What is a Statute of Limitations?

If you’re injured by a negligent or reckless driver in the Dalton area or anywhere in North Georgia, you may be entitled to compensation. As soon as you’ve been examined and treated, arrange for a no-cost case evaluation with a Dalton personal injury lawyer.

If you move forward with a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for your damages, several Georgia laws will apply. For example, Georgia’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases is the law that imposes a deadline for bringing personal injury claims in this state.

Statutes of limitations go back to ancient Greece, where they were imposed to keep people from making their livelihoods by filing lawsuits. In the U.S. today, most states impose a statute of limitations for most crimes other than violent felonies. When the statute of limitations runs out, if no criminal charges were filed, no additional prosecution or filing of charges is allowed.

Why Do We Have a Statute of Limitations?

If you’re injured by a negligent or reckless driver in the Dalton area or anywhere in North Georgia, you may be entitled to compensation. As soon as you’ve been examined and treated, arrange for a no-cost case evaluation with a Dalton personal injury lawyer.

While a civil statute of limitations may be frustrating for the injured victims of negligence, these laws maintain fairness in civil personal injury cases. The statute of limitations in Georgia gives injury victims and their lawyers enough time to gather evidence and prepare a case.

The deadlines ensure that the civil courts aren’t overwhelmed with questionable personal injury claims that haven’t been carefully reviewed by a lawyer. The deadlines are also a way to keep evidence from deteriorating over time and to ensure that the memories of the witnesses are fresh.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Georgia’s Personal Injury Cases?

The statute of limitations in Georgia for a personal injury case arising from a car accident is usually two years from the date of the accident. If a wrongful death is the result of a car accident, surviving family members usually have two years to file a wrongful death claim.

In Georgia, the statute of limitations is strict in most cases, but a few rare exceptions may extend the deadline. “Tolling,” which pauses the statute of limitations “clock,” is allowed if the victim was a minor when the accident and injury happened or if the victim was mentally incapacitated.

What Are the Other Exceptions?

The deadline for initiating a personal injury lawsuit in Georgia is also extended if a medical condition or an injury resulting from a car accident could not be “reasonably discovered” within the two years immediately following that accident.

The statute of limitations may also be tolled if a defendant (the party being sued) leaves the state after the accident but before the plaintiff (the party bringing the claim) has had a chance to file a claim. The “clock” in such cases will usually be paused until the defendant returns to Georgia.

Several other exceptions to Georgia’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims apply to product liability and medical malpractice cases but not to personal injury cases based on car accidents.

If You Sue the Government, You Have Even Less Time

Let’s say that your accident and injury were caused, not by another driver, but by a defectively designed or improperly maintained roadway. If you sue the governmental body or agency that is responsible for that street or highway, you may have only six months to initiate legal action.

If you’ve been injured in a traffic collision that involved a Georgia state, county, or city vehicle, and the government employee behind the wheel of that vehicle was driving negligently or recklessly, you will also have a shorter deadline for initiating legal action.

Many counties, cities, and towns in the State of Georgia must be notified, within six or twelve months of your accident and injury, of your intention to sue. Your Dalton personal injury attorney will discuss the deadlines that may apply in your own case.

When Will You Need a Car Accident Attorney?

It won’t matter how strong your claim is or how severely you’ve been injured. If you do not meet the filing deadline, and if your case does not qualify as an exception, you will not be allowed to receive compensation for your medical costs, lost earnings, and other losses after a car accident.

If you are injured by a negligent or reckless motorist in a traffic collision in or near Dalton, now or in the future, after you have been examined and treated for your personal injury or injuries, you must contact the offices of a Dalton personal injury attorney as quickly as possible.

Even if your car accident case may qualify under one of the exceptions, a personal injury claim will be more compelling and more likely to prevail when your attorney can review the evidence while it’s still fresh and speak with the witnesses before their recollections begin to fade.

What Will Your Lawyer Do on Your Behalf?

A Dalton personal injury lawyer will determine exactly when the statute of limitations “clock” starts in your case. You must be represented and advised by an experienced personal injury attorney who will fight aggressively and effectively for your compensation after a car accident.

Personal injury attorneys in Georgia represent their injured clients on a contingent fee basis. That means you’ll pay no attorney’s fee upfront and no attorney’s fee unless and until your attorney recovers your compensation with an out-of-court settlement or a trial verdict.

Most car accident claims in Georgia are settled privately, outside of the courtroom, but if a settlement cannot be negotiated in your case, your attorney will take your case to trial. At trial, your attorney will explain how your injury occurred and will ask the jurors to award your compensation.

Why Should You Choose Cowan Law Firm?

Over the last two decades, Cowan Law Firm has established a reputation for legal excellence and superlative client service. Our personal injury attorneys are focused on the legal needs of our clients.

When you become a client of Cowan Law Firm, you’ll work directly with a personal injury attorney. Whether your case is settled or goes to trial, you’ll have aggressive, proven legal representation.

Now or in the future, if you’re injured because another driver was negligent or reckless, after you’ve been treated by a medical provider, call Cowan Law Firm at 706-503-7811 to schedule a free case evaluation with no obligation.