What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit in Georgia?

Car accidents frequently happen, despite the fact that today’s vehicles are equipped with a wide range of safety features, like collision warning technology, emergency brake assist, and adaptive cruise control. While you may walk away from a minor fender-bender without a scratch and little to no damage to your vehicle, more serious accidents can cause extensive property damage and serious injuries.

The costs associated with a serious car accident can accumulate very quickly, particularly if your injuries require ongoing medical care. You may be eligible for financial compensation for the costs associated with the accident by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the motorist who caused the accident. However, Georgia has a strict statute of limitations for filing personal injury lawsuits, which means that you must take legal action within the specified period of time or your claim will be denied.

In Georgia, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the accident. However, it is highly recommended that you initiate the claims process as soon as possible for a number of reasons. First, if you suffered a serious injury, your medical expenses are going to start accumulating very quickly, including hospital bills, follow-up doctor visits, physical therapy, and prescription medications. In addition, the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit takes time, from obtaining copies of medical records and police reports to contacting witnesses who were at the scene of the accident. If you wait until the last minute to file your claim and you are unable to collect all of the evidence by the deadline, your claim may be denied, or you may receive a smaller settlement offer than you expected. Also, if you wait to file a claim, the other party may argue that your injuries must not have been very serious if you did not take immediate steps to file a claim.

How Do I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Oftentimes, motorists become stressed and overwhelmed immediately following a car accident. However, if you take a moment to relax and keep the following tips in mind, you will be prepared if you need to pursue a personal injury lawsuit:

  • Collect evidence: In order to avoid a situation where it is your word against the other driver’s, you are urged to collect as much evidence as possible. Insurance companies are in the business of making money, so if you are lacking evidence, , they will try to use that against you so that they can pay you a lower settlement. You can avoid this problem by collecting photographs of the damage, witness testimony, a police report, and other forms of evidence.
  • Seek medical attention. Seek immediate medical attention. Even if your injuries seem minor, you could have an underlying injury, or an injury that is masked by the adrenaline that is coursing through your body. If you do not seek medical attention, the other party or the insurance company may argue that your injuries must not be very serious if you did not feel it was necessary to be examined by a health care professional.
  • Exchange information. When interacting with the other driver, keep the conversation to a minimum and focus on exchanging information with each other, including name, address, phone number, insurance information, driver’s license number, and license plate number. Never apologize for anything, even if you are just trying to be nice. This can be interpreted as you admitting fault and can be used against you during the claims process.
  • Contact a car accident lawyer. It is in your best interest to have a dedicated car accident lawyer on your side, particularly if you intend to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. A lawyer will assist you with every step of the claims process and review all settlement offers. Oftentimes, the insurance company will make an initial settlement offer that may seem like a lot of money. However, in the vast majority of cases, an initial settlement offer rarely comes close to the total expenses associated with the accident, particularly if you suffered serious injuries and will require ongoing medical care.

What if I File a Lawsuit After the Statute of Limitations Expires?

In most cases, if you miss the deadline, your claim will be denied and you will no longer be able to pursue a personal injury claim. If you file a claim two years plus one day after the date of the accident, you may file the lawsuit, but the lawyers representing the other motorist will have the opportunity to respond to the claim. Once they see that you filed the claim after the statute of limitations has expired, they will most certainly ask the court to dismiss the case and you may even be ordered to pay the other party’s court costs and attorney fees.

On rare occasions, there are exceptions to the rule and the statute of limitations may be extended. Exceptions include the following:

  • The injured party is a minor, in which case the statute of limitations does not begin until they turn 18 years old.
  • The injured motorist was driving for work and wants to file a Workers’ Compensation claim instead of a personal injury claim.
  • If the accident causes a fatality, the surviving family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years from the date of the person’s death.
  • If the injured party is in a coma or otherwise incompetent after the accident, the statute of limitations is paused until they regain consciousness and become competent again.

Is it Always Necessary to File a Lawsuit After a Car Accident?

There may be circumstances where it is not necessary to hire a car accident lawyer. For example, if the accident was a minor fender-bender and you suffered minimal injuries, you may be able to resolve the issue with your insurance company and move on. However, keep in mind that insurance companies are not looking out for your best interests. Their goal is to settle the matter by paying you as little money as possible. If you are considering whether or not you should hire a car accident lawyer, consider whether the following factors apply to you and your case:

  • You and/or the other passengers in your vehicle were seriously injured in the accident.
  • A family member was killed in the accident.
  • You suffered injuries that prevent you from being able to return to work.
  • The injuries affect your quality of life.
  • The accident was caused by another person’s negligence.

