What Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Georgia?

light on columns outside court houseIf you were injured in an accident that you think was the fault of another party, you have a limited amount of time to file a claim against the at-fault party. This is because of a law known as the statute of limitations that applies to most accident claims, including car accidents, dog bites, and slips and falls.

The experienced Savannah personal injury lawyers at Roden Law can review your situation to determine when the statute of limitations on your case runs out. Schedule a free legal consultation today to find out if we can assist you with your case.

Time Limits for Filing a Claim

Georgia’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of the accident, according to Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) 9-3-33.  This statute applies to most types of personal injury claims, including car accident lawsuits, wrongful death claims and cases based on the intentional conduct of the at-fault party.

If you do not file a lawsuit within this time limit, you will be barred from doing so, no matter how strong your case is.  

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations

There are a few exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations:

Minor Victim

If the victim was a minor at the time of the injury, the statute of limitations is paused or tolled until the victim reaches 18 years of age, according to O.C.G.A. 9-3-90.

Legal Incompetence

O.C.G.A. 9-3-90 also tolls the statute of limitations if the victim was legally incompetent at the time the accident occurred. The statute begins to run once the victim is determined to be legally competent.

If the victim suffered a disability after the accident and was declared legally incompetent, the period of incompetence may not be counted toward the statute of limitations, per O.C.G.A. 9-3-91.

Out-of-State Defendant

If the at-fault party leaves Georgia after the accident and before the victim had the opportunity to file a lawsuit, the statute of limitations will be tolled during the time he or she is out of the state, per O.C.G.A. 9-3-94.

Do Not Wait to Contact a Lawyer

If you were injured in an accident caused by another party, it is important that you speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. This helps to give your lawyer enough time to thoroughly investigate your case, collect evidence and file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.

The lawyers at Roden Law work on a contingency fee basis, so your consultation is free and you will not be charged legal fees unless you receive compensation.