Is There A Time Limit on Filing a Spinal Cord Injury Claim
Every state has a law that places a time limit on how long victims have to file a spinal cord injury claim, called the “statute of limitations.” In Georgia, it is two years from the date of the injury. This law encourages victims to pursue a lawsuit within a reasonable length of time to prevent unfair legal action and so that evidence remains available.
Slip and Fall Statute of Limitations in Georgia
Under Georgia Code § 9-3-33, the two-year period begins to run on the date the spinal cord injury occurred. However, it is typically in your best interests to begin the claims process relatively soon after the accident that caused your injury. If too much time passes, evidence can disappear and witnesses’ memories fade, making details on fault too challenging to trace.
However, beginning the claims process for a spinal cord injury does not mean you must resolve it quickly. Instead, a spinal cord injury attorney will advise you to wait on settling your claim until you either fully recover from your injuries or reach “maximum medical improvement” (MMI). That way, you and your attorney will have a better understanding of the full extent of your injuries, financial losses, and how your life will be impacted in the future. Only then can you accurately estimate the total value of your case and the minimum amount of compensation to settle for.
Statute of Limitations for Government Claims
If your spinal cord injury accident was caused by the negligence of a government agency or employee in Georgia, the statute of limitations is different. An injury claim against a municipality, like the city of Atlanta, must be filed within six months of the injury. If your claim is against a county or the state, you have one year.
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims
When a spinal cord injury accident results in a fatality, surviving family members have the right to pursue a wrongful death case. Under Georgia law, the statute of limitations is similar to personal injury cases in that families have two years to pursue a lawsuit. However, the two-year period begins on the date of the victim’s death, which may not necessarily be the day the spinal cord injury occurred.
What Happens If I File a Spinal Cord Injury Claim After the Time Limit?
There are minimal exceptions to the statute of limitations in Georgia. Once the deadline has passed, you are typically barred from pursuing a claim and recovering compensation. Two of the more common situations that can “toll” or delay the statute of limitations is if the victim is a minor or a crime has taken place.
If you are unsure how long you have to file a spinal cord injury claim, it is best to speak to an Atlanta Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer as soon as possible. We can ensure you hold the at-fault party accountable and do not miss out on the compensation you deserve.