This is the second installment of our two-part blog post (Part 1)providing an overview of the timing requirements that impact personal injury claims in Georgia. When injury victims fail to comply with these deadlines, this failure can result in the loss of your right to bring a personal injury claim or lawsuit, so it is essential to pay close attention to the time limits that govern the legal process. If you have concerns specific to your circumstances, you are welcome to contact us to schedule a free consultation.
What must be done to avoid violating the statute of limitations?
The statute of limitations (SOL) designates the period of time within which a lawsuit must be initiated. The best way to avoid running afoul of the SOL is to seek prompt legal advice following an accident or other incident causing injury. Law firms need time to investigate the facts and law related to your claim so there is a risk that you might find it difficult to retain legal counsel to take your lawsuit if the SOL is about to run (i.e. expire). Even if you have done research on your own on the internet or through DIY books regarding this critical timing requirement, the harsh consequences of failing to comply with this requirement makes it essential to seek legal guidance. Generally, those who have been injured because of the negligent, reckless or intentional conduct of another might be well advised to get a second opinion if they are told that their case is barred by the statute of limitations.
Are there exceptions to the statute of limitations in Georgia?
There are limited exceptions to the statute of limitations that include those who are legally incompetent or who are minors at the time of the incident that caused injury. The statute of limitations may be “tolled” (postponed) until the minor becomes an adult, or the injury victim is no longer incompetent. There may be other limited exceptions or nuances that can impact the date that the statute of limitations expires, so it is always prudent to seek legal advice from a knowledgeable attorney.
Many personal injury victims do not feel a sense of urgency, even with the statute of limitations approaching because they presume that some form of recourse must exist. Unfortunately, the law does not provide a hardship exception regardless of the degree of injury or indisputable nature of fault.
How is the statute of limitations calculated if a person does not know that he or she has been injured?
There are certain situations in which an injury that causes a wrongful death is not readily apparent when it occurs. For example, a doctor might harm a patient by failing to diagnose cancer in a timely fashion. In this situation, the statute of limitations begins when the injury is discovered or should have been reasonably discovered. This legal principle which is referred to as the discovery rule can be complicated and open to conflicting interpretations based on the facts so it is important to seek legal advice promptly.
Our Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyers at Montlick and Associates have been representing injury victims for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.