Statute of Limitations
Georgia and every state has what is called a Statute of Limitations for a variety of types of cases. For personal injury cases in Georgia, the Statute of Limitations is generally two years from the date of injury. There’s a variety of things though that can extend that and there’s a variety of things that may actually shorten it, not necessarily the Statute of Limitations, but that may require you to do certain things pre-suit, before filing suit. For example, if you have a claim against a governmental entity like a city, a county, or the state, you might have to go through what’s called the Ante Litem Process, which certain government officials have to be given written notice of the claim in a certain way and in a certain form. If somebody’s sitting back thinking they have two years, but maybe they only have six months or one year to do the Ante Litem Notice and they miss that deadline, they can’t bring the claim. So it’s important to make sure that every case is analyzed to determine what the specific limitations period is. In terms of extending the period, there are things that will extend the Statute of Limitations period. For example, if somebody is a minor, they generally have two years from the date they turn eighteen. But there’s a variety of things that need to be taken into account with that too. So if somebody’s a minor, the parents actually have the claim for the medical bills, and the parents have two years from the date of the injury to bring the claim for the medical bills. If they don’t do that, they’re not able to recover for that claim. So, it’s important that every case be analyzed to determine what specific limitations periods may apply to the overall case and any claims within it, because if an attorney sits back and misses that deadline, the client can be seriously harmed if they’re unable to bring a lawsuit later.