The statute of limitations is a legal concept that establishes a time limit for filing a lawsuit. In the context of personal injury claims, it refers to the period during which a plaintiff can file a lawsuit against another party to recover damages.
Georgia’s statute of limitations provides a two-year window for most personal injury cases. Claims related to car accidents, slip-and-falls and defective products fall under this category. For medical malpractice claims, slightly different timelines may apply.
So, why is the statute of limitations significant, given that most claims do not end up in court?
Litigation is always a fallback option
Besides protecting the judicial system from being burdened by old and stale claims, the statute of limitations is crucial to your personal injury claim. The statute of limitations can encourage settlement negotiations between the parties.
When a plaintiff has a limited time to file a lawsuit, it creates a sense of urgency that can motivate the defendant to negotiate a settlement. If the defendant knows that they could potentially face a lawsuit for an indefinite period, they may be less willing to settle, knowing that they could always take their chances in court later.
By establishing a deadline for filing a lawsuit, the statute of limitations can help facilitate the resolution of personal injury claims through negotiation and settlement.
It doesn’t mean you should rush your claim
Just because you are on a legal deadline, that does not mean that you should settle your personal injury claim hurriedly. Take time to learn about your legal rights and understand the damages you are entitled to. It will help ensure that you do not settle for less.
At the same time, be aware that the clock is running. If you are still trying to figure out what to do or where to begin, consider reaching out for experienced legal guidance to help you make the most of your personal injury claim.