As a car accident victim, it’s important to know your state’s statute of limitations to file a claim. If you miss the deadline in Georgia, you may be unable to recover compensation from a negligent driver.
In Georgia, the statute of limitations to file a car accident lawsuit is two years, with exceptions. There is tolling for minor victims and in instances where criminal prosecution is pending. However, these exceptions are rare and the two-year statute of limitations generally applies to car accident lawsuits in Georgia. Abiding by the statute of limitations is crucial, as failure to file by the deadline can leave car accident victims without a path to compensation. To prevent that from happening, victims can hire an experienced attorney to guide them through a Georgia car accident claim.
Our attorneys are here to help car accident victims throughout Georgia hold negligent drivers accountable. For a free case evaluation with the Georgia car accident lawyers at Howe Law, call today at (844) 876-4357.
What is Georgia’s Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Cases?
If you were recently injured in a car accident in Georgia, you may be able to sue a negligent driver for compensation. Just because you can file a lawsuit does not mean you have an eternity to do so. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for car accident claims is just two years, with exceptions.
Generally, car accident victims in Georgia have two years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit. That means two years from the day of your car accident. While this may seem like a long time, it is not. Medical bills and lost wages can instantly affect your family after a collision. Even though you may have two years to file a lawsuit, that doesn’t mean you should wait to do so.
An Atlanta car accident lawyer will need time to compile evidence and build a strong case against a negligent driver. The longer you wait to file a lawsuit, the more it may appear that you do not require compensation. So, while Georgia’s statute of limitations for car accident lawsuits is two years, it’s best to hire an attorney and file as soon as possible.
Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Lawsuits in Georgia?
Like many states, Georgia provides exceptions to the statute of limitations for car accident claims. Exceptions do not apply to all cases, so it’s important that victims not rely on possible exceptions and ask a Georgia car accident lawyer for clarification before delaying a claim. In Georgia, there are two notable exceptions to the statute of limitations for car accident lawsuits. The first is tolling for minor victims, and the second applies to car accidents involving a crime.
Tolling for Minor Victims
Suppose your child is driving and is hit by a negligent driver as a minor. In that case, according to Ga. Code Ann. § 9-3-90(b), the statute of limitations will be tolled, or paused, until your child reaches majority age. So, minor victims have two years from their 18th birthday, or until they turn 20, to file a car accident lawsuit in Georgia.
Like elsewhere in the country, minors in Georgia generally cannot bring litigation without a parent or guardian. If a minor victim wishes to sue a negligent driver independently, they will have until their 20th birthday to do so in Georgia.
Tolling for Pending Criminal Prosecution
Suppose there is an alleged crime related to your car accident. In that case, the statute of limitations will be paused from the date of the alleged crime until a defendant’s prosecution for an alleged crime is finished, up to six years, according to Ga. Code Ann. § 9-3-99. For example, say that you are injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. If that driver is arrested, charged, and convicted for an offense, the statute of limitations for you to file a claim will commence once they are convicted.
This can be difficult to understand and may not apply to all collisions. To learn whether or not this exception to the statute of limitations applies to your case, ask a Macon car accident lawyer for clarification.
What Happens if You Miss Georgia’s Filing Deadline for Car Accident Claims?
Understanding Georgia’s statute of limitations for car accident claims is crucial. If you fail to file a lawsuit by the deadline, you can be barred from recovering the compensatory damages you deserve against a negligent driver in Georgia.
Even if you think one of the tolling exceptions to Georgia’s statute of limitations for car accident lawsuits applies to your case, consult an attorney. Relying on possible exceptions to the rule, or waiting too long to file a personal injury claim, means risking your access to compensation.
If you miss the filing deadline or choose to hire an attorney too late, you can be barred from recovery. Not only does that mean you can no longer file a car accident claim in Georgia, but you may be unable to file an insurance claim to recover economic damages. Most insurance companies will not entertain a claim regarding a car accident from several years ago.
Abiding by Georgia’s two-year statute of limitations for car accident claims is absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, many victims may be totally unaware of a filing deadline or that waiting too long to sue can harm their claim. Because of this, hiring a Valdosta car accident attorney is important. An experienced lawyer will be familiar with Georgia’s statute of limitations and possible exceptions so that you don’t miss the filing deadline or your opportunity for recovery.
Speak with Our Georgia Attorneys About Your Car Accident
If you recently sustained injuries in a Georgia car accident, our attorneys can help. For a free case evaluation with the Warner Robins car accident lawyers at Howe Law, call today at (844) 876-4357.
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