog