Car Accident Statute of Limitations
With a few exceptions, if you are injured in a car accident in Georgia, you have a window of two years to file a personal injury claim. Often referred to as the statute of limitations, any claim that is filed after this date has passed is almost certain to be dismissed immediately.
Although two years may seem like a long time, it is crucial that you speak with an attorney immediately if you have been injured in an auto accident. It can take several months to effectively prepare a personal injury case for trial, and time is not on your side.
Preparing a Personal Injury from Car Accident Case
It is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible if you have been injured in a car wreck. Your attorney will need time to review all the facts of the case, gather all applicable documents and examine the appropriate medical records.
Many lawyers will not even take a personal injury case if it is too close to meeting the statute of limitations and they feel there is not enough time for preparation.
Suspended Statute of Limitations
In special circumstances, the statute of limitations may be “tolled” or suspended. For example, if the person who sustained the injury is a minor or declared legally incompetent, the statute of limitations may be suspended until he or she becomes an adult or is determined to be of sound mind.
Suspending the statute of limitations may only apply in a limited amount of cases, and you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible if you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a car accident.
Ante Litem Notices
One of the notable exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations are situations in which the defendant is a governmental entity, in which case you may have as few as six months from the date of your injury to submit an ante litem or “before litigation” notice.
If the defendant works for a municipal government (such as the city police or a municipal corporation), you have only six months from the date of your injury to submit an ante litem notice, or risk your case being dismissed on summary judgment and voiding your claim altogether.
If the defendant works for state or county government, you generally have one year to submit an ante litem notice.
Ante litem notices must strictly follow the statute and include specific information about the time of the injury, the location of the wreck, and the nature and extend of your damages. They must also be submitted to the correct entity or representatives of that entity, or they may be void.
We have extensive experience and knowledge in handling ante litem notices at an early stage of the litigation. Trust us to get the job done and protect your interests.