In most cases, you have two years to file a lawsuit after an Atlanta truck accident. This is due to a law known as the statute of limitations, which is covered under OCGA §9-3-33.
If you violate the statute of limitations, you could lose your chance to pursue a lawsuit.
How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is the same for wrongful death lawsuits. You have two years to file your case, except in this situation, the statute of limitations starts from the date of your loved one’s passing.
Your eligibility to take this type of action depends on your relationship with the decedent.
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You Could Have Less Than Two Years to File
Certain details of your case could give you less time to file your lawsuit in civil court. For instance:
- If you’re filing a lawsuit against the City of Atlanta, you have six months to file, per OCGA §36-33-5.
- If you’re suing a county, then you have a year to file suit, per OCGA §36-11-1.
- If you’re filing a lawsuit against the state of Georgia, you have a year to file your lawsuit, according to OCGA §50-21-26.
Speaking with a lawyer from our firm can help you file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires on your case. We can determine the liable party, evaluate your situation, and pursue damages.
You Must File Your Case Before the Statute of Limitations Expires
Every state has a civil statute of limitations. Not only does the statute of limitations vary across state lines, but it also differs from one type of legal case to another. As noted, in Atlanta, the statute of limitations for a truck accident injury lawsuit is two years. This two-year window begins the day the truck accident occurred.
Compliance with the statute of limitations is important. If you file your lawsuit after the two-year period expires, you can expect the defendant to file a motion to dismiss right away. Typically, the court will dismiss a lawsuit with prejudice if the statute of limitations has expired.
This means it is impossible to recoup damages through the court system, and:
- You would have to pay for your losses yourself.
- The insurance company may have no reason to compensate you.
- You would be unable to sue the at-fault party.
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Some Exceptions May Apply to Your Situation
There are a handful of exceptions that may apply to the statute of limitations in a truck accident lawsuit. One of those exceptions applies to minors injured in collisions. According to OCGA §9-3-90, the statute of limitations for a minor is tolled—meaning paused—until the day they turn 18.
A similar exception exists for individuals who are not mentally competent to pursue a lawsuit. Once they are found to have regained their capacity to bring legal action, the statute of limitations will begin to expire again.
State law also tolls the statute of limitations when the facts involved in an accident case are also the subject of a criminal prosecution. According to OCGA §9-3-99, the statute of limitations is tolled while a criminal case is ongoing.
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Claims and Lawsuits Are Not the Same Thing
Sometimes, the terms “claim” and “lawsuit” are used interchangeably. However, these concepts are two very different things. A personal injury claim is when you pursue damages from the liable insurance company. A personal injury lawsuit is when you sue the at-fault party directly in civil court.
The deadline for filing a personal injury claim will largely depend on the policies set in place by the liable insurer. Generally, insurers want to be notified of an incident as soon as it happens.
How Long Does It Take to Resolve a Truck Accident Case in Atlanta?
There is no standard timeframe for how long it will take to resolve your situation. It all depends on the strength of your case’s evidence, the insurer’s cooperation, and the cost of your losses.
Our law firm will keep you updated on your case as it progresses. We will do this by calling you on the phone and sending you messages via text message or email. We do not want you to feel pressured to accept a low settlement offer or feel rushed. Let us take care of everything while you recover from your injuries.
Discuss the Statute of Limitations in Your Case with an Attorney
The team at Kaine Law has extensive experience with managing the statute of limitations in personal injury cases. We can pursue your injury claim without delay and help you comply with this vital deadline. You do not have to put your claim at risk.
Call to discuss how long you have to file a lawsuit following an Atlanta truck accident. Your first case review is free.