After a dog bite or a car accident in which you suffered an injury, you may be thinking about filing a personal injury lawsuit. You should know about the Georgia statutes of limitations for a personal injury before you do this.
The General Timeline for Injury Cases
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 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
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Dog bites
- 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.
However, you may be able to argue that you deserve extra time to file because of extenuating circumstances. Attempting to file a lawsuit outside of the statute of limitations to determine whether you have any chance of winning is difficult, but not impossible. Your personal injury attorney can go over the facts of your case with you beforehand.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations
There are situations where the two-year statute of limitations can be waived or delayed (tolled). As a general rule, Georgia courts do not award extensions to the statute of limitations as a general rule. However, if you and your attorney can show a special circumstance, you may have a chance.
The following examples may not apply in all circumstances. Your attorney can help you determine if you can still file a lawsuit outside of the statute of limitations, though.
O.C.G.A. § 36-11-1 states that if bringing an action against a county government, 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 cannot represent himself or herself after the accident, the two-year statute of limitations will not start. Situations 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 as no longer a hindrance, according to O.C.G.A. § 9-3-90.
Unable to Determine the Severity of the Injury
Occasionally, the victim in an accident might not immediately realize the serious nature of their injury. Perhaps the injury was not noticeable after the accident. Regardless, the condition could steadily worsen, limiting the victim’s mobility later.
In a case like this, the victim may be able to argue for an extension to the statute of limitations. They could claim doctors could not have reasonably found the injury within two years.
With the help of a personal injury attorney, you do not have to worry about discovering deadlines yourself.
Other Laws You Might Want to Know
If you think your action or inaction might have contributed to your injuries, do not worry. Under O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33, you could still recover damages if you were not more than 50% liable for the accident. This award would be reduced in proportion to the amount of fault you bear, however.
Under O.C.G.A. § 51-4-2, only certain people can file lawsuits based on wrongful death, including:
- The decedent’s spouse
- The decedent’s children (including those adopted)
- A representative
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 move forward with your life after the accident, you face overwhelming financial issues. So, you may be wondering what the Georgia statutes of limitations for a personal injury are.
Your Lawyer Can Concern Themselves with the Timelines
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 any lawsuit you file. Your legal representative can take on all issues involved with your case, including researching deadlines.
We can also:
- Investigate your accident
- Find evidence to support your testimony
- Recruit accident reconstructionists and expert witnesses to testify to your claim
- Negotiate for a fair settlement
- Make your case in court, if necessary
- Tell you your options
- Protect your legal rights
- Answer your questions
- Provide you updates regarding your case
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers Commits to Our Clients
Our team only collects our fee if we win for you. So, we want you to win. We have pleased our past clients with our representation, as these reviews show:
- “[They were] kind, professional and kept me up to date on all procedures, answering any questions and guiding me through the process.” – Julene O.
- “Every step of the way I was contacted on all the details of my case. I never had any questions that wasn’t answered on my case.” – Jarrod L.
Tell our team how we can best serve you.
Call Our Team to Obtain Your Free Consultation
With the team at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers on your side, you can feel confident that your lawsuit will stay on track. We will keep the insurance company representing the negligent party from dragging its feet trying to keep you from receiving the compensation you deserve.
Call us at (404) 888-8888 for a free consultation today.