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What Is the Car Accident Statute of Limitations in Georgia?

Two cars involved in an accident

While Georgia car accident victims can claim compensation for losses from a crash, there is a deadline to file a lawsuit. This period is called the statute of limitations. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for car accidents is two years from the crash date. This timeline means you only have two years after the car crash to bring a legal claim to recover damages. After that period expires, you forfeit your right to file a lawsuit. The Georgia car accident attorneys at Farah & Farah can initiate your case right away so you don’t lose the chance to seek financial compensation. Schedule a free consultation with our team to learn more.

The Essential Role of Statutes of Limitations in Car Accidents Claims

Georgia and every other state has a statute of limitations that creates a window of time for car accident victims to take legal actions for personal injury claims. Under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 9-3-33, Georgia’s statute of limitations is two years. However, other states’ time limits to file a personal injury claim generally range from one to six years. 

The reason for limiting the time frame for a legal claim is to prevent unfair lawsuits that do not have sufficient evidence. As more time passes, important evidence could get lost, damaged, or falsely rendered by hazy recollections. Requiring victims to take legal action by the deadline means the evidence in the case is as accurate and relevant as possible. 

It’s also important to emphasize that the statute of limitations for Georgia car accidents is the deadline to file your claim—not resolve the case. As long as you initiate your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, you maintain your right to recover damages. This rule also applies to other personal injury cases, including: 

Are There Exceptions to the Car Accident Statute of Limitations in Georgia?

The two-year Georgia statute of limitations for car accidents generally applies in most cases. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. The case can be “tolled” or paused, which means the deadline may be extended if one of the following circumstances apply: 

  • The victim is a minor 
  • The victim is mentally disabled 
  • The victim is legally incompetent 
  • Fraud was involved in the case 
  • The defendant left the state after the crash but before the lawsuit was filed 
  • The case is tolled, pending a criminal investigation 

If the car accident victim was under 18 when the crash occurred, the law allows them more time to file a legal claim. In general, the statute of limitations for minors does not go into effect until they turn 18. These victims have until their 20th birthday to bring a lawsuit to recover damages after a crash. Likewise, victims who are mentally disabled or legally incompetent may have more time to file a claim. 

There’s also the possibility that the timeframe to file a lawsuit is shorter than two years. For example, you may only have 12 months to file legal claims against government agencies, Georgia counties, or county employees. Speak with an experienced car accident lawyer in Georgia to see what deadlines apply to your case and how you can get started. 

How Does the Georgia Statute of Limitations Impact My Case?

Georgia’s statute of limitations can significantly impact your ability to recover damages after a car accident. You must initiate your lawsuit within two years of the car crash or lose the right to sue for compensation. Failure to  file suit on time could leave you with physical, financial, and emotional struggles that affect your whole family. 

If you try to file a claim after two years, your case will likely be dismissed, and you will miss your chance to recover damages, including: 

  • Medical bills 
  • Future medical costs 
  • Lost wages 
  • Loss of future earnings 
  • Pain and suffering 
  • Emotional distress 
  • Mental anguish

Does the Statute of Limitations Affect My Insurance Claims?

The Georgia statute of limitations applies to legal claims. When filing a claim with your insurance company, you must follow the rules and deadlines outlined in your insurance policy. However, insurance companies are not always fair when it comes to car accident claims. 

Unfortunately, insurance adjusters often try to minimize claims or pay the least amount possible. They also may use tactics to pressure car accident victims to accept a settlement that is less than their claim’s worth. When insurers attempt such maneuvers, you can work with a personal injury attorney in Georgia to fight for the amount you deserve. 

The two-year statute of limitations is important to remember during the insurance claims process. If you wait too long to file an insurance claim only to find that it was unfairly denied or the adjusters refuse to pay what it’s worth, you may not have much time left to file a lawsuit for the full value of your damages. Contact a skilled attorney to take legal action right away. 

How Can a Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?

Because you only have two years to take legal action, beginning the process quickly is vital. You can work with an experienced attorney who will push your case through the legal system before the deadline expires. A personal injury lawyer can: 

  • Offer an initial consultation to explain your rights and legal options 
  • Conduct a full investigation of the accident and what caused the collision 
  • Gather crucial evidence needed to support your case 
  • File essential court paperwork and documentation on your behalf 
  • Calculate the value of your damages to include in your claim 
  • Negotiate with insurance companies to secure a fair settlement offer 
  • Take your case to trial when necessary 

Two years is not a long time to take every step necessary to build a strong case and seek the maximum amount available for your damages. Even if you’re unsure you have a case or want to pursue justice, you can speak with an attorney to learn more. Farah & Farah offers free case evaluations to discuss your claim details and see if you qualify to bring a lawsuit in Georgia. 

Contact Our Car Accident Attorneys for a Free Case Review

If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident in Georgia, time is of the essence. You only have two years from the accident date to seek compensation for your losses. Our car accident lawyers at Farah & Farah can help you fight for the full amount you deserve and verify you don’t miss crucial case-filing deadlines. 

Let us go to work for you. Call us at (877) 245-6707 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation to learn more about our legal services, experience, and how we can help you seek justice for your injuries and suffering. 

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