When a person who is a victim of an accident or an injury caused by negligence or intention of another person, he or she is eligible to file a claim in the civil courts of Georgia. This lawsuit is termed as a personal injury claim. Personal injury claims include, but are not limited to, slip fall accidents, motor vehicle accidents, and incidents of medical malpractice.
Statute of Limitations in a Personal Injury Case
The statute of limitations sets the time during which a person is eligible to file a personal injury claim in the court. In Georgia, the statute of limitations is as follows:
- The time to file a claim is TWO YEARS from the date on which the injury has occurred.
- If the injury occurs to a minor, then the statute of limitation starts from the time when he or she turns 18 years of age.
- If the injury was not discovered until sometime after the incident, the time limit starts from the day when the injury is discovered.
Motor Vehicle Insurance Policies in Georgia
When it comes to motor vehicle insurance claims, Georgia is a ‘fault’ state. This law gives injured persons in Georgia several options for seeking damage compensations. These options are as follows:
- They can file a claim with their own insurer, or
- File a third-party claim with the insurer of other driver, or
- File a lawsuit directly in the court
Comparative Negligence Laws in Georgia
During most of the personal injury cases, the negligent person often tries to play up the fault of the injured party to get relieved of charges. Georgia applies comparative negligence laws that reduce damages if the injured is found partially at fault in the personal injury accident. However, under these laws, if the plaintiff is found to be 50% or more at fault, he or she is unable to recover any damages.
Imagine that you are speeding over an empty road and you get hit by a driver who has run a red light signal. During the case, the driver is found to be at fault, but since you yourself were speeding, you are partially at fault as well. The other driver shares 85 percent of fault while you share 15 percent. Your compensation that was supposed to be $10,000 gets reduced to $ 8,500.
Damage Caps for Personal Injury
Many states have instituted damage caps that limit the amount of damage that can be awarded to the injured party of a personal injury accident. Georgia however, does not place caps on the damages awarded for personal injury cases, except for medical malpractice cases, where there is a $350,000 - $700,000 (depending on circumstances) cap for non-economic damages.
Nonetheless, if you have suffered a personal injury due to the actions of another party, such as an injury from a slip and fall incident or a car accident, you should consult with a Georgia personal injury attorney to discuss how to recover any losses you may have incurred.