Riverdale Car Accident Statute of Limitations

If you were recently in a car accident and are considering suing those responsible, do not wait too long. Riverdale car accident statute of limitations set strict timeframes for filing claims, and failure to adhere to the rules may doom your case. Talk to a seasoned car accident litigator to fully understand what restrictions apply to your situation.

Explaining the Statute of Limitations

Every state imposes restrictions on filing lawsuits, and Georgia is no exception. These laws establish a window within which claimants must assert allegations. Depending on the circumstances, the maximum amount of time may be months or years.

Failure to file within the statute of limitations will require the court to dismiss the case and result in the forfeiture of potential damages awards. Losing the opportunity to make legitimate damage claims will only add to a victim’s suffering, so injured parties must seek legal counsel soon after the accident to preserve their rights.

Timely Car Accident Claims

Several filing periods may pertain to car accidents in the local area, but in most instances, the general statute of limitations for personal injury and property damage apply.

The law requires persons suffering bodily injury because of a car wreck to file their lawsuit within two years of the accident. If their claim includes a demand for loss of companionship and intimacy with a family member, they have four years. Similarly, a claimant must file within four years when demanding compensation for property loss, such as a damaged or totaled vehicle.

If a worst-case scenario arises and the car wreck proves fatal, the surviving family members may pursue a wrongful death case, which they must file within two years from the date of the victim’s passing.

Although there are different time frames for different types of redress, multiple lawsuits may not be necessary or even advised. Car accident victims should consult with experienced legal counsel to determine what course of action best fits their situation.

Holding Government Entities Accountable

If responsibility for the car accident lies with the State or a local governmental entity, such as a municipality, the Georgia Code sets even shorter statute of limitations:

  • Local government – 6 months
  • State government – 1 year

Victims must not delay or risk missing out on the chance to recover, given these very narrow opportunities for filing notices of intent to sue.

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations

In some limited instances, the Georgia Code allows for putting on hold (or tolling) the running of the window to file for a given period or until certain events take place:

  • Reaching the age of majority (18 years old)
  • Completion of prosecuting an underlying crime (e.g., violating motor vehicle laws) or six years – the shorter of the two

Also, if victims are unaware that they sustained harm, the clock will not start running until they become or reasonably should have become aware of the damage.

While these exceptions to car accident statute of limitations appear clear-cut, their application involves a detailed understanding of the law. Therefore, if a party believes these rules apply to their case, they should consult with an attorney before deciding to postpone their filing.

Procrastination May Undermine Your Recovery

If you wish to pursue a damages award after being in a car accident, you must act quickly. The law includes various time frames by which a victim must file a claim, and if you let those windows pass, the court will likely bar you from ever collecting for your injuries, no matter how severe they may be. Attorneys practicing in this area understand the intricacies of Riverdale car accident statute of limitations and will work with you to decide how to proceed. Call us today to get started.