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What’s the Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury in Georgia?

Each state has its own statute of limitations for personal injury claims. In Georgia, the deadline to file injury lawsuits is generally two years from the date of an accident.

If you miss the deadline for an invalid reason, the court can dismiss your case completely. If that happens, you cannot get damages from a negligent party, even if they caused your injuries. The statute of limitations pauses in certain instances, such as when the victim is a minor, or the defendant is out of the state. Despite having two years to sue, many victims face roadblocks to filing by the deadline, such as not knowing they were hurt by negligence. We can iron out the details of your case early on and help you organize records related to your claim, so we file it on time.

Call our Atlanta, GA personal injury lawyers at (470) 287-3070 to get a free case review from Rice, Murtha & Psoras.

Georgia’s Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Lawsuits

The statute of limitations is the set period following an accident during which victims can file lawsuits against negligent parties. Generally speaking, you cannot sue once the deadline for your case has passed in Georgia.

Under O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33, victims have two years to initiate injury claims. The date of accrual is the date the statute of limitations kicks in, typically the date of the accident in question. Our Athens, GA personal injury lawyers can, based on the date of the accident, determine the final date by which you can file your claim.

This statute of limitations applies to personal injury lawsuits, which victims bring when injured due to negligence. The exact circumstances of the accident may not change your filing date. For example, the same two-year window applies to victims of various accidents, including auto, bike, pedestrian, and slip and fall accidents, among many others. Even victims of medical malpractice typically have just two years to start their lawsuits in Georgia.

Depending on the defendant in your case, you might have other deadlines to abide by. For example, if you pursue a claim against a government agency, you must present a notice of a claim within one year, according to § 50-21-26.

Risks of Missing the Statute of Limitations for Your Georgia Injury Claim

If victims mistakenly assume they have longer to sue or do not realize they have a case until many months after an accident, they risk missing the deadline. Should this happen, the court could bar your claim entirely.

Statutes of limitations exist so that victims cannot bring claims against defendants many years after they have incurred damages or sustained injuries. Because the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Georgia is two years, filing your case any later could lead to dismissal. If your case is dismissed, you might not have any recourse to recover damages from a negligent party.

Are There Exceptions to the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations in Georgia?

In some cases, the court can toll, or pause, the statute of limitations. This might give some victims more time to prepare and bring their compensation claims in Georgia.

For example, § 9-3-90(b) tolls the statute of limitations for minor victims until they turn 18, giving them until 20 to sue. Furthermore, the statute of limitations will pause for certain victims who become disabled after a cause of action accrues under § 9-3-91.

When dealing with out-of-state defendants, victims might receive tolling as well. Under § 9-3-94, the clock will pause for any amount of time a negligent party is not present in Georgia. This sometimes comes up in car accident claims involving out-of-state drivers.

Not knowing about an injury could also push back the statute of limitations. This sometimes occurs in medical malpractice claims, where victims do not notice complications or injuries until some time after a negligent act occurs. If applicable in your case, the court may grant you tolling for delayed discovery in Georgia. It’s important to note that Georgia only has a five-year statute of repose for medical malpractice claims under § 9-3-71(b). This means you cannot bring a medical malpractice lawsuit more than five years from the date of the negligent act despite delayed discovery, though there are exceptions.

Tolling might occur in other cases as well, which our lawyers can explain if applicable to your claim.

Overcoming Roadblocks to Filing Your Injury Case within the Statute of Limitations in Georgia

Although two years may seem like plenty of time to prepare and bring your injury claim, victims often face considerable roadblocks to filing on time. Our attorneys can help you overcome these hurdles so you do not miss the deadline or your opportunity for a financial recovery.

Preparing a lawsuit takes time and requires careful organization of all records and information related to the case. Serious personal injuries might land victims in the hospital for weeks or months at a time. After getting emergency care, victims may need further treatment to monitor and improve their conditions. Focusing on medical treatment is important, as it builds your records and the evidence we can use in your claim.

As you do this, our lawyers can start working on your claim and help you organize medical records and bills. Careful bookkeeping is important, as you cannot file your case without proof of your damages.

Another issue victims face is not knowing that they have cause to sue. For example, while you might think to sue for a car crash caused by a drunk driver, you might not think that a slip and fall accident at a neighbor’s home warrants litigation.

Our attorneys can promptly review your case and identify whether or not another party involved owed you a duty of care and breached it. Learning more about your right to recover immediately after an accident is crucial, so you have the full two years to prepare and file your claim if necessary.

Call Our Injury Attorneys in Georgia About Your Case

Call our Alpharetta, GA personal injury lawyers at (470) 287-3070 and discuss your case for free today with Rice, Murtha & Psoras.