The Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims: Understanding Deadlines

understand the statute of limitations on personal injury claims

Personal injury is a complex area of the law where understanding the applicable timeframes can be the difference between securing compensation or being barred from obtaining benefits. The statute of limitations sets out the maximum timeframe in which legal proceedings need to be instituted in order to be able to successfully claim compensation.

Read on to find out how soon you need to file a claim and why you should get a Fayetteville personal injury attorney to help you.

The Statute of Limitations in Georgia

Section 9-3-33 of the Georgia Code stipulates that the maximum time in which a personal injury lawsuit needs to be filed must be within two years from the date of the accident which caused the injury. If you fail to abide by this two year period you will be barred from seeking compensation for your losses as a result of the injury.

Exceptions to the Rule

There are certain exceptions to this rule which will extend the period in which personal injury lawsuits can be filed beyond the two year period. These include:

Minor Children

For a minor child, the statute of limitations does not even begin to run until the child turns 18 years old. This rule, codified in Statute 9-3-73, is designed to protect the legal rights of children who are too young to take legal action themselves.

In medical malpractice cases, the statute of limitations for minor children does not expire before the child turns seven years old, even if more than two years have passed since the malpractice occurred.

Furthermore, a minor who has not reached the age of five years shall have two years from the date of such minor’s fifth birthday within which to bring a medical malpractice action if the cause of action arose before such minor attained the age of five years.

Mental Incapacity

If a person is mentally incompetent at the time of the accident, the period of disability is not part of the time limit for the commencement of the action. The two-year limitations period starts once the disability or mental illness causing their incompetence is over.

find out how the statute of limitations impacts your claim

However, an action for medical malpractice may not be brought by or on behalf of a person who is legally incompetent because of intellectual disability or mental illness after five years has passed since the date on which the negligent or wrongful act took place.

Leave of Absence

If the defendant leaves the state after an accident occurs but before a lawsuit can be filed, the time period in which the defendant is out of state will not be counted towards the timeframe in which a personal injury case needs to be filed. Thus, the time period is suspended until the defendant returns to Georgia. This exception is designed to prevent a defendant from avoiding a lawsuit by simply leaving the state.

These exceptions are complex and can significantly impact the timeline for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Therefore, it is crucial to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in Fayetteville to understand how these exceptions may apply to your case.

Impact of the Statute of Limitations

If a lawsuit is not filed within the time period, barring the exceptions, the injured person will lose their right to file a case against the responsible party. This means that the claimant will not be able to claim compensation or other benefits, despite suffering potentially severe losses.

Get Advice from an Experienced Fayetteville Personal Injury Lawyer

Understanding the statute of limitations and exceptions will ensure that the responsible parties are held accountable for their actions. By hiring a Fayetteville personal injury attorney from the Weinstein Law Firm you can ensure that your case is filed on time and that the exceptions are taken into account when filing your lawsuit.

Contact us at 770-HELP-NOW to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.

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