When you get into a car accident, there are a few things you need to do. First, make sure you call the police. One of the biggest mistakes people make is not calling the cops. There are all sorts of reasons for this. They figure it will take too long to let the cops sort things out. Or, they figure things will just be more expensive if it goes through insurance.
The second thing you need to do is get medical treatment. Never wait to do this. You need to go to the hospital immediately after the accident. You could have internal injuries or a traumatic brain injury. If left untreated, these injuries can be fatal. You also need to get proof of your injuries. Your medical records are the best proof you can offer a jury.
The other thing you need to do after a car crash is to call a Georgia car wreck lawyer. Your lawyer can help you figure out what to do from the very beginning. You want to have an attorney by your side whether you need to file suit or not.
When it comes to filing suit, you don’t have to do it right away. You do get a bit of time to decide if a lawsuit is the best course of action. Your attorney knows this.
What is a Statute of Limitations?
Every state has their own laws that tell you how long you have to file a lawsuit. Usually, this runs anywhere from two (2) to four (4) years. The statute gives a different time frame for each type of lawsuit. So, there may be one deadline for a personal injury case and another for a wrongful death claim.
If you don’t file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations period runs, your lawsuit will be barred. This means that you can never file suit again for that cause of action. For car accidents in Georgia, the statute of limitations is four (4) years.
The four years starts running on the date of your accident. It doesn’t start when you realize you’re injured. Since you have plenty of time to file your suit, you may be tempted to wait to call a lawyer. This could be a big mistake.
Yes, you do have four (4) years to file your lawsuit. However, the more time goes by, the harder it will be to prove your case. But you also don’t want to file it so quickly that you don’t know just how bad your damages were. This is why you need a lawyer. Your Georgia car wreck lawyer knows when the right time is to file your suit.
What Happens if You Miss the Deadline?
If you don’t file your suit before the four (4) year deadline, it will be forever barred. There are almost no exceptions to this rule. The judge is not going to extend this deadline. There is no good reason why you shouldn’t be able to file your claim at some point in the four years.
Some reasons why it may take you longer than normal to file suit are:
- You didn’t realize how bad your injuries were
- You were in such bad shape physically that you weren’t able to file suit
- You didn’t retain a Georgia car wreck lawyer soon enough
- You weren’t sure how long you had to sue
Just reading these, you can imagine how bad all of these excuses sound to a judge. At some point in four years, you need to file your claim. Some states only give you two (2) years. There’s really no excuse for needing more than four years to file suit.
Your attorney knows that the judge won’t grant an extension. This would be unfair. You can’t expect a defendant to sit and wait for more than four years wondering if you’re going to sue. It can also make a defense lawyer’s job impossible if you made them wait years to file your claim. It’s hard enough to gather evidence when a case is fresh. It gets very difficult when you have to go back more than four years to find proof.
Call a Georgia Car Wreck Lawyer Today
If you get hurt in a car crash, you need to call a Georgia car wreck lawyer today. Your lawyer can review your case and let you know who you need to pursue. He can also answer any questions you may have.
Call and schedule your free initial consultation right away. He can review your case and let you know how much it may be worth. And remember – you don’t pay a dime until you settle your case.