How Long Do I Have to File? Statutes of Limitations in Georgia
Expiration date – the date after which something is no longer in effect. We are accustomed to expiration dates on food, medicines, household items, and credit cards, but have you ever thought about legal expiration dates? These dates are referred to as statutes of limitations. While the decision to file a lawsuit can be a difficult one to make, be mindful that a statute of limitations – or expiration date – often applies.
Joe Cargile, attorney and partner at Whitehurst, Blackburn & Warren, explains, “Depending on the cause of action, the length of time to file a lawsuit in Georgia will vary.”
For example, the statute of limitations to file a negligence or personal injury claim is two (2) years from the date of the incident – meaning you have two years from the injury date to file a claim.
“Still, there are exceptions” says Cargile. “The deadline to file a lawsuit can be extended in special cases. For instance, if the person involved is a minor or is mentally incompetent, the deadline to file may be tolled or extended.”
It is important to be mindful of the deadline to file a lawsuit in your case. Most causes of action have an applicable statute of limitations. Take a look at a few common claims and the statute of limitations for each:
While many of the claims listed above have finite start and end dates, some claims may be a bit cloudier.
“Medical malpractice cases fall under special exceptions in regards to statute of limitations. If you don’t discover the medical mishap or issue until later, the start date for the Statute may be considered the date of discovery, not the date of the medical care in question,” Cargile says.
It’s common to worry about the time and expense involved in a lawsuit. Or you may be considering the emotional expense involved. It's natural to want to spend some time weighing your options and seeking professional advice. However, you don’t want to miss out on what may be owed to you because you didn’t know the “expiration date.”
Cargile urges, “Even if you have an extended length of time to file a legal claim, we encourage you to take action quickly, if possible. Time goes by, memories fade, and evidence starts to disappear."
If you think you have grounds for a claim, give us a call at 229-226-2161.
We will gladly schedule your free consultation.