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Georgia Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

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The statute of limitations for personal injury & accidents in Georgia is two (2) years (Ref: Georgia Code Sec. 9-3-33). 

What this means is that you (or your attorney) must file a lawsuit against a defendant within two years of the date of your accident. If you do not file a lawsuit within two years, generally you forfeit any potential claim against the defendant as a matter of law - meaning there will be no opportunity for a settlement, arbitration or trial. 

Disclaimer: Although the information presented on this page is generally true there are some exceptions to this information, and the Georgia Statute of Limitations (and the exceptions) may change over time. If you or a family member was involved in an accident and considering seeking compensation for your injuries it is crucial that you speak to an Georgia personal injury lawyer to discuss your claim and potential recovery.

Exceptions & Variations on Time Limits for Filing a Lawsuit in Georgia

There are some variations & exceptions to the 2 years statute of limitations on personal injury cases in Georgia. Because of this, it is critical you discuss your matter with a lawyer who is highly experienced in personal injury law. 

  • When the defendant (the person the plaintiff is trying to sue) leaves the state of Georgia after the underlying accident, and before the plaintiff can file the lawsuit and "serve" the defendant with the necessary legal documents, the time of the absence probably won’t be counted as part of the two years until the defendant "returns to reside" in Georgia (Georgia Code section 9-3-94). 
  • When the defendant (the person the plaintiff is trying to sue) is charged with a crime arising out of the same facts that causes an injury,  the two year “clock” stops running from the date the person is charged with a crime until the prosecution of the crime is finished (Georgia Code section 9-3-99). This includes non-violent crime such as a traffic violation which causes an automobile wreck that causes you injury.
  • When the injured person was a minor (under 18) or was "legally incompetent because of intellectual disability or mental illness" at the time of the accident, the two year "clock" likely won't run until the person turns 18 or the period of incompetence is declared over (Georgia Code section 9-3-90).

What if You Miss the Deadline to File a Lawsuit?

If you miss the deadline to file a lawsuit and the Georgia statute of limitations passes (barring any exceptions), the opposing party will almost surely move for case dismissal and it will likely be granted. This also means that nearly any hope of a settlement will also be forfeited because there is no leverage to potentially pursue a trial (since the case would immediately be dismissed). 

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Verified Accurate: 3/29/21

The information on this page was verified as accurate by attorney Bryan Baer on 3/29/21. Mr. Baer has over 20 years of experience in personal injury law, is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and is a verified Personal Injury Law Guru. Click button below to learn more about Bryan Baer.

Bryan Baer