When a motor vehicle strikes you, chances are you may suffer some sort of injury. So what are the Georgia statutes of limitations for a car accident? Most of the time, the injured party has a two-year window from the date of the accident to begin the legal proceedings against the negligent party.
Although there are exceptions to this two-year statute of limitations, courts in the state do not grant an extension very often. You need to have significant evidence and a strong argument that you deserve to go beyond the deadline.
Instead, consider contacting a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. He or she will be able to help you meet all deadlines in your case. Even if you are outside the two-year window, it is worth contacting a personal injury lawyer to explain your situation and to see if the attorney believes you have a chance to receive an extension to the statute of limitations.
Understanding the Deadline
Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents will fit under the statute of limitations set in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A) § 9-3-33. This law sets the deadline for these cases to two years from the date the injury occurred.
For motor vehicle accidents, the injury almost certainly happened at the time of the crash, so the accident date is when the two-year window begins.
For personal injury cases that do not involve a motor vehicle crash, such as a slip and fall accident or a defective product accident, you will also have a two-year deadline under the statute of limitations.
Receiving More Time
Under certain circumstances, victims in car accidents will have more than two years to begin legal proceedings. Although situations exist where courts will waive the two-year statute of limitations, called tolling, the courts in Georgia rarely allow this without compelling evidence supported by clear facts. Some of those situations may include:
- Minor victim: if the victim in the car accident is less than 18 years of age, the statute of limitations does not begin until the victim reaches 18, according to O.C.G.A § 9-3-90.
- Mental trauma: the injured party is unable to represent himself or herself because of a mental disability or because of a mental illness brought on by the accident.
- Unable to diagnose injuries: your doctor initially tells you that you do not have any lingering injuries, yet you end up suffering an injury related to the accident a few years later. You and your attorney can argue that the doctor did not have a reasonable chance of diagnosing the injury immediately after the crash.
It is possible that you and your attorney can find a reason beyond those we have listed here to request an extension to the deadline.
For a free legal consultation, call (404) 888-8888
Take Time To Investigate the Accident
Another reason to start the proceedings in a personal injury lawsuit involving a motor vehicle accident as soon as possible is so you and your attorney can begin to investigate the case while the facts remain fresh in the minds of the witnesses.
Sometimes in a vehicle accident, the police will issue a traffic ticket to the other driver, which shows that he or she behaved negligently. Other times, though, the police may not issue traffic tickets, which makes determining the negligent party a little trickier.
If you wait until close to the two-year deadline to contact an attorney and begin investigating the case, you may not have time to prove that the other driver behaved negligently and caused the crash. Without this information on your side, you will have a more difficult time winning a judgment.
Let Us Represent Your Interests in the Case
It can be a lonely feeling after you suffer an injury in a car accident that was not your fault. Your life can change in an instant in the crash, and you could be facing significant medical bills and an inability to work in the same capacity as you once did before the crash.
You should not have to bear these financial hardships on your own. If you have now decided you would like to file a personal injury lawsuit, you may be curious to know, what are the Georgia statutes of limitations for a car accident?
If you hire the team at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers, you can rest assured that we will keep your lawsuit on track, meeting all deadlines and keeping the case within the state’s statute of limitations. Contact us today at (404) 888-8888 for a free case review.