If one or more of the above statements apply to you, it is in your best interest to contact a skilled lawyer.

What Damages May I Be Eligible to Receive if I am Injured in a Car Accident?

If you are able to prove that your injuries were caused by another person’s negligence, you may be eligible for the following damages:

  • All medical costs associated with the injury.
  • Lost wages.
  • Loss of future earning capacity.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

However, Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state, which means that the damages you can recover will be reduced if you are partially responsible for causing the accident. For example, if you were driving five miles per hour above the speed limit and another vehicle hit your car after the driver failed to stop at a red light, a jury may find the other driver to be 80 percent at fault and you at 20 percent at fault. Therefore, if you were otherwise entitled to a $10,000 settlement, it would be reduced by 20 percent, which would be $8,000. If your share of the fault exceeds 50 percent, you will be ineligible to collect any damages.

Savannah Car Accident Lawyers at Kicklighter Law Can Assist With the Claims Process if You Have Been Injured in a Collision

If you were injured in a car accident and you wish to pursue your legal options, you are urged to contact one of our Savannah car accident lawyers at Kicklighter Law. We will walk you through every step of the claims process and ensure that your claim is filed well before the statute of limitations expires. To schedule a consultation, call us today at 912-754-6003 or contact us online. Located in Springfield, Georgia, we serve clients throughout Effingham County, Savannah, and the surrounding areas.

Deadly Houston Stampede Spurs Security Concerns

Police continue to investigate the cause of a crowd stampede at NRG Park in Houston on Friday, Nov. 5 that caused the death of eight people and injured hundreds more. Among those killed at the Travis Scott concert was a 14-year-old boy. A 10-year-old boy was among those who were injured. Those who lost their lives at the concert were between 14 and 27 years old. It is unknown what made the crowd surge forward.

With the headline performer, Travis Scott, starting at 9:00 p.m. the crowd became so dangerous that an ambulance entered the concert at 9:30 p.m. Concertgoers were lifting up the injured and surfing them over the crowd, hoping to get them to safety.

A security officer trying to restrain a concertgoer was jabbed with a needle and passed out. The officer was brought back to consciousness via Narcan, which counters the effects of opioid drugs. People were pleading for the concert to stop and seeking CPR for injured people.

Travis Scott, while at times appearing to urge on the crowd, also paused to say that something seemed wrong, but he continued to play until 10:10 p.m. The concert promotion company, Live Nation, ended the concert 30 minutes earlier than scheduled.

It is unknown how much the performers could tell was going on from the stage. Houston’s police chief said that concert organizers were concerned that cutting off the concert would possibly incite riots.

The city fire department saw no problems or obstacles at the exits. The fire department is looking into reports that the crowd was much bigger than the event planned to host, which was 50,000. NRG Park can hold up to 200,000 people, and there are reports that many were rushing in right before the concert started.

Families of those who have died due to negligence have the right to seek justice. The Savannah wrongful death attorneys at Kicklighter Law have decades of experience helping families with wrongful death claims. Call 912-754-6003 or fill out an online form to schedule a consultation. Located in Springfield, Georgia, the firm serves clients throughout Effingham County, Savannah, and the surrounding areas.

What is the Process like For Wrongful Death Cases in Chatham County, Georgia?

If your loved one died due to someone else’s negligence, you have two years to file a wrongful death case to pursue justice. Once the wrongful death case has been filed, your wrongful death attorney will gather evidence, file paperwork, and manage deadlines. Allow us to explain in detail the importance of each step and how your wrongful death attorney, Mickey Kicklighter, will proceed in your wrongful death cases in Chatham County.

  1. Step 1: Gather Evidence

    Negligence or intent must be present for a wrongful death claim to be valid, and it must be proven in the case. These are the definitions of negligence and intent:
    Negligence occurs when someone fails to provide the expected standard of care.
    Intent occurs when someone purposefully acts outside of the expected standard of care.
    In both scenarios, it must be proven that the defendant committed negligence or acted with intent which ultimately caused your loved one’s death. Your wrongful death attorney will gather evidence to prove negligence or intent and present the evidence to the judge during the lawsuit.

  2. Step 2: File Paperwork

    There are two wrongful death claims that you can pursue – damages to cover the full value of the deceased’s life or damages to cover financial losses related to the deceased’s death. With each claim, there is extensive legal paperwork that must be filed in a timely manner to pursue compensation. Your wrongful death attorney, Mickey Kicklighter, can file this paperwork and be your advocate during this process.

