When you are injured in an accident or as the direct result of another’s reckless conduct or actions, you deserve to be compensated for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Fortunately, injured victims have two courses of action available in terms of seeking reimbursement for their injuries: compensation through an insurance company claim, and compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Georgia law allows time for injured victims to explore their options to determine which avenue is most suited to their particular circumstances.
Statutes of limitations refers to the amount of time allowed by law in which a claimant can file a lawsuit. According to the Georgia Code of Law, Ga. Code Ann. § 9-3-33, in cases involving negligence in which the willful and wanton actions of another resulted in injuries to others, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of injury. Allowing injured parties this period of time in which to file serves several purposes:
- It allows injured victims time to recover from their injuries, and to get a general idea of the costs associated with their care and treatment;
- It allows time to gauge whether the injured person will suffer any lasting damage or permanent disabilities;
- It allows victims time to seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney;
- It allows time for investigations into the circumstances of the accident to be conducted; and
- It allows time for negotiations with the insurance company, and time to decide whether an injured person’s interest would be better served through an insurance settlement or through a personal injury claim.
Georgia law does provide for additional time in which to file a lawsuit in cases involving loss of consortium. This is a claim for damages from a spouse or family member of a person who is killed or dies as the result of their injuries, and the above statute gives surviving family members up to four years to file a claim for these types of damages.