After a car accident in Georgia, adults have 2 years to file a lawsuit for physical injuries. O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33. A lawsuit for property damage must be filed within 4 years of the date of the accident. O.C.G.A. § 9-3-32. These time limitations are called the statute of limitations. If a lawsuit is filed after these deadlines, it will be dismissed by the trial court.
There are some exceptions to these deadlines such situations where the injured person is a minor. The time limit for personal injuries to minors is extended until two years after the minor becomes an adult. O.C.G.A. 9-3-90(b). However, the child’s parent(s) must bring a claim for medical expenses within 2 years. Mujkic v. Lam, 342 Ga. App. 693, 695 (2017).
Do Not Wait Until the Statute of Limitations Is Close
Two and four years may feel like a long time but don’t be lulled into waiting to decide whether to file suit. The statute of limitations is the absolute last day on which a lawsuit can be filed, but a lot of work must be done before the lawsuit is filed. You should seriously consider hiring a well-respected car crash attorney as soon as possible after any car crash.
Your attorney needs to understand and investigate the facts of your case then prepare the lawsuit for filing. If you hire an attorney shortly after a car crash, he or she may even have enough time to get your case settled without filing a lawsuit. Additionally, if you are not represented by an experienced legal team who can guide and advise you, you could inadvertently harm your chances in a future lawsuit.
For example, saying the wrong thing to an insurance adjuster may devalue your claim. Also, evidence must be collected before it is destroyed. Markings on the roadway may need to be documented before they disappear. Property damage needs to be photographed and measured before vehicles are repaired or salvaged. Medical records and bills must be gathered and lost wages need to be properly documented. In some instances, evasive defendants must be located so they can be served with the lawsuit and summons.
For these reasons, you should be vigilant and consult with an attorney that can guide you through the claims process as soon as you are physically able. A consultation does not commit you to filing a lawsuit; rather, it will provide you with more information so you can make an informed decision on how you would like to proceed. Even if you are currently unable to leave your home due to injuries, a personal injury law firm that cares about its clients will have other options available such as phone calls or in home visits.
Experienced Georgia Law Firm for Serious Injuries
If you have been in a car accident and want to learn about whether you have a legal claim, the automobile accident attorneys at Williams Elleby are here to help. Simply call 833-LEGALGA (833-534-2542) to schedule a free consultation with one of our Georgia trial attorneys.