Most of us will never have to hire a personal injury lawyer. Even if we’re involved in a minor fender-bender, our insurance claim will be paid, and we won’t need to hire an attorney. However, there are times when it’s in your best interests to do so. If your insurance claim is denied, for example, you’ll need help. Or, if the defendant doesn’t have insurance and you need to file a personal injury lawsuit, you’ll need a lawyer. When this happens, it’s important to understand how the statute of limitations works in Georgia.
There’s a statute of limitations in every state. They’re all a little bit different. And even within the statute of limitations, there are different filing deadline for different sorts of claims. For example, the statute of limitations in Georgia for property damage is four (4) years. However, for a personal injury lawsuit, you have two (2) years to file your lawsuit. The scary thing about the statute of limitations is that, if you miss it, your claim will be forever barred. You won’t be able to do anything to fix it. And neither will your Atlanta personal injury lawyer.
A lot of clients ask if there are times when the judge will extend the statute of limitations. The answer, for the most part, is no. There are very few times when the statute will be extended. Here, we’ll talk about these exceptions and explain how important that statute really is. If you don’t understand how this works, it’s important to call and talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer in Atlanta right away.
What Are the Major Deadline Under the Georgia Statute of Limitations?
There are certain types of civil cases that are filed a lot more often than others. For example, if you need to file a personal injury case for an accident or fall, you’ll have two (2) years from the date of your injury. Or, if you have to file a wrongful death suit, you’ll have two (2) years from the date of death to do so. As mentioned above, for a property damage case, you have up to four (4) years from the date of the accident. However, most property damages cases are filed along with a personal injury so you don’t want to go beyond the two years statute period.
If you aren’t sure how long you have to file your case, call and talk to one of our personal injury lawyers in Georgia today. They can answer any questions you may have.
How Do You Know if You Meet One of the Exceptions?
There are very few exceptions to the Georgia statute of limitations. However, there are a couple that are worth mentioning here. There are only three (3) exceptions that typically apply to a Georgia civil lawsuit. They are as follows:
- If the plaintiff is a minor, the statute won’t begin until they reach the age of eighteen (18). However, their parents can file suit on their behalf rather than wait until they reach the age of majority.
- If the defendant leaves the state, the statute will be placed on hold until they return. It will start again as soon as they come back.
- The plaintiff is not legally competent to file suit.
Call and Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Atlanta Before the Statute of Limitations Runs Out
As mentioned above, there are very few exceptions to the statute of limitations. If you miss this deadline, your case will be dismissed. That’s why it’s important that you reach out to an experienced personal injury law firm in Atlanta sooner rather than later. Your lawyer is going to need at least a couple of months to prepare your case. They’ll also need time to negotiate with the defendant’s attorney or the insurance company. And, if they decide to sue, they’ll need at least four to six weeks to file the paperwork with the court.
If you’re running close to the deadline, you should call and talk to a lawyer in Atlanta today. Let them see how much time you have left. If you think you meet one of the exceptions, they can let you know. And, if you missed the deadline, your case will probably be dead in the water. Rather than make any assumptions, call and talk to a professional. You can schedule your free initial consultation and ask our personal injury attorneys any questions you may have. The consultation won’t cost you anything, but it can be the difference between winning your case and missing the chance to file it all together.