How Long After A Car Accident Can You File A Lawsuit?
No matter how hard you try to stay safe on the road, there is always a chance that you can be involved in a motor vehicle accident. The most important step after your accident is to seek medical help and focus on your recovery. If a licensed doctor has not checked you out, then you should head to the nearest emergency room to ensure that you do not have any latent injuries.
Suppose you have already sought medical attention and are worried about your increasing medical debt. In that case, you may be able to recover damages for your financial losses through a personal injury claim. However, in order to bring forth a claim, you need to ensure that you were meeting specific deadlines relevant to your case.
What is a duty of care?
When individuals are driving in the state of Georgia, they owe a duty of care to other drivers on the road. That means that they are expected to drive in a safe manner and take reasonable care to avoid causing harm to others using the road. Even inexperienced or learner drivers owe a duty of care to other drivers on the road and can be held liable when they are not. Drunk drivers, drivers on their cell phones, distracted drivers, or those not driving safely are all breaching or violating their duty of care.
What is a statute of limitations?
A statute of limitations is how long a victim has to file a personal injury lawsuit after the date of the accident or the date of the discovery of the injury. Each state has its own statutes. In the state of Georgia, the statute of limitations for a car accident claim is two years. If a minor was injured in the accident then the statute of limitations is “tolled” until their 18th birthday.
What happens if I do not file my claim right away?
If you sought medical attention immediately after your accident, then you have already incurred medical expenses related to your injuries. The sooner that you can file a claim, the sooner you can get the settlement that you deserve to pay off those bills.
There are other reasons besides your financial health that should inspire you to seek an attorney right away. The longer you wait, the greater your risk of the defendant’s attorneys minimizing the seriousness of your injuries and calling into question why it took you so long to file your claim. They will try to argue that your injuries were actually due to another accident or event and that their client is not responsible for your financial losses.
When should I speak to an attorney?
It’s best to speak to an experienced auto accident lawyer immediately. The insurance company will likely try to contact you to get a statement, but you do not want to speak with them without your lawyer present. They may try to get you to say something that could reduce your settlement, such as apologize for the accident or unintentionally admit fault. The sooner you hire a personal injury attorney, the sooner you can get expert legal advice from someone advocating on your behalf and looking out for your interests.