In Atlanta, you have two years from the date of a car accident to file a liability claim seeking compensation for injuries. You have four years from the accident to file claims for property damage. This is the same throughout the state of Georgia.
However, while this may seem cut and dry, there are exceptions to this rule. There are also details and nuances to the law in Georgia that make it even more complicated. For these reasons, talking to an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer after your crash is important. Even if you missed the deadline, you might still have legal options.
Fortunately, most Atlanta car accident law firms offer free initial consultations so you can check to see if you missed the deadlines for filing a car accident claim.
Do I Have to Report My Car Accident In Atlanta?
In Atlanta and across the state, the law requires you to report your car accident to law enforcement immediately. This goes for any crash that involves injuries or property damage that exceeds $500. If you leave the accident scene, you could be charged with a hit and run, especially if someone suffered an injury.
If another driver caused your accident, having a police report will only help strengthen your case. Your car accident attorney will want to obtain a copy of this report to show liability and help you obtain maximum compensation.
What is the Georgia Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims?
The statute of limitations in Georgia for personal injury claims, including car accidents, is two years from the accident date. This means that a car accident victim has two years from the accident date to file a lawsuit or settle their claim, or else they may lose their right to seek compensation for their injuries and damages.
It’s important to note that there may be some exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations depending on the case’s specific circumstances. That’s why speaking to an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer as soon as possible is a good idea. You may still be able to file a claim even if you believe you’ve missed the deadline.
Even though you have two years from the accident to settle your claim or file a lawsuit, it is best not to wait. Valuable evidence is often lost or destroyed after too much time has passed. In addition, eyewitnesses may begin to forget critical details that could help your case. Speaking to a lawyer quickly after your accident will only increase your chances of a successful outcome.
What About Accidents Involving Government Vehicles?
If your car accident involves a government vehicle, the statute of limitations for filing a claim or lawsuit may differ from the standard two-year deadline. This includes accidents with city buses, police cars, and other government vehicles.
Under Georgia law, if you want to file a claim against a city or county entity or employee, you must notify them within six months of the accident. This notice should be in writing and include details about the accident, the injuries and damages you suffered, and the compensation you’re seeking. The city or county entity or employee has 30 days to respond to your notice before you can file a lawsuit.
If your accident involved a state vehicle, you might have up to one year to notify the office of a claim. You might have more time if your accident involved a federal vehicle or entity.
Given the complex rules and procedures in filing a claim or lawsuit against a government entity or employee, consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney is important if you’ve been involved in a car accident with a government vehicle.
What Are Exceptions to the 2-Year Statute of Limitations in Georgia?
Unfortunately, many injured accident victims fail to file a claim or lawsuit because they believe they have missed the deadline. Don’t make this decision yourself! The law is complicated, and a lawyer can help you explore what legal options are still available.
Remember, there are some exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations in Georgia for car accident claims. Here are some of the most common exceptions:
- Minors: If the person injured in the car accident is under 18, the two-year statute of limitations starts when they turn 18. In other words, a minor may have until their 20th birthday to file a lawsuit. There are nuances to this exception, though, and you may have even longer than you realize.
- Incapacitated individuals: If the injured person is incapacitated, meaning they cannot make decisions for themselves, the statute of limitations may be tolled or suspended until they regain capacity.
- Fraud or concealment: If the defendant in the case fraudulently conceals the cause of the accident or the identity of the person responsible, the statute of limitations may be tolled until the plaintiff discovers the fraud or concealment.
- Government claims: As I mentioned earlier, if the car accident involves a government entity or employee, you may have to give notice of your claim within six months of the accident, and the statute of limitations may be shorter than two years.
- Out-of-state defendants: If the defendant in the case is a resident of another state, the statute of limitations may be extended to allow for service of process on the out-of-state defendant.
It’s important to note that these exceptions may not apply to every case, and there may be other factors that affect the statute of limitations in your specific situation. Therefore, it’s best to consult with an experienced Atlanta car accident attorney to determine the statute of limitations and any exceptions that may apply to your case.
Contact Our Experienced Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers
You must act quickly if you suffer an injury in a car accident. Valuable evidence can get lost or destroyed in a short time. You may still have legal options even if you think too much time has passed.
Contact our team of experienced Atlanta car accident lawyers for expert legal assistance. We prioritize our clients and aim to achieve results quickly. At Kim Law, you are not just a case number but our top priority.
Our experienced Atlanta car accident attorney can meet you in a free consultation and begin fighting for your rights today! Contact us today for a free consultation. We work on a contingency basis, so you don’t pay us anything unless we win your case! Just call and JUST WIN.