In most situations, it is ideal to file a personal injury claim as soon as possible. However, at the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines, we understand that the stress of experiencing a severe injury in an accident can be overwhelming, and many people are unsure about what legal action – if any – they can take to lighten the burden. It is not uncommon for clients to come to us for help after a significant period of time has passed.
At Hines Law, we’ll do whatever it takes to guide you through your specific situation.
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in Georgia is two years from the date the injury occurred.
This means that on the day of your accident, an invisible clock begins counting down on your ability to pursue legal retribution. If the statute of limitations runs out, it is very likely that the court will refuse to hear your case and you will lose your right to pursue legal action.
In cases in which you are seeking to file a lawsuit against a county or city, the limitations period can decrease to six months, making it critical to take proactive action as soon as possible.
Comparative Fault Laws
Unfortunately, when you file a personal injury case or claim, the other party may attempt to claim that you’re at fault for the accident. In these cases, the modified comparative fault rule in Georgia can decrease or even eliminate damages if you are found to be even partly at fault.
If you are determined to be partially at-fault, the court will typically modify your damages (monetary award) according to the percentage of fault they assign to you. For example, if you are involved in a car accident and the court finds that you were 10 percent at fault (placing 90 percent of the blame on the other driver), your damages will be reduced by 10 percent. This issue can come up when dealing with insurance companies as well as individuals; therefore, it is important to be prepared with a knowledgeable legal team like the experts at Hines Law.
Are There Damage Caps for Personal Injury Cases in Georgia?
At present, the state of Georgia does not cap or limit the number of damages that can be received in personal injury cases, including malpractice lawsuits. According to a 2010 ruling by the Georgia State Supreme Court, damages caps are unconstitutional.
Do Georgia Car Insurance Laws Affect Personal Injury Cases?
Being that Georgia is classified as a “fault state” in terms of auto insurance claims, as the victim of a car accident injury, you have several options for seeking compensation. You may choose to file a claim with your car insurance company, a third-party claim with the insurance company of the other driver, and/or a lawsuit.
What is “Strict” Liability for Dog Bite Cases?
According to Georgia law (GA Code Ann. § 51-2-7), a dog owner may be liable if his pet causes harm to another individual. To determine liability, Courts look to the “vicious propensity” of the animal to determine if the owner knew or should have known of the dangerous nature of their pet. “Vicious propensity” is determined by previous, similar incidents committed by the same pet. For example, if a dog bit the neighbor and then attacked a passerby 4 months later, the owner was put on notice of the dog’s “vicious propensity.”
There are, however, some types of dogs where the owner can be strictly liable, meaning the courts will not require a showing the owner had knowledge of the dog’s vicious propensity. This is because that particular breed of dog has displayed a tendency towards violence.