If you’ve been injured in a car accident within the State of Georgia, you have a right to seek damages from the person who struck you. However, there are limits as to when you can seek those damages.
The state law which sets the time limit on your right to file a lawsuit in Georgia is called a statute of limitations. Vehicular accidents have very specific statutes set up and missing that deadline could forfeit your right to justice.
But what is the statute of limitations on a personal injury lawsuit involving a car accident in Georgia? Does it change when wrongful death is involved? What can you do if the statute of limitations lapses?
Personal Injury Cases
According to section 9-3-33 of the Georgia code, “Except as otherwise provided in this article, actions for injuries to the person shall be brought within two years after the right of action accrues.”
In human speak, that means the Georgia State Statute of Limitations on personal injury lawsuits is two years from the date of the incident. From the second the accident occurs; a countdown begins that lasts for 24 months. If you have not filed a personal injury lawsuit in that time period, the window shuts and you have no legal recourse to seek damages.
While you only have two years to file for personal injury, lawsuits pertaining to the damage of property caused by an accident in Georgia has a statute of limitations lasting four years.
If someone is killed in a car accident, the family of that victim can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver who was found to be at fault for the crash.
Wrongful death lawsuits also have a statute of limitations lasting two years. However, the major difference is that the countdown does not begin at the time of the accident. Wrongful death limitations begin at the moment of the victim’s death.
So, if a man is in a car accident, spends a month on life support, and then dies, the statute of limitations begins a month after the accident.
Car Insurance Claims
It’s important to note that Georgia’s statute of limitations does not apply to car insurance claims. Insurance providers typically want you to file a claim or make them aware of an incident that might lead to a claim within a matter of days.
What Happens if the Statute of Limitations Runs Out?
If the statute of limitations runs out, you could still attempt to file a lawsuit, but it would not get very far. The defendant’s legal team would point out that the time period has lapsed, and the court would almost assuredly throw the case out immediately.
That’s why it’s important to leave yourself time to properly file a lawsuit with the aid of an experienced Atlanta personal injury law firm. The offices of Schnipper Law, P.C. will help you file your lawsuit within the proper time frame and represent you in your quest for justice. For a free case evaluation, call 404-465-2878 today.
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