At Ashby Thelen Lowry, our Atlanta personal injury attorneys know that, like all other U.S. states, Georgia has a definitive statute of limitations for personal injury claims, usually two years from the date of the injury.

This deadline applies to most personal injury lawsuits, including those based on negligence or intentional tort. The clock starts ticking from the date the legal claim accrues, which is often the date of the injury. However, although rare, there are exceptions to the rule.

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What are the Exceptions to the Two-Year Statute of Limitations for Georgia Personal Injury Claims?

While the statute of limitations is rigid and unwavering in most cases, it is important to note the exceptions that can limit or extend this deadline. These exceptions, formally called “Tolling,” can provide opportunities for those who may have missed the initial deadline.

The following circumstances may allow the Georgia personal injury statute of limitations to be extended:

  • Discovery Rule

If the injury was not immediately apparent when it occurred, Georgia follows the “discovery rule.” This means that the statute of limitations may begin from the date the injury was discovered or when it reasonably should have been found. In such cases, the two-year time limit starts from the date of discovery rather than the date of the injury.

  • Minors

The statute of limitations is often delayed for injuries sustained by minors. The two-year time limit doesn’t start until the minor turns 18. However, once the minor reaches the age of majority, they typically have two years to file a claim.

  • Legal Disability

If the injured party is declared legally disabled at the time of the injury, the statute of limitations may be tolled until the disability is removed. Once the disability is removed, the two-year time limit begins.

  • Claims Against Government Entities

Claims against government entities, such as municipalities or state agencies, have different notice requirements and time limits to take legal action. In some cases, injured individuals may need to provide notice within a shorter period, such as six months, before filing a lawsuit.

  • Fraud or Concealment

If the defendant engaged in fraudulent conduct or intentionally concealed information that prevented the injured party from discovering the injury or its cause, the statute of limitations may be extended.

Another scenario where the statute of limitations may be tolled is if the defendant leaves the state after the incident but before the plaintiff has had a chance to file a lawsuit and serve the defendant. In this case, the deadline will likely be paused until the defendant “returns to reside” in Georgia.

If you have been injured because of another person or party’s negligence in Georgia, it’s crucial to seek legal counsel. Our skilled personal injury lawyers and support team at Ashby Thelen Lowry are here to help. Call us today at (404) 777-7771 to schedule a free consultation. This will ensure your rights are protected, and you can make informed decisions about the direction of your claim, considering the complexities of the statute of limitations and its exceptions.

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