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Personal Injury: Bypassing the Statute of Limitations?

personal injury

The purpose of personal injury law is to ensure that injured parties get compensation for injuries or damages suffered. Therefore, injured parties are encouraged to act timely because the longer it takes, the harder it becomes to exercise their rights.

All States and Federal courts have set timeframes for a party to file a legal action. This timeframe is called the Statute of Limitations. Parties are legally bound by the time stipulated by law to exercise their right of action in court.

Personal injury claims are filed against injuries suffered from the harmful action of an individual or company. Injuries from car accidents, dog bites, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, and slip-and-fall form the types of personal injury actions.

In Atlanta, Georgia, the Statute of Limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of the injury.

If you fail to file your claim within the stipulated time, the action becomes statute-barred. As a result, you no longer have the right to pursue compensation against the at-fault party.  However, the Court can consider a case that is statute-barred but only upon special exceptions.

So, if you are a negligence victim, the timeframe should not deter you from pursuing a personal injury claim. However, it is best to consult an Atlanta personal injury lawyer to help you understand your rights and navigate the legal process.

What Is the Purpose of the Statute of Limitations?

Victims of a personal injury action may feel the Statute of Limitations denies them justice. However, there are reasons why the statutes exist. These are:

  • To Promote Diligence in Plaintiffs

The Statute of Limitations ensures that lawsuits are instituted with reasonable diligence. This means that the personal injury claims should be filed immediately after the injurious act.

  • To Protect the Integrity of Evidence

The legislation knows that people’s memory of an event tends to fade over time. Therefore, the Statute of Limitations helps preserve facts and evidence surrounding a lawsuit, so they do not become lost.

  • To Prevent Malicious Actions

Statute of Limitations prevents defendants from being subject to unfair and malicious legal actions.

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations in Atlanta, Georgia

The Georgia Statute of Limitations is rigid and unwavering. However, there are exceptions for parties to circumvent through. This means that the two-year time limit can be tolled or delayed under special circumstances. Consequently, you can institute personal injury claims even when time has elapsed.

Under these exceptions, the timeframe ceases to count until the circumstance is resolved. The exceptions are:

  • Mental Incapacity

Parties can circumvent the Statute of Limitations by tolling under the exception of mental incapacity. This means that the victim was not of sound mind when the injurious offense was committed.

  • The Discovery Rule

Statute of Limitations can be circumvented if the injury sustained could not have been reasonably discovered within the limited timeframe. You could rely on this exception if you discovered the injury after the limited timeframe had elapsed.

  • Out of State

Another exception is if the defendant leaves the state after the accident or before the victim filed the lawsuit. In this case, the time ceases to run until the defendant is back in Georgia jurisdiction.

  • Age or Disability

The Statute of Limitations can be extended if the injured party is a minor. The minor has to attain the legal adult age of 18 years before the timeframe becomes applicable. Also, persons medically incapacitated and those who have filed for bankruptcy can extend the timeframe due to their disabilities.

  • Fraud

Statute of Limitations in Atlanta, Georgia can be tolled in cases where the plaintiff has evidence of fraudulent concealment of record, reports, etc.

What Are My Options When the Statute of Limitation Has Elapsed?

Generally, you cannot file a personal injury claim after the two-year deadline set by the statute of limitations has passed. However, in some cases, the affected party can still seek compensation. Special exceptions can extend the statute of limitations. Contact an Atlanta personal injury lawyer to find out if the deadline may be extended in your case.

Speak to an Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer Immediately!

Civil actions are subject to the Statute of Limitations. If you or your loved one has an actionable personal injury claim, it is best to file the suit immediately. Do not wait until the time has elapsed.

Instead,  consult with an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer to advise and guide you accordingly. At Ted A. Greve & Associates, we have extensive experience handling and winning personal injury cases. Contact us today for a free consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis.