If you are involved in a car accident, your first (and most important) concern should be your safety as well as the safety of others involved in the collision. An injury or loss of a loved one would likely leave you physically and emotionally distressed. As a result, you might not have the emotional capacity to remember crucial timelines for pursuing the damages you are entitled to.
Unfortunately, this understandable reaction to a traumatic crash can prove to be a costly mistake. To boost your odds of recovering damages following a car accident that was not your fault, you must file your claim within a specified timeframe known as the state’s statute of limitations period.
But what does the statute of limitations mean?
Basically, the statute of limitations is the law that governs the time limit during which you can file a civil case against another party. Almost every crime and civil matter, with the exception of rape and murder, is subject to a statute of limitations period.
Georgia’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims
If you sustain an injury that is attributable to someone else’s negligent, intentional, or reckless actions in Georgia, you’ll have up to two years from the date of your injury to file a claim. It is extremely important that you do not let this statute of limitations period run out.
The statute of limitations is shorter if you are dealing with a government agency. In this case, you have months, not years, to take action. If you are dealing with a municipality, you will have up to six months to file your claim. And if you want to sue the county, you will have up to one year to act.
The statute of limitations can be tolled
The statute of limitations is generally unwavering. However, there are a few instances when it can be extended (or tolled). Here are some of these instances:
- If the defendant cannot be located and formally served with a lawsuit
- If the plaintiff was a minor at the time of the injury
- If there is a delay in the discovery of the injury
You have the right to sue for damages following an accident that is not your fault. To pursue justice, however, you need to know your legal rights and to understand any restrictions that you’ll need to honor when pursuing compensation that is rightfully yours.