What is the Deadline or Statute of Limitations in Georgia For a Car Accident Case?
Understanding the Statute of Limitations in Georgia
If you have been injured and you want to file a claim in Georgia, you must do so within 2 years. While there are a few rare exceptions, in the vast majority of cases this deadline cannot be passed. Besides situations involving minors and the mentally challenged, these rare exceptions include estate claims in wrongful death cases—if there has been a wrongful death and the victim’s estate does not have an appointed administrator, the state allows a “tolling” five-year period before the regular two year time limit goes into effect. The purpose behind this exception is to take into account all of the pain and suffering, medical expenses, funeral costs and punitive settlements that make wrongful death cases unique. Additionally, out-of-state attorneys should be aware that in Georgia the two-year statute of limitations applies to uninsured motorist claims, rather than the four-year timeline normally applied to breach of contract statues. O.C.G.A. §9-3-33
Since September 28, 2009, Georgia has seen a sweeping change in auto injury law that could affect your case. In 2009’s Supreme Court case Beneke v. Parker et al., the Court decided that the time between a traffic crime and the settlement of the resulting ticket should be added to the normal two-year statute of limitations. In other words, if you receive a ticket because you ran a light and then you take 27 days to pay the ticket, your statute of limitations will actually be 2 years and 27 days from the day of the incident. While the state legislature will most likely revise this statute, for now it is an important new development that can affect your case significantly. Click here for more information about this recent change.