How long do I have to file a lawsuit for injuries caused by a car accident in Georgia?
By SHabib on March 21st, 2023 in
Generally, a case brought to recover for injuries from a car accident must be filed within 2 years from the date of the car accident:
Except as otherwise provided in this article, actions for injuries to the person shall be brought within two years after the right of action accrues, except for injuries to the reputation, which shall be brought within one year after the right of action accrues, and except for actions for injuries to the person involving loss of consortium, which shall be brought within four years after the right of action accrues.
O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33.
There has a been a remarkable amount of litigation over how the statute of limitations should be calculated. Unfortunately, lawyers and parties to accidents frequently procrastinate. Do not chance your case and your ability to recover for injuries following a car accident based upon the statute of limitations.
For example, consider the case below. While the plaintiff was able to maintain his claim, there was a substantial amount of risk of jeopardizing his/her claim by waiting until the last minute to file the case:
A motion to dismiss barred claims is properly granted “[w]hen a complaint shows on its face that the statute of limitation has run and there is no further showing by amendment or by affidavit that a tolling of the statute is possible.” (Citations and punctuation omitted.) Cooper v. Commercial Union Ins. Co., 192 Ga.App. 815, 816(1), 386 S.E.2d 551 (1989); Bailey v. Kemper Group, 182 Ga.App. 604, 607, 356 S.E.2d 695 (1987). Gullatt’s complaint alleges that he was injured when he was struck by an automobile on April 1, 1998. Gullatt concedes that Georgia law required him to file his personal injury action “within two years after the right of action accrue[d].” OCGA § 9-3-33. The date two years after April 1, 1998, that is, April 1, 2000, fell on a Saturday. See OCGA § 1-3-1(d)(3) (“when a period of time measured in … years … is prescribed for the exercise of any privilege or the discharge of any duty, the first day shall not be counted but the last day shall be counted”). When “the last day falls on Saturday or Sunday, the party having [any] privilege or duty shall have through the following Monday to exercise the privilege or to discharge the duty.” OCGA § 1-3-1(d)(3). See Loveless v. Grooms, 180 Ga.App. 424, 425, 349 S.E.2d 281 (1986). Gullatt filed his complaint on April 3, 2000, the Monday following April 1, 2000. As a matter of law, Gullatt’s complaint was timely filed.
Gullatt v. Omega PSI PHI Fraternity, Inc., 248 Ga. App. 779, 779, 546 S.E.2d 927, 928-29 (2001).
A case for the recovery of damages does not need to brought immediately following an accident; however, there is no reason to wait until you are close to the statute of limitations to speak with a qualified Macon car accident lawyer. In fact, waiting a large amount of time before speaking with a qualified personal injury attorney can result in making some critical mistakes.
Often time, following a car accident, injured people will receive multiple inquiries from insurers attempting to take recorded statements and settle claims for a fraction of their true value. Consulting with a qualified Macon car accident lawyer can help ensure that you do not diminish the value of your case.