Georgia Personal Injury Statutes of Limitation

GEORGIA PERSONAL INJURY STATUTES OF LIMITATION

The deadlines for filing personal injury cases vary by case type and whether the lawsuit is being brought against a private citizen, a business, or the government. Statutes of limitation for common types of Georgia personal injury cases are:

  • General personal injury claims: two years
  • Loss of consortium claims: four years (after the loss was discovered)
  • Property damage claims: four years
  • Wrongful death claims: two years
  • Product liability: two years

Personal injury lawsuits against private citizens or businesses must be brought within two years. The clock starts ticking the day the accident or injury occurred. The deadlines to file a claim against city, county, state, or federal government agencies, can be even shorter. For example, claims against Georgia counties must be brought within 12 months, and claims against cities require written notice within six months. Lawsuits against the state must be filed within two years and preceded by the completion of special forms indicating the intent to sue.

Notable Exceptions

In most personal injury cases, the statute of limitations is non-negotiable, and individuals who miss the filing deadline are barred from seeking compensation for their injuries and other damages. However, some notable exceptions can “toll”—or pause—personal injury statutes of limitation, including:

  • The injured individual is a minor. If the victim was a child at the time of the accident or injury, the statute of limitations clock does not start until their 18th birthday.
  • A person is mentally incompetent. If the victim is deemed mentally incompetent, the statutes of limitations do not begin unless or until they’ve regained their competency.
  • The case involves a traffic ticket. Citations for traffic infractions such as speeding, running a red light, or failure to yield can provide vital proof of negligence in a personal injury claim. They also serve to extend the statute of limitations, since Georgia law tolls the statute until the citation is resolved.
  • There was no opportunity for reasonable discovery. If there was no way for an injury or medical condition to be reasonably discovered within the specified time frame, the statutes of limitations may be extended.

Consult a Skilled Attorney About Your Case

Do you have questions about a Georgia personal injury case? Contact Stein & Fox today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Author: Melody M. Fox, Esq.

Contributor/Editor: Princess Peart, Legal Intern

The Three Collision Rule

When you first see an accident take each car and multiply it by three. With every vehicular accident, there are three collisions that happen within each car. This is known as the three-collision rule. When learning about the three rules it is important to have a clear understanding of kinetic energy. Kinetic energy is the energy built up in a moving object. When an accident occurs, the kinetic energy from one car will transfer to the object it encounters.

The First Collision: Vehicular Collision

The first collision is when a vehicle collides with another object. This is could range from a tree to a gate, and another vehicle. When asking questions about how the accident occurred to make sure to apply points from Newton’s Second Law (that the greater the mass of the object being accelerated, the greater the amount of force needed to accelerate the object). The force increases as the vehicle weight rises, but speed has a huge effect on the crashes force.

Three clues give away how fast the vehicle was going when it hit impact. The first one is the posted speed limit in that area. Second, skid marks or other indications of attempts to slow the vehicle down before the accident. Lastly, how the vehicle looked after the car accident.  Modern cars are designed to crush easily to absorb most of the kinetic energy before it reaches the individual inside.

Property damage is always a major factor when insurance companies value a claim. It tells a major part of the story when evaluating how injured the persons inside the vehicle are. But other factors are at play as well, such as make and model of the vehicle, and whether the impacted vehicle has a trailer hitch, which can potentially increase the injury to the individual inside.

I have had clients needing shoulder surgery due to a rear-end collision on their vehicle with a trailer hitch. It can pin-point the force and intensify it for the person inside. You will need an experienced attorney to advocate for you in these instances against the insurance company.

The Second Collision Rule: Human Collision

The second collision happens when the occupants inside the vehicle move in the same direction and the same speed as the car until they come into contact that stops the forward motion. This raises the importance of a seatbelt. Without the seat belt, an individual will not stop until they meet another object like a steering wheel or window.

