According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were more than 32,000,000 injuries in the United States in 2016. If you are one of the unlucky individuals included in this statistic, you should know the steps to take after suffering a personal injury. One of the most vital to keep in mind — after receiving medical treatment — is the statute of limitations for your case.
Here’s what you need to know:
GA Code §9-3-33
In its most basic sense, this code sets the time limits you have to take action for any injuries to you, your reputation or injuries to your spouse or family member. This is also known as the GA statute of limitations for civil cases.
The government implements these limits in the interest of both parties. It’s best for the evidence to be relevant and easy to access, which is why it’s important to file a claim as quickly as possible. It also prevents a potential case from hanging over the interested parties for years to come.
What are my Time Limits?
If you are taking legal action for yourself, you have two years to file a civil claim. This time limit begins on the date of the incident, or cause of action.
If you are taking legal action on behalf of your spouse or family member, the time limit increases. You must file a civil claim within four years of the date of the incident. These claims are also known as a “loss of consortium.”
Another important time limit to keep in mind is the six month mark before the cutoff of your claim. At this point, all parties involved will need to be served. Most attorneys will not take your case if it’s less than six months before the statute of limitations is up, as they can’t provide proper service in such a short time period.
Cases Against the Government
If your case involves the state, county or city government, there are additional time limits you should be aware of. Injured parties are required to give the government notice of a claim at least six months after the incident before they are permitted to file a lawsuit. This is known as the municipal ante litem notice.
After the Statute of Limitations Passes
It is possible to file a suit after the statute of limitations passes, but it is rarely successful. The court normally dismisses the case as the defendant uses this cutoff to their advantage.
Consult an Attorney
Unsure if your claim is worthy of a lawsuit? Don’t wait until it’s too late – request a free consultation with us! We would be happy to discuss your options with you and decide if it’s worth moving forward. As experienced personal injury attorneys who have worked on countless cases throughout the state, we can get you the money you deserve.