How the Statute of Limitations Georgia Affects Your Case

The statute of limitations in Georgia determines how long legal action can be taken following a crime or an accident. Learn more here from The Orlando Firm.

The Orlando Firm are your personal injury attorneys with the experience to win.

Understanding the Statute of Limitations Georgia

Dealing with the court system can be scary and confusing, and you need to understand how the statute of limitations in Georgia can affect your situation. Whether you are accused or you are a victim, the amount of time within which you can bring a case may have a direct impact on your life.

If you are accused of a crime, the prosecution has a certain amount of time during which they must file charges, or they will be unable to. Generally, felonies have longer statutes of limitations than misdemeanors. The period of time within which you can bring a civil suit if you have been injured by another or on someone else’s property is generally shorter and is determined by what type of incident occurred.

The Orlando Firm of Georgia is well-versed in the specific time limits for all types of cases. They can also help you file your suit or help you plan your criminal defense, whatever action your situation calls for. Contact us today for a free consultation.

What Is the Statute of Limitations in Georgia?

Whether you are the victim or the accused in a personal injury or criminal case, the prosecution has a specific time limit to bring charges, and you may wonder, “What is the statute of limitations in Georgia?”

Code O.C.G.A. 17-3-1 (2010) clearly defines the Georgia statute of limitations.


Cases with Limitations of Two Years

Although there is a range of variances, generally, for civil cases like libel and slander, the time period in which a lawsuit can be filed is one year—for most civil offenses and misdemeanors, including the following, the statute of limitations in 2 years:

  • Fraud
  • Medical malpractice
  • Misdemeanors
  • Personal injury

If you are the victim of any of the above, you should reach out to a lawyer for a free consultation.

Cases with Limitations of Four Years

Also, those with time limits of 4 years include the following:

  • Debt collection
  • D.U.I.
  • Personal property
  • Trespassing

Depending on the circumstances, there may be exceptions to the time period. The right attorney will search for evidence to improve your case.


Cases with Limitations of Seven Years

Although several factors dictate how the statute of limitations in Georgia are interpreted and implemented, the following generally have limitations of 7 years:

  • Those involving a minor
  • Those punishable by death or life imprisonment

Crimes involving a minor are provided a longer statute of limitations to accommodate the victims’ younger ages and their difficulty in acknowledging and bringing up potentially painful situations.


Cases with Limitations of 15 Years or More

For cases of forcible rape, there is a time limit of 15 years, and for murder, there are no limitations since D.N.A. evidence may be obtained many years after the crime is discovered. Whatever your situation, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible for advice, advocacy, and representation.

Georgia Statute of Limitations Personal Injury

The Georgia statute of limitations for personal injury is generally two years. Personal injury is a legal term used to describe instances in which the body, emotions, or mind of a person are injured by another. Personal injury lawsuits are filed when one person or entity causes harm through gross negligence, negligence, intentional misconduct, or reckless behavior.

For a party to be held liable, they must prove these four things: 

  1. The party should have behaved responsibly under the circumstances. 
  2. The party in question did not adhere to their responsibility to act responsibly. 
  3. The party’s behavior caused another person harm. 
  4. The injured party suffered monetary damage as a result of the other party’s behavior. 

How much the injured party will receive depends on how severely they were injured. Serious injuries like brain damage that cause a high level of suffering will receive the highest compensation levels.


Common Personal Injury Claims

There are many ways you can be injured by another person or entity, such as in car accidents, accidents at the workplace, tripping and falling in public places, medical negligence by a physician, by a dentist, or in a nursing home. The most common claim filed for personal injury is filed after a motorcycle or an auto accident. If another party is responsible for your injury, either intentionally or not, you may be able to receive compensation through a judgment or settlement. Sometimes, you may suffer from intentional personal injury, like through defamation or reckless conduct, and these may also be pursued for compensation. 

When more than two parties are involved or who is at fault is unclear, you should consult with a personal injury attorney to ensure you aren’t responsible for the bill and ensure you are adequately compensated. If you live in Georgia, you may be compensated for an injury through the payment of your medical bills, lost wages, and/or pain and suffering. You may also be entitled to compensation if it is found you are experiencing a lower quality of life. A knowledgeable lawyer knows the limitations in Georgia within which you can sue for damages.

Factors That Can Complicate Your Case Besides the Georgia Statute of Limitations

Personal injury is often covered under drivers’ liability insurance. If a person is injured at a business place, the business will usually have commercial general liability insurance in case of injury. 

Depending on the state in which you reside, the laws for auto insurance may differ. However, most mandate a driver has a minimum of liability insurance so their insurance company can compensate drivers who the policyholder injures. Further, an insurance company can act as a legal defense for the defendant and may even offer a settlement with the plaintiff or injured party. 

When a person suffers a mental injury instead of a bodily one, the law isn’t as clear, and the insurance policy may not be either. Back in 2001, most courts determined that emotional distress is encompassed within the definition of bodily injury. If a traumatic brain injury occurs during a car accident, insurance companies will typically cover the injury because it is considered a physical injury. 

What Are Exceptions to Statute of Limitations?

There are certain situations in which there are exceptions to the statute of limitations in Georgia. In major felonies like armed robbery, kidnapping, rape, aggravated child molestation, sexual battery, and sodomy, where DNA evidence may affect the outcome, the regular statute of limitations is voided.

If a minor is injured, they have up to two years after they turn eighteen to file. Anyone – adult or minor – filing against a governmental body has six months to file. The most common type of lawsuit filed in the United States federal courts is personal injury. In 2015, personal injury claims made up 25.5% of all cases filed.

According to Georgia law, to receive any money for personal injury claims, criminal cases must be filed before the statutes of limitations have passed. However, in situations where the full extent of the injuries was not detectable during that time period, the limitations began when identified.

Contact a reputable law office today for more information.


Hire an Attorney to Seek Compensation & Justice Today

When a family member or loved one has been killed in an accident or by someone else’s negligence, you can retain legal services to pursue a wrongful death suit. Compensation may include their medical and funeral expenses, as well as the “full value of life.” Similarly, if you’re facing life-changing injuries, you may be eligible for compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, and more.

If you find yourself facing the legal system, contact the knowledgeable and experienced lawyers at The Orlando Firm. We’ll give you the information and representation you deserve.

The Orlando Firm are your personal injury attorneys with the experience to win.