  3. Step 3: Manage Deadlines

    A wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the deceased’s death date. Once filed, there are multiple deadlines we must adhere to so we can pursue damages related to the wrongful death. Managing these deadlines will keep the case on track and help us pursue optimal results.

Contact the Kicklighter Law team at 912-754-6003 
to schedule a consultation!

If you’re looking for help in wrongful death cases in Chatham County, call Springfield Attorney Mickey Kicklighter, today: 912-754-6003.

Kicklighter Law

Types of Wrongful Death Claims in Chatham County, Georgia

Home » Wrongful Death

In Georgia, if someone has died due to someone else’s negligence, the family can pursue one of two types of wrongful death claims. The first claim encompasses the full value of life of the deceased. The second claim accounts for the financial losses related to the death. Allow us to explain both types of claims and how Mickey Kicklighter can guide you through this difficult time.

Chatham County Wrongful Death Claim – Damages Covering the Full Value of Life

A wrongful death claim is normally pursued by the deceased’s surviving family members. The eligible family members include the deceased’s spouse, children, and parents.

If you choose to file a claim that encompasses the full value of the deceased’s life, you are seeking damages that would cover tangible and intangible elements such as:

  • Care
  • Companionship
  • Lost benefits
  • Lost wages

The tangible elements, such as lost benefits and wages, can be more easily calculated than intangible benefits; however, the intangible elements are extremely important to pursue in this type of claim.

Wrongful Death Claim – Damages Covering Financial Losses

A wrongful death claim that seeks damages to cover financial losses is normally pursued by the deceased person’s estate. A personal injury that leads to wrongful death can lead to thousands of dollars in medical bills, funeral costs, and more. In this type of claim, you can also pursue damages if your loved one experienced any suffering before death. This must be calculated carefully and pursued tenaciously.

Other frequently asked questions about wrongful death claims include:

  • How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim?
  • What damages can be recovered?
  • Who can file a Chatham County wrongful death claim?

You can find the answers to these questions in our last blog, “Wrongful Death Claims: When Personal Injury Turns Deadly.”

Contact the Kicklighter Law team at 912-754-6003 
to schedule a consultation!

Mickey Kicklighter is Your Premier Wrongful Death Attorney

An experienced attorney can discuss which claim is best for your specific situation and guide you in this legal journey. The Kicklighter Law team understands that wrongful death cases must be dealt with in a very careful manner, as you are likely experiencing an immense amount of grief but must pursue justice. We’re here for you. Call us today: 912-754-6003.

Kicklighter Law

Wrongful Death Claims: When Personal Injury Turns Deadly

A personal injury claim is valid when a person is harmed due to someone’s negligent actions. But, what happens if the victim dies due to that injury before the personal injury claim is settled? In this case, the family can sue for wrongful death. Allow us to answer several frequently asked questions about wrongful death claims:

How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim?

In Georgia, you have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim. This is considered a statute of limitations, the eligible period for which a plaintiff can bring forth a legal claim.

There are certain exceptions such as if the death is connected to a criminal case or if the victim’s estate is still in probate.

What damages can be recovered?

The damages that are recovered depend on which wrongful death claim you file. There are two types of claims:

  1. A claim brought on by the deceased person’s family members.
  2. A claim enacted by the deceased person’s estate.

The first claim seeks damages that cover the full value of life such as lost wages or intangible benefits such as companionship and care.

The second claim seeks damages that focus more on a financial remedy related to the person’s death such as medical bills, burial costs, and any suffering the deceased person endured before death.

Who can file a wrongful death claim?

There are only a handful of people who can file a wrongful death claim. The following is a descending order of eligible people:

  1. The deceased’s spouse; if not applicable:
  2. The deceased’s children; if not applicable:
  3. The deceased’s parents; if not applicable:
  4. The deceased’s estate administrator.

Mickey Kicklighter is Your Wrongful Death Attorney

The loss of a loved one will evoke emotions you can’t ignore … grief, anger, frustration, and sadness. It’s important to give these emotions the attention they deserve. Allow Mickey to handle your legal obligations so you can focus on the emotional health of your family. Talk to us today: 912-754-6003


Call Us: 912-754-6003

412 North Laurel Street
Springfield, GA 31329

Telephone: 912-754-6003
Fax: 912-754-6336

Email: [email protected]

Providing Superior Representation All Across Georgia.