If you’ve suffered a personal injury, it’s crucial that you contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may lose your right to sue for damages.
What is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is law that establishes a time limit for legal proceedings. After the time limit has passed, you no longer have to right to sue for damages. (In some cases, however, an experienced injury attorney may be able to extend the statute of limitations.)
The statute of limitations depends on the state in which you file the action, the type of case, and whether you file in state court or federal court. If you do not file your lawsuit before the statutory deadline, you may lose your legal right to sue. That’s why it’s important to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to protect your legal rights.
Georgia Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury
In Georgia, the statute of limitations varies depending on the type of case. Here’s a list of Georgia limitations by the type of case:
Personal Injury: Legal actions must be filed within 2 years after the date of the injury.
Medical Malpractice: Actions against medical professionals must be filed within 2 years of the injury. If the injured party does not recover from the injury within 2 years, then the limitations period may be extended – but it cannot be extended for more than 5 years beyond the date of the injury.
In medical malpractice cases where a healthcare professional leaves a foreign object inside a patient’s body (it happens more often than you’d like to think), the victim has one year from the date of discovery to file suit. Again, in normal situations, no medical malpractice action may be initiated more than five years after the date that act giving rise to the injury occurred.
Libel, Slander or Defamation: Actions must be filed within 1 year.
Wrongful Death: Actions must be filed within 2 years of the death.
Professional Malpractice: Actions must be filed within 2 years of the date of injury.
Product Liability: Actions must be filed within 2 years of the date of the occurrence resulting injury.
Tolling the Statute of Limitations in Georgia
Tolling the statute of limitations means that the limitations period will be put on hold for a specified length of time. For example, if the victim of a personal injury were a minor at the time of the injury, the statute of limitations may be put on hold until the victim becomes a legal adult. Similarly, the statute of limitations may be tolled if the victim is mentally incompetent or bankrupt.
In some cases, the statute of limitations clock may not start ticking with the date of the injury, but with the date when the cause of the injury was realized. Some situations may actually shorten the limitations time period! (For example, if you want to sue a government agency, then you must file the action within 60 days of the injury.) Fortunately, the statute of limitations can be contested in court.
If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence or intent, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to learn more about the statute of limitations in your case and to make sure that your rights are protected. In some case, an attorney will be able to extend the statute of limitations in your favor. But don’t wait! The longer you wait, the weaker your case may become. You may not only risk exceeding the statutory time period; if you wait too long, you and your attorney may lose access to vital evidence.
If you’ve been injured, schedule your free consultation with GA personal injury lawyer Michael Lawson Neff by calling (404) 531-9700, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.