How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Claim?
You have a limited amount of time to file a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident, slip and fall accident or other type of accident. This time limit is known as the statute of limitations. If you fail to file a claim within the time allowed, the court may disallow your claim. So, the time limit is important to keep in mind.
In Georgia, the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits generally is two years, with some exceptions. For example, if you are injured in a car wreck caused by another driver, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit holding the other driver and his or her insurance company responsible for your financial expenses and losses due to the injury.
Two years may seem like a long time. But investigating and preparing a personal injury case takes a good deal of time. In certain situations, you may have less than two years to bring legal action. The time limit for giving notice and filing a lawsuit can be shorter if the accident involves a city or county government in Georgia.
How Do I File a Personal Injury Claim?
The need to understand the time allowed for you to take legal action in your specific case makes it important to reach out to a Norcross personal injury lawyer right away if you’ve been injured in a car accident or any type of personal injury accident. An attorney can review the accident details and clarify how much time you have to pursue compensation. Choose an attorney who has experience handling the type of cases you have. The attorney can evaluate whether you have a valid personal injury claim and discuss the time limits that apply to your specific case.
Our attorneys at Adamson & Cleveland, LLC, based in Norcross, have more than 40 years of collective experience representing victims of personal injuries. We keep track of the statute of limitations in each client’s case and make sure the lawsuit is filed in a timely fashion. Our first priority is pursuing just compensation for the client, whether by negotiation or litigation. Fortunately, most cases that Adamson and Cleveland handles are settled out of court.
What Are the Most Common Types of Personal Injuries?
The types of injuries we typically handle involve serious injuries in car crashes and other motor vehicle accidents, injuries in slip-and-fall accidents, dog bites, construction accident injuries, and injuries caused by unsafe products.
Attorneys Kevin Adamson and Alan Cleveland prepare each case thoroughly and carefully. We often work with professionals to reconstruct an accident to determine how it occurred. We believe it’s important to prepare cases as if they are going to trial. That puts us in a stronger position to negotiate settlement This strategy has helped us obtain millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements.
What Evidence Do I Need for My Personal Injury Lawsuit?
You will need evidence documenting how your injury occurred and who was responsible for the accident. For example, a police report of a car accident and statements from eyewitnesses are often used as evidence.
You will need to establish that the person who injured you owed you a duty of care. For example, drivers have a legal obligation to others on the road to operate a motor vehicle with reasonable caution and obey traffic lawyer to avoid putting others at risk.
You will need to show that your injury was caused by the other party’s failure to fulfill their obligation to drive safely.
You will need to document the extent of your injuries and financial losses related to the injury. Medical records, hospital and doctor bills, and financial records showing your medical debts and loss of income from missed work provide evidence of the damages you have suffered.
After we investigate your case and calculate your present and future losses, we submit a demand letter to the insurance company and attempt to negotiate a fair settlement. We handle all communications with the insurer and manage the paperwork. If a reasonable settlement can be reached, the case may be resolved in a matter of months without a lawsuit.
If the insurance company refuses to agree to a settlement that you think is fair, your option is to file a lawsuit. Some insurance companies attempt to drag out negotiations beyond the statute of limitations. The attorneys at Adamson & Cleveland are experienced trial attorneys and will be prepared to pursue justice in court.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Case?
The purpose of the time limit on filing a lawsuit is to ensure that the evidence is still relatively fresh when legal action occurs. With the passage of time, memories fade and physical evidence deteriorates. The statute of limitations clock typically starts ticking as soon as the injury occurs.
But in certain circumstances, Georgia civil law allows additional time to bring legal action in cases of injuries that are not immediately known or obvious. Under the discovery rule, you may file a lawsuit beyond the two-year limit in cases in which the injury is discovered after the fact—in some cases a number of years after the fact.
For example, if you undergo surgery and the doctor leaves a surgical tool inside your body, its presence may not be immediately known. It may take months for complications to develop and the underlying cause of the injury to be discovered. The statute of limitations starts from the date when the injury was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered.
In cases involving injuries to children, such as a child injured at a day care, the statute of limitations may be extended to two years after the child turns 18. But the parents of the child can file a lawsuit on behalf of the child. That can allow the recovery of compensation for medical expenses more quickly. An attorney at Adamson & Cleveland can review the specifics of the accident and discuss the appropriate statute of limitation.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed after a serious injury and be uncertain what steps to take. If you have been injured in an accident in North Georgia and have questions about your legal options, speak with a lawyer at Adamson & Cleveland, LLC. The initial consultation is free.
Alan is a Gwinnett County native who proudly serves his community and provides skilled representation to injury victims and their families as a founding partner of the personal injury law firm of Adamson & Cleveland, LLC. Alan earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and went on to graduate, summa cum laude, from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. He is also a graduate of Gerry Spence’s renowned Trial Lawyers College (TLC) in Wyoming. In his free time, Alan frequently speaks at continuing legal education seminars. He also volunteers as a youth baseball coach and assists his local high school’s moot court competition team.