You’ve probably seen movies where people wait for years to go to court for their personal injury case. And, while this does happen from time to time, it’s rare. Most personal injury cases settle long before trial. In fact, more than 90% of all cases settle before there’s ever any need for a hearing. But that doesn’t change the fact that you only have a certain amount of time to file your lawsuit. If you miss your filing deadline, your case is as good as dead.
Every state has something called a statute of limitations. This is the law that states how long you have to file a lawsuit. Their deadline is different depending on what kind of case you need to file. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for a personal injury case is only two (2) years. If you don’t file your case within this two-year period, your case will be dismissed. Either the judge will dismiss it on their own, or the defendant’s lawyer will file a motion to have your case dismissed. If this happens, there’s nothing your Columbus personal injury lawyer can do.
The good news is that an experienced Georgia injury lawyer knows how long the statute is. They also know when it starts. You shouldn’t have to worry about missing the filing deadline as long as you retain a skilled attorney. This is why it’s a good idea to let an experienced personal injury lawyer in Columbus handle your case. They don’t make that kind of mistake.
When Does the Statute Begin to Run?
You may wonder when the two-year statute of limitations period starts. Does it start the day you get hurt? Or, does it start on the day you retain an attorney? It’s actually quite simple. The general rule is that your statutes period begins on the day of your injury. So, if you get hurt on March 1 of 2020, you have until March 1 of 2022 to file your lawsuit.
Don’t be confused about when the statute of limitations applies. It applies to your actual lawsuit. It doesn’t apply to your insurance claim. Each insurance company has its own rule about when you need to file your claim. Most simply require that it be filed within a reasonable time. And, by this, they typically mean within a few days of the injury. That’s why you should talk to a Columbus personal injury attorney right away. This way, they can handle both your insurance claim and a lawsuit for you.
Will the Judge Extend the Statute of Limitations in My Case?
If you miss the statute of limitations period, there’s not really much you can do. Legally, the courts require that you file your claim in time. If you don’t, they’re not going to issue any extensions. They don’t want to hear that you didn’t know about the statute of limitations. They don’t care that you were injured and couldn’t physically get to the courthouse. They feel that two years is plenty of time for even the most unfortunate plaintiff to file their lawsuit.
The reason they even have this rule is for fairness. They want to make sure nobody is blindsided by a lawsuit from ten years before. They also want to make sure the evidence in the case is fresh. The more time that goes by, the harder it is to defend a case. It also gets a lot harder to prove your case the longer you wait.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Columbus Right Away
If you’re hurt in any sort of accident, you should call a personal injury lawyer in Columbus right away. You only have a certain amount of time to file your case. If you wait too long, there’s nothing even the best attorney can do to help you. Plus, you want to give your attorney as long as possible to prepare your case. They need to gather evidence, negotiate with the defendant’s lawyer and do their research. This takes time. The last thing you want to do is wait until the last minute.
Call and schedule your free initial consultation today. You can sit down with someone who’s handled dozens of cases just like yours. They know when they need to file your lawsuit. They’ll also make sure they name all possible defendants in your case. The good news is that you don’t pay anything upfront. You won’t pay a dime until you win or settle your case.