If someone else’s actions caused you bodily injury, you might be entitled to compensation. While your priority after an accident should be to get immediate medical help, it’s important not to wait too long to talk to Georgia personal injury lawyers about your legal options.
That’s because every state has a statute of limitations to adhere to when it comes to personal injury law. In short, you have limited time to take legal action if you want to collect damages from the at-fault party. Find out how long you have in Georgia, and then look for lawyers to represent you if you file a personal injury claim.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Georgia?
The statute of limitations is the timeframe in which you can take legal action after an event. Different states and areas of the law have varying statutes of limitations, so it’s important to know the one that applies to you. If you plan to initiate a personal injury case in Georgia, the statute of limitations is two years.
This means you have two years from the date of your injury to pursue compensation. This applies to any incident in which someone injured you, such as:
- Car accident
- Truck accident
- Bicycle collision
- Pedestrian accident
- Motorcycle crash
- Dog bite
- Slip and fall
- Product liability
- Medical malpractice
- Wrongful death
No matter which type of personal injury case you have, you must initiate a lawsuit within the statute of limitations or you could lose your right to take legal action for the incident. So, if you were injured several years ago and are just now considering pursuing compensation, you’re likely past the statute of limitations.
However, if the incident occurred within the last couple of years and you’re unsure if you can pursue damages, you should talk to Georgia personal injury lawyers about your options. It may turn out that you’re barely within the statute of limitations, or you could find that you qualify for the rare exception to this rule.
Are There Exceptions to This Time Limit?
The statute of limitations exists to encourage accident victims to pursue claims before they start to forget the details of what happened. As more time passes, victims and witnesses are unlikely to remember the events accurately, and defendants might have trouble finding evidence to refute the claims. Another reason for this limit is to keep the courts from being inundated with both new and old cases. This is why it’s essential to be aware of the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Georgia.
However, occasional exceptions can be made, as some clients have extenuating circumstances that give them more or less time to file a claim. For example, if a victim was a minor or mentally incompetent when they were injured, they may be able to get the statute of limitations waived. The two-year limit would start once the minor victim turns 18 and can take legal action, or once the victim’s mental incompetence no longer keeps them from filing a claim.
Another exception that may be made is if the victim didn’t notice the injury right away. This most commonly occurs with medical malpractice and product liability cases, as it can take years to realize the underlying cause of an illness or injury.
So, if you started using a product three years ago and developed a rash, cough, or other symptoms, you might have just recently realized that this is due to your use of a defective product. If you talk to a personal injury lawyer about this, they may be able to get you an exception so the statute of limitations starts from the date that you realized the cause of your injuries, not the date they started.
On the other hand, if you plan to take action against a government entity, your statute of limitations is shorter than the standard one. If you’re bringing a lawsuit against a state or county government agency, the statute of limitations is one year. If you’re taking legal action against a city government agency, it’s six months. This is why you should talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
When Should You Consult Georgia Personal Injury Lawyers?
If someone caused you to be injured, you should talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as you’re in stable condition. Otherwise, you risk missing your chance to hold the at-fault party liable for your expenses. You should not have to go into debt to pay for the bills related to an accident that was not your fault, nor should you have to turn down necessary medical care because you can’t afford it.
When you hire caring Georgia personal injury lawyers, they will make it a priority to ensure you collect compensation from the at-fault party. However, they can only do this if you’re within Georgia’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases. No lawyer wants to tell injured victims that it’s too late to file a personal injury claim, so it’s essential that you call a Georgia law firm right away.
You don’t have to be fully recovered from your injuries to begin your claim. It’s not uncommon for victims to start looking for lawyers while they’re still in the hospital. They can complete their initial consultation over the phone or arrange for a lawyer to talk to them in their hospital room if necessary. This way, they’re sure to be well within the statute of limitations for Georgia personal injury law.
If you’re ready to discuss your personal injury case, call Overman & Overman, LLC at 770-501-7425. Our lawyers can begin gathering evidence and calculating damages while you heal from your injuries so you can avoid missing the statute of limitations in Georgia.