Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury in Georgia
As an attorney in Atlanta focusing on serious injury matters, I am frequently asked: How long do I have to consider whether to file my case? The answer, as with so many things in the law, is “it depends.” Georgia imposes various statutes of limitation depending upon the type of claim. Contract disputes (generally 6 years, O.C.G.A. 9-3-24), disputes over land (generally 4 years, O.C.G.A. 9-3-30), and personal injury actions (2 years, O.C.G.A. 9-3-33) have different statutes of limitation. Interestingly, a claim for loss of consortium, which is a spouse’s claim for the loss of love, society, and companionship which accompanies serious injury to the other spouse, has a 4 year statute of limitations (O.C.G.A. 9-3-33).
For most personal injury actions filed in Georgia, the injured party has 2 years to file the case, as noted above. Two years from when? Two years from the date of the injury. Of course, the lawsuit must also be formally served upon the defendant. Therefore, the best practice is to investigate the case thoroughly and then avoid waiting until the last minute to file a case. For injured Georgians, the best practice is to find a good, reputable, and qualified attorney and allow counsel to efficiently look into the matter.
It is worth noting that in cases not involving medical malpractice (O.C.G.A. 9-3-73 governs medical malpractice actions involving children), the statute of limitations applicable to injury matters involving minor children is tolled until the child’s 18th birthday (O.C.G. A. 9-3-90). In plain English, that means that the statute of limitations does not beginning running until the 18th birthday, meaning it expires on the child’s 20th birthday.