After any type of injury caused by someone else, it’s important to know your legal options. In Georgia, if you were hurt on someone’s property, you may be able to seek compensation from that person or party through a premises liability claim. However, there is a statute of limitations on how long you have to file that claim.
If you try to bring legal action after the statute of limitations has passed, you will likely lose any chance of compensation. Along with other crucial details of your case, you will need to be mindful of this deadline and take action long before it approaches.
What the Statute of Limitations Means
A statute of limitations is the amount of time you have to file a personal injury claim seeking compensation for your damages. After the statute of limitations has passed, you no longer have a right to take legal action for that incident. The clock on the statute of limitations time period starts from the date of your injury accident.
Thankfully, many personal injury cases (like premises liability claims) are resolved fairly reasonably through negotiation with an experienced lawyer and the at-fault insurance company. In that situation, you would receive a settlement without the need to file a lawsuit. But there are situations where a lawsuit is the best choice, and you will need to keep the statute of limitations in mind for that, too.
What Is Georgia’s Statute of Limitations for a Premises Liability Claim?
According to Georgia Code § 9-3-33, the statute of limitation for a premises liability claim—and other personal injury claims—is two years from the date of your injury.
This might seem like a lot of time, but it goes fast. Plus, as mentioned above, if you end up needing to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party for damages, you will need to take action before the statute of limitations has passed.
Hiring a Georgia premises liability lawyer is the best way to make sure you stay on track and within the statute of limitations for your case. Your lawyer can also make sure you are compiling the best evidence and calculating an accurate value of your claim.
Other Statute of Limitations Related to Premises Liability in Georgia
Besides the standard personal injury claim that you would file for damages, there are other types of claims sometimes related to premises liability:
- Property damage claims account for personal property damaged during the premises liability accident. This might include a watch, another piece of jewelry, or a smartphone. The statute of limitations for property damage claims is four years from the date of the accident.
- Wrongful death claims can be filed by certain loved ones if a person is killed in a premises liability accident. Like premises liability claims, wrongful death claims must be brought within two years of the date of the accident.
In addition, premises liability cases may sometimes involve a government entity. Among other steps, to bring a claim against the state, you would need to provide notice of the claim in writing within 12 months of the date of your accident (Georgia Code § 5-21-26). If the injury case is against a town or city government, you may need to provide notice within six months.
Although notice is required, the time to actually bring your case is typically still two years from the date of your injury. Government cases are very complicated and definitely require help from a Georgia premises liability lawyer.
Statute of Limitations for Children and the Legally Incompetent
When the victim of a premises liability is a child or is legally incompetent, the statute of limitations is a little different.
- If the victim is under the age of 18 when they are injured, the statute of limitations would not start until two years from the victim’s 18th birthday.However, the minor’s parents must still file a claim within two years for medical costs.
- If Georgia law dictates the victim is legally incompetent, the statute of limitations for their case would be “tolled” until the victim becomes competent.
“Legally incompetent” can refer to someone who has a mental deficiency, illness, or psychosis or (sometimes) a physical disability. For more information on special cases regarding the statute of limitations, contact an experienced Georgia premises liability lawyer.
What Happens if You Miss the Statute of Limitations
If you wait to file your premises liability claim after the statute of limitations has expired, your case will almost surely be dismissed. Missing the statute of limitations essentially waives your right to file for damages for that accident. Even if you file a complaint after the statute of limitations is up, the at-fault party can file a motion to have it dismissed by the court.
As you can probably see from the above information, it is incredibly important to file your case within the statute of limitations. The time to get started is now so you don’t miss the chance to seek the compensation you deserve. You never know for sure what will happen when filing a premises liability claim, so getting started early will ensure you have the necessary time to take action.
Talk to a Georgia Premises Liability Lawyer for Free Today
At John Foy & Associates, we know that stress often prevents injury victims from taking legal action in a timely manner. You’re already dealing with painful injuries, mounting medical bills, missed work time, and more. Thankfully, a premises liability lawyer can take on your case for you—so you can focus, above all, on getting better.
Our Georgia premises liability lawyers have been helping injury victims win the money they deserve for over 20 years. We are here to listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and fight for your legal right to recover money for your losses. We never take a fee unless we win you money, and the consultation is always FREE.
To get started with your FREE consultation today, call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.