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Statute of Limitations: The Deadline to File a Personal Injury Claim

Statute of limitations (SOL) on a court desk.

Every state has an established deadline within which an injured victim must either settle a personal injury claim or file a civil lawsuit. Under Georgia law, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is set at two years.

If the claim is not settled and a lawsuit has not been filed within the two-year time period, there is usually nothing that can be done to resurrect the claim and pursue it. A court will almost certainly refuse to hear your case and you lose your right to compensation. There are some exceptions to this which might extend the general rule so please immediately consult with your attorney regarding any claim.

Here is a general list of what kind of accidents fall under the personal injury statute of limitation in Georgia:

  • Car accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Drowning accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Defective products
  • Nursing home abuse

When Does the Statute of Limitations Begin?

In most circumstances, the clock starts on a personal injury claim the day the accident or injury happens. However, in certain situations, the statute of limitations isn’t triggered until you discover that you were harmed and your injury becomes apparent.

Most personal injury claims settle out of court, but getting started on your case quickly leaves you more time to negotiate a settlement or turn to the court system if negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company fall through.

Can a Statute of Limitations Be Extended?

There are some exceptions that could cause the deadline to be extended. However, it is safer to err on the side of caution and settle or file a Georgia personal injury claim within the two-year period.

If Your Claim Involves a Government Entity

There is one other time limit that you should know about. If your injuries were caused by the negligence of a city, county, or state agency, Georgia law requires you to put the governmental entity on notice of your claim within a set period. This is called an “ante litem” notice.

Failure to file an ante litem notice could eliminate your claim completely. Do not delay in strictly complying with the notice requirements.

The deadlines are as follows:

  • City: Notice must be given within six months of the injury.
  • County: Notice must be given within 12 months of the injury.
  • State: Notice must be given within 12 months of the injury.

The contents of what must be included in these notices vary greatly depending upon which governmental entity is responsible. If your case was caused by a government agency, do yourself a favor and hire a lawyer experienced in handling these claims.

Consult With an Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer

Not all causes of action have the same two-year statute of limitation. Some actions may have a one-year statute of limitations, while others could be much longer.

To find out which statute of limitations applies to your personal injury case, I highly suggest a consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys regarding the specific facts of your claim.

Injured victims who at least talk to a lawyer have a much higher chance of winning their personal injury claims than those who try to do it all themselves.

At Gary Martin Hays & Associates, we understand the complicated web of deadlines and requirements that go into filing a personal injury claim for incidents like a car accident or a tractor-trailer wreck.

Don’t delay in learning your rights or filing a claim. Talk to our team of accident injury attorneys today at (770) 934-8000.

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