Most people have probably heard the term, “statute of limitations,” and it is likely that there is a vague understanding of what it means in the general public. In most instances, when people refer to a statute of limitations, they are talking about a crime and how the state cannot prosecute someone if it waits too long before filing suit. The legal term, “statute of limitations” applies more than just criminal law, however. If you have questions about the statute of limitation in your case, contact an Atlanta personal injury lawyer today.
The civil side of the law also has statutes of limitations. This means that there are limits on how long a person can take to make a claim for something like a personal injury, breached contract, property loss, and other types of claims. Each of these claims has a statute in the Georgia code limiting when a claim can be brought, which a personal injury attorney in Atlanta can help you understand further.
Under Georgia law, the rules regarding statute of limitations and personal injury can be found in Georgia Code §9-3-33. That law explains that all claims for injury to a person must be filed within two years after the action becomes known and actionable. When it comes to claims of loss of consortium (loss of companionship due to injury), those claims can be brought for up to a four-year period.
This law is strict, and ignoring it can bring severe consequences. For example, if you are hurt in a car accident and wait until two years and one day to file a claim, it will be barred from being heard in court. That is only fair to the people responsible for paying a claim. People who cause an accident and their insurance companies need to know for how long they are on the hook for an injury.
Nowhere was the severity of the statute of limitations more apparent than in an attorney discipline case from 2015. In that case, an attorney agreed to take a personal injury case and was paid by her client $1,000. She took the money, but failed to file the personal injury case within the two years allowed by law. As a result of this, she was disbarred in Georgia and not allowed to practice law anymore.
Protecting Your Rights with the Help of an Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are injured because of a car accident, slip and fall, or some other form of negligence, time is of the essence. It is important that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible because the time to report and make a claim is already ticking away. Depending on your particular situation, the time may even be shorter than you think.
At The Angell Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys will treat your case as a priority, and ensure that your claim is handled within the time period allowed by law. If you are injured in the Atlanta area as a result of a car accident, dog bite, negligent property upkeep, or some other reason, contact our personal injury attorneys serving Atlanta. We will help you understand what your options are, and what steps you need to take to make those responsible for your injury pay.
(image courtesy of Niklas Rhose)