If you have suffered a personal injury, you should carefully consider whether to bring a lawsuit for compensation.
Nevertheless, Georgia law will give you a short window of time to make up your mind and file your lawsuit.
You can find the amount of time in Georgia’s applicable “statute of limitations.”
It is vitally important that you file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations period, otherwise, your case will be dismissed.
Personal Injuries: Two or Four Years
According to O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33, you typically have two years to file a lawsuit for most personal injuries. The clock starts ticking from the date that your legal claim accrues.
For most car accidents, this will be the date on which you were struck, since your personal injuries should be apparent at the scene of the crash.
If you are bringing a loss of consortium claim, however, then you have four years to bring a lawsuit.
Loss of consortium refers to claims your spouse might have after your injury for negative changes to your marriage, such as loss of care or loss of companionship.
Your spouse files the claim, and the law gives them an extra two years to do so.
Medical Malpractice: One or Two Years
If a doctor or another medical professional injured you, you might have a claim for medical malpractice. Medical malpractice has its own statute of limitations, found at § 9-3-71.
Typically, you will have two years to bring a lawsuit from the date of the injury or death.
Georgia also has a five-year statute of repose which cuts off all medical malpractice lawsuits five years after the action that gave rise to your injury.
Consider the following: A doctor gives Melissa the wrong drug to treat her ailment. The drug slowly causes cancer to grow on her liver. Over six years pass before she realizes that she is injured and that the medical malpractice caused her injury.
However, because more than 5 years have passed since the doctor treated Melissa, her claim is barred by the statute of repose.
But if a surgeon left a foreign object in your body, § 9-3-72 creates a one-year statute of limitations. The clock starts ticking after you discover the object.
Wrongful Death: Two Years
If a loved one dies because of someone else’s wrongful conduct, surviving family members (such as spouses or children) can bring a wrongful death lawsuit. They have two years from the date of death to file the lawsuit.
Contact a Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer
Avoid delay because of the state’s statute of limitations, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Two years might sound like a long time, but you will be busy seeking medical care and possibly attending rehabilitation. You also need to leave time to negotiate with the defendant or their insurance carrier.
Rather than delay, reach out to a Georgia personal injury attorney today. Your lawyer can analyze how to best protect your rights, which might include filing a lawsuit immediately if you are bumping up against the statute of limitation deadline.
To schedule your free consultation with one of our Georgia lawyers, call Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley at 706-354-4000.