If you have been injured in Georgia and are considering pursuing a personal injury claim, you should know that there are strict time limits to filing a lawsuit. Under most circumstances, the time limit allowed under state law is two years from the date that the accident occurred. However, there are certain situations and circumstances in which this time limit may not apply.
If you have experienced a personal injury, you need to speak with a qualified attorney as soon as possible. Time can often get away from you, and if you exceed the two-year time period stipulated by law, you may be unable to file a claim even if your case has merit. Contact our law firm today and ask to schedule a free case evaluation.
What Are the Exceptions to the Two-Year Time Limit?
In most personal injury cases, Georgia law allows a two-year period to file a claim. There are, however, certain circumstances that are an exception to this rule. Some of the exceptions include:
- Medical malpractice cases can be pursued for up to five years. However, Georgia has a 5-year statute of repose on all medical malpractice lawsuits. This means that after the five years have elapsed, you can no longer pursue a claim.
- A spouse of an injury victim is allowed up to four years to file a loss of consortium claim. Loss of consortium allows the spouse to file a lawsuit for loss of companionship or other unfavorable changes that have affected the marriage due to the personal injuries sustained by the injury victim.
Is the Statute of Limitations Different for Minors in Georgia?
The statute of limitations for minors who have been injured has slightly different rules. For example, except for cases of wrongful death or medical malpractice, the time period begins on the minor’s 18th birthday.
However, the same rules apply to minors as adults in medical malpractice cases in that a lawsuit cannot be brought after the 5-year time limit has expired. In wrongful death cases, representatives acting for minors are often granted an extended period to file a claim.
What is Tolling in Regard to the Statute of Limitations?
Although Georgia is strict on the two-year time limit imposed on the statute of limitations, “tolling” can actually extend the time you may have to file a claim. When a case is tolled, the statute of limitations has been put on pause until other legal issues can be resolved. Tolling allows you more time to pursue your claim.
One of the most common reasons for a claim to be tolled is a crime has caused injuries or death, which needs to be resolved. Or, as stated previously, the injury victim has not yet reached the age of 18 years of age.
When Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
If you have sustained a personal injury, you need to seek legal representation immediately. Even though two years may seem like a long time, it can get away from you, and you may lose the right to file a claim if you wait too long. Contact our law offices by calling (706) 278-2099 and ask to schedule a free consultation to discuss your injury case.