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What Is Georgia’s Personal Injury Statute of Limitations?

On Behalf of | Sep 30, 2020 | Personal Injury

In Georgia, the law may entitle you to financial compensation if someone else’s negligence gave you an injury. The negligent party may owe you money for losses such as your medical bills and property damages. If you fail to file within Georgia’s statute of limitations, however, you may forfeit the ability to obtain compensation. It is critical to file your claim within the statute of limitations to protect your right to recover.

Time Limits for Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Georgia

The statutes of limitations is an important law that applies to both civil and criminal cases in Georgia. Within the civil justice system, Georgia’s statute of limitations restricts the amount of time a person has to file a personal injury or another type of civil case. In criminal law, the statute of limitations determines how long the prosecution has to bring charges against a suspect. If you do not know your statute of limitations and miss the deadline, this could stop your case before it begins. Filing too late almost always guarantees the loss of the right to file.

In Georgia, the time limit to file a personal injury claim is two years, in most cases. Georgia Code Section 9-3-33 gives plaintiffs two years to file damage claims against defendants for most claims involving car crashes, slip and fall accidents, dog attacks, defective products, and other personal injury claims. It is critical to take legal action within at least two years of the date of your accident or injury. Otherwise, the courts in Georgia will most likely dismiss your case.

Exceptions in the Statute of Limitations

For the most part, Georgia’s two-year statute of limitations begins on the date of the accrual of the cause of action. If you wish to file a car accident lawsuit, for example, you will have exactly two years from the date of your crash to bring a claim. An important exception to this rule, however, is if you do not discover your personal injuries or property damages until after the date of the accident. If the discovery rule applies to your case, you will have two years from the date of injury diagnosis rather than the date of the accident. Your deadline may also vary depending on your type of case.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice claims have a unique deadline exception in Georgia. A plaintiff will still need to file within two years of the date of the wrongful act or omission for a medical malpractice claim, in most cases. Georgia has a five-year statute of repose on medical malpractice cases, however, that gives patients an overarching time limit of five years. You could have longer than two years to file if your case qualifies. You could have even longer than five years if you have a retained foreign object in your body after surgery. In this case, you would have one year from the date of discovery to file.

Wrongful Death

In a wrongful death cause of action, a plaintiff in Georgia will have two years from the date of the victim’s death, rather than the date of the accident, to file. If your loved one was in the hospital for a few days or weeks after an accident, for instance, you would have two years from the date of death to bring your claim. It is important contacting an Atlanta wrongful death lawyer as soon as your injury occurs.

Start Your Georgia Personal Injury Claim Today

Some plaintiffs have more or less time than the general statute of limitations in Georgia to file personal injury lawsuits. Each case is unique. If you are naming a government entity as the defendant, for example, you will have less than two years to file. Contact a personal injury attorney right away after an accident that injures you in Atlanta. It is important to speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to make sure you do not miss your statute of limitations. Waiting too long could bar you from recovery.