Georgia law sets specific time limits regarding when a lawsuit must be filed before the person(s) loses the right to bring a legal claim. These time limits are called the statute of limitations, they exist to ensure that any legal action is taken in a timely manner. Claims made after the statute of limitations is deemed untimely and are usually not allowed to proceed. The statute of limitations in Georgia on personal injury matters are usually 2 years from the date of the injury. However, although your personal injury attorney must file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations, your case does not need to be resolved within that period of time. Once you file, your case is considered timely, regardless of the length of time the case takes to resolve.

Lawyer reviewing a document with a client.

There are some exceptions to the 2-year statute of limitations. If your case involves an exception, the statute of limitations is usually expanded to 4 years.

Exceptions to Statute of Limitations:

Nursing Home Abuse

  • If medical malpractice was involved
  • If a government entity is at fault
  • If the abused person was murdered
  • If the abuse was ongoing

If the nursing home abuse was ongoing, the statute of limitations is not constrained by the first recorded incidence of abuse. Other, later incidents can be the focus of the case, giving you more time to file.

Spine and Brain Injuries

  • If medical malpractice was involved
  • If a child younger than 5 was injured

If a young child is involved, the time limit is expanded to 2 years from the child’s 5th birthday. However, the parents must file a claim for any medical bills before or by the 2-year anniversary date of the injury.

Car and Semi-Truck Accidents

  • If medical malpractice was involved
  • If a child younger than 5 was injured

Wrongful Death

  • If medical malpractice was involved
  • If the person was murdered
  • If a government entity is responsible for the death
  • If the estate lacks an executor or for another reason an administrator must be appointed to administer the estate

When a medical malpractice or criminal case (like a homicide case) is pending, it takes precedence over a civil case like a personal injury lawsuit. The medical malpractice case or criminal case may reveal information that gives you grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, so the resolution of these cases is factored into when a civil case is deemed timely. Perhaps you didn’t know that a doctor who treated your mother had a history of overmedicating patients until a medical malpractice case revealed the information. At that time, you might review your mother’s medical records and discover she was also overmedicated by the same doctor, which you learn would have contributed to her death. So even though your mother may have died more than 2 years ago, the new information revealed in the medical malpractice case could make your lawsuit against the same doctor timely.

Even if you have lost a medical malpractice case, or if the state lost a criminal case against the negligent person or institutions responsible for your injury or loved one’s death, you can still bring a personal injury lawsuit regarding the same incident. Because I’m a medical malpractice attorney as well as a personal injury lawyer, I can advise you about the intricacies of your specific situation and how statute of limitations may be affected.

Some attorneys try to tie things up in court, filing useless motions and unnecessary information requests in the hopes that their opponents will either run out of money for legal fees and be forced to drop the lawsuit or be so tired of the ongoing delays that they’ll be more open to a low settlement. I’m experienced with these tactics and know how to combat them. I also don’t charge my clients until their case is resolved. I’ll work as long as needed to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve in your personal injury lawsuit.

If you have suffered an injury or lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence, your situation may warrant a personal injury lawsuit. The best way to know for sure is to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney in Georgia like me. Even if you think your situation falls within one of the exceptions described above, don’t wait. My offices are located in Macon, GA, but I serve clients throughout Middle Georgia and into Atlanta. Please contact my office today to set up a free consultation.

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We feel she made our future brighter despite what had happened. We cannot thank Tracey enough for representing us during this life changing ordeal. WE would highly recommend her to anyone. She and her staff are not just our lawyers, but they are our friends.
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