Every state has a law that places a limit on the amount of time that accident victims have to file personal injury lawsuits. In Georgia, the statute of limitations is two years. States pass statutes of limitations to make sure that civil claims are bought in a timely manner and before evidence is lost or destroyed. These laws also prevent people from being sued over incidents that occurred decades ago.
Statutes of limitations
The time limit imposed by Georgia’s statute of limitations apples to the date that a personal injury lawsuit is filed and not the date that the case is settled or decided. That means that a plaintiff who files a personal injury lawsuit within two years of a motor vehicle accident will be able to recover damages even if their case drags on long after the time limit has expired.
Accident victims in Georgia can file lawsuits after more than two years have passed in certain situations. The time limit set by the statute of limitations may be paused or tolled if the defendant flees or conceals their identity, and the time limit does not begin until any criminal prosecutions stemming from the accident have been completed. The clock does not start running until minor accident victims reach the age of 18, and the start of the time limit may also be delayed under the discovery of harm rule if the plaintiff did not become aware of their injury, loss or damage until after the accident date.
Keeping the courts moving
The Georgia statute of limitations keeps the civil courts in the Peach State moving. When lawsuits are filed in a timely manner, memories are fresh and evidence is readily available. The law is designed to serve the interests of justice, and it includes provisions to ensure accident victims are not harmed by situations that are beyond their control.