If you got hurt recently in a car accident someone else caused, you may be able to hold them accountable various types of damage. A successful claim could recover for medical bills, pain and suffering, car damage, lost work income, and other losses associated with the traffic wreck. However, waiting too long to officially file your claim could prevent you from recovering anything at all, even if another party clearly caused your injuries.
Understanding the car accident statute of limitations in Alpharetta is essential to achieving a positive outcome in a civil claim. In addition to other forms of legal support, a knowledgeable car collision lawyer could explain how this concept works, what its purpose is, and how it might impact your chances of civil recovery.
Filing Deadlines for Alpharetta Car Collision Cases
Each category of civil case in Georgia has a different filing deadline established by specific “statutes of limitations” in the Official Code of Georgia. The purpose of these deadlines is mainly to ensure that prospective plaintiffs do not file cases long after relevant evidence has been lost or destroyed.
When it comes to car accident claims, the applicable statute of limitations in Alpharetta is codified in Official Code of Georgia §9-3-33. Under this section of Georgia state law, a person who wishes to file suit over injuries sustained in an auto collision generally must do so within two years of the date of their accident, the date they discovered their accident-related injuries, or the date by which a reasonable person should have discovered such symptoms.
The same two-year deadline applies to traffic wrecks that result in a fatality. However, the starting point for the statutory filing period is the date when the decedent passed away, regardless of other circumstances. For civils suits over vehicular or property damage, potential plaintiffs are subject to a four-year statutory deadline under Official Code of Georgia §9-3-31.
What Happens If I Miss the Statutory Deadline for a Traffic Crash?
Insurance claims do not have a statutory filing deadline other than policy requirements to give insurers “prompt” notice of accidents. Because of this, it may be tempting to think that the statute of limitations is not relevant to anyone who plans to pursue compensation outside of civil court. However, it is a good idea for an injured victim to seek a proficient attorney as soon as possible after their car crash, no matter how they plan to pursue recovery. Insurance companies and third-party defense lawyers generally stop negotiating as soon as the statute of limitations expires on a lawsuit.
If a prospective plaintiff in Alpharetta tries to file suit over a car accident after two years have passed, the defendant’s counsel will likely motion for the court to dismiss the case as “time-barred,” a request which the court will almost certainly grant. Without the threat of civil litigation, the plaintiff would have no leverage in settlement talks and would have a difficult time obtaining compensation out of court.
Ask an Alpharetta Attorney about the Car Accident Statute of Limitations
It is important to pay attention to the statute of limitations after an injurious car crash, as waiting too long could prevent you from getting the compensation you need. However, you should not rush to start the litigation process before you are ready to do so, since you will only have one shot at getting a comprehensive settlement or court verdict.
A seasoned lawyer could ensure you comply with the car accident statute of limitations in Alpharetta while also working to build the strongest case for possible on your behalf. Call today to learn more about your legal options for recovery.