It is also important to know where the individual was sitting in the car and what objects were surrounding this person at the time of impact. Daily household items can severely injure an individual during an accident. Imagine coming home from the grocery store and you get into an accident. Imagine if one of the grocery items was a small jar of pickles and it strikes you or a family member. That afternoon snack can become deadly during any vehicular accident.

Our office can assist clients to obtain reimbursement for property damage to items inside of the vehicle during a collision.

The Third Collision Rule: Internal Collision

The third collision occurs when individuals’ internal organs move towards the point of impact. In an accident, even after the human body stops the organs may still be moving. Unlike the other two rules, injuries in car accidents are not predictable. Someone involved in an auto accident can come across uninjured, but he or she might have sustained internal injuries. Accidents that are involved in high deceleration forces can cause one’s solid organs to bleed, rupture, fracture, and tear.

This is why it is crucial you seek the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney. Call the Law Offices of Stein & Fox today.

 

 

Author: Melody M. Fox, Esq.

Contributor: Princess Peart, Legal Intern

Georgia Car Accident Settlement Process and Timeline

Do I Need to Report a Car Accident in Georgia?

Georgia state law requires parties to report an accident immediately to local police if there is an injury, death, or property damage greater than $500. You are also required to provide his/her name, contact information, and license and insurance information to the other parties involved in the accident, and remain at the scene of the accident until all of the above obligations are fulfilled.

It is also recommended to contact your own auto insurance and let them know you have been involved in an auto accident. After being involved in an auto accident:

  • Do not make any admissions (of any kind) to the other drivers involved, and
  • Remember to take pictures of all property damage to all vehicles involved

Georgia Car Insurance Laws

Georgia’s minimum liability coverage amounts a driver is required to carry are:

  • $25,000 for the injury or death of one person (Another driver, a passenger, pedestrian, etc.)
  • $50,000 for the injury or death of more than one person in a single accident
  • $25,000 for property damage

Please note that if you have the above-mentioned limits, it technically is not considered “full coverage,” it is only the “minimum coverage” required in Georgia. Having additional coverage, such as Uninsured Motorist Coverage, Underinsured Motorist Coverage, and Medical Payments coverage, would constitute “full coverage,” protecting you in case of any scenario.

How Do Car Accident Settlements Work?

The last thing anyone wants is to drag on an accident claim for years and years. This is why most cases settle before going to trial to avoid spending all of that time arguing over a car accident claim. A settlement is an informal wrapping up of a case for a mutually agreeable remedy, at which time the parties drop the pending lawsuit.

What is the Average Car Accident Settlement in Georgia?

This is an impossible question to answer because each case varies in the amount of damages. A minor ding of a car door, for example, will settle for less than an accident involving serious bodily injuries or death.

In order to reach a settlement, the parties and their attorneys will consider:

  • All available insurance coverage and potential stacking of coverage for maximum recovery
  • Car repairs and property damage
  • Medical bills (past and future)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages from time away from work
  • Any other potential damages, such as loss of intimacy in a marriage, or out-of-pocket expenses
  • Any other damages or impact on a victim’s life that may or may not be quantifiable

How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Georgia?

The time limit is two years from the date of the car accident to file a lawsuit or to settle the claim out of court. The limit applies even if you have pending insurance claims, so it is important to consult with an attorney early to evaluate the strength of your claim and to make sure you meet the filing deadline.

Learn More About Georgia Car Accident Settlements: Talk to a Lawyer

Most settlements cannot be changed after the fact – they are binding and final and, if you are not careful, you could end up with an insufficient amount to cover medical bills and expenses down the line or waive your claims altogether. Avoid these mishaps by speaking with one of the experienced car accident attorneys at Stein & Fox before signing anything involving your claim.

If you suffered injuries in an accident, call Stein & Fox for legal guidance.  Our team is prepared to help you navigate the complex process of filing a claim against the responsible party. We do not charge fees upfront and the consultation is free. will work to help you obtain maximum recovery. Contact us today at (844) LAW-4444 or visit www.steinfox.com to begin the process.

Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Atlanta

The dangers are very real for motorcycle riders in Atlanta. Unlike car drivers, riders have only helmets to help protect them. It’s not surprising that when motorcyclists are hit by negligent drivers, catastrophic injuries and fatalities often result. The dedicated motorcycle accident lawyers at Stein & Fox, LLC are experienced in handling these cases throughout Clayton, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties.

OBTAINING COMPENSATION FOR YOUR INJURIES

We know through years of handling auto and motorcycle accident cases how debilitating the pain can be. Recovery should be first and foremost on your mind, not worrying about paying medical bills and recouping lost income. Our experienced accident attorneys help take the worry away by fighting for your right to fair compensation to cover your damages. Depending upon the circumstances of your accident, you may be entitled to:

  • Compensation for past and future medical expenses — Medical bills can pile up quickly following a motorcycle or electric scooter accident. If your personal injuries are severe, insurance may not cover all your bills. Additionally, you may need medical care in the future because of the harm you suffered.
  • Damages for your pain and suffering — You also have the right to pursue damages for pain and suffering from the negligent driver. Pain and suffering include the physical and emotional toll from accidents, including depression, emotional distress, chronic pain and reduced enjoyment of life.
  • Recovery of lost wages — If you missed work due to your injuries and, consequently, lost income, you may be entitled to recover those lost wages, in addition to future lost earnings if you are no longer able to work.
  • Reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses — Out-of-pocket expenses include things that are related to your medical care but aren’t directly paid to a doctor or hospital for medical treatment, including prescription or over-the-counter medications and medical equipment.

Our attorneys can help take some of the burdens off you by fighting to get you fair compensation for everything you’re entitled to. If you need to speak to a motorcycle accident lawyer in Atlanta, contact Stein & Fox today.

Georgia Law for Slip & Fall Victims

Georgia Law for Slip & Fall Victims

Georgia law imposes certain obligations for property owners and businesses to protect guests from unsafe conditions on their premises. If a business or individual fails to exercise their legally required duty of care and you are injured as a result, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. At Stein & Fox, LLC, our attorneys employ a tenacious, professional approach to help clients seek full and fair compensation for their past and future medical bills, lost income, emotional distress and pain and suffering. We take on premises liability cases involving negligent property owners in the Atlanta area and across Georgia.

Informed Georgia Advisers Evaluate The Strength of Your Injury Claim 

In order for a property owner to be found responsible for your accident, evidence must be shown to prove that you were legally on the property and that a dangerous condition on the premises caused your injury. In addition, generally at least one of the following must be true:

  • The property owner or an employee caused the dangerous condition on the premises.
  • The owner or an employee knew about the dangerous condition on the premises and did nothing about it.
  • The owner or an employee should have known about the dangerous condition on the premises as would be expected of a reasonable person.
  • Depending on state law, a property owner or manager may owe a different standard of care to different classes of visitors, such as business visitors or social guests. The attorneys at Stein & Fox, LLC will pursue optimal recovery based on the specific facts of your case.

Determined Litigators Develop Evidence Backed Cases 

By immediately consulting an attorney after your accident, you can help ensure the collection and preservation of valuable evidence. When the lawyers at Stein & Fox, LLC take on a slip and fall case, our priority is to achieve an outcome that will provide the injured person with compensation to cover the care they need. We will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your incident and may visit the premises where the accident occurred. There, we may gather crucial evidence, photograph the scene and interview witnesses. We may also consult with knowledgeable and respected expert witnesses, such as physicians and chiropractors. With their assistance, we can pursue the best settlement available. If your case goes to court, these witnesses are available to deliver clear, professional testimony to help jurors understand the cause of the accident and the extent of your injuries.

To ensure that you make your legal claim for compensation within the statute of limitations set by Georgia law, contact an attorney promptly after your accident occurs.

Contact Georgia personal injury attorneys for your slip and fall accident

If you were injured on someone’s poorly maintained property, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain. Call the Morrow office of Stein & Fox, LLC at 844-LAW-4444 or contact us online to schedule your consultation.