After a dog bite or a car accident in which you suffered an injury, you may be thinking about filing a personal injury lawsuit. So what are the Georgia statutes of limitations for a personal injury? In the majority of cases, you will have two years to begin the proceedings. Circumstances exist where you may be able to file a case outside of the two-year window, but this is not a common situation.
According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A) § 9-3-33, the action for filing a personal injury lawsuit has a two-year statute of limitations. A lawsuit is possible for motor vehicle accidents, product liability, assault, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, dog bites, or slip and fall accidents on someone else’s property.
Missing the Deadline Set by the Statute of Limitations
Typically, the two-year statute of limitations deadline begins on the date of the primary injury. For things like a car or bicycle accident, that would be on the date of the crash.
Should you not realize how seriously you were injured, causing you not to take any legal action until more than two years after your accident, your case almost certainly will be dismissed after you file it.
Occasionally, however, you may be able to argue that you deserve extra time to file because of extenuating circumstances. This is not an easy argument to win in court. Your personal injury attorney can go over the facts of your case with you before attempting to file a lawsuit outside of the statute of limitations to determine whether you have any chance of winning.
For a free legal consultation, call (404) 888-8888
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations
There are situations where the two-year statute of limitations can be waived or delayed called tolling. As a general rule, Georgia courts do not award extensions to the statute of limitations, but if you and your attorney can show a special circumstance, you may have a chance.
The following examples may not apply in all circumstances, but your attorney can help you determine if you are still able to file a lawsuit outside of the statute of limitations.
If bringing an action against a county government, according to O.C.G.A § 36-11-1, the proceedings must start within one year.
In a medical malpractice lawsuit, some types of cases have up to a five-year deadline.
Victim Unable To File
If the injured person is unable to represent himself or herself after the accident, the two-year statute of limitations is not going to start. Items such as the victim being under 18 years of age or having a mental illness or disability during or after the crash would keep the deadline clock from starting.
The two-year clock would only begin once the victim reaches age 18 or where the mental disability is declared over, according to O.C.G.A § 9-3-90.
Unable To Determine the Severity of the Injury
Occasionally, the victim in an accident will not be able to immediately realize the serious nature of an injury suffered in the accident. Perhaps the injury was not noticeable after the accident, but the condition steadily worsens, limiting the victim’s mobility a few years in the future.
In a case like this, the victim may be able to argue for an extension to the statute of limitations claiming doctors could not have been reasonably expected to find the injury within two years.
You should consider contacting a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident. With their help, you have a better chance of avoiding any problems with the deadlines.
Moving Forward With a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If someone else’s negligence led to your injuries, you could be facing a long rehabilitation process, significant missed time at work, and mental trauma.
As you are trying to move forward with your life after the injuries, you may be facing financial issues that are almost overwhelming. So you may be wondering, what are the Georgia statutes of limitations for a personal injury? You should not have to pay the medical bills and expenses associated with your recovery from this accident, meaning it is important to meet all deadlines for the lawsuit.
With the team at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers on your side, you can feel confident that your lawsuit will stay on track. We will ensure the insurance company representing the negligent party is not dragging its feet trying to keep you from receiving the compensation you deserve. Call us at (404) 888-8888 for a free consultation today.