After someone has been injured in an accident, or due to someone else’s negligence, most people are focused on seeking medical treatment, recovering, and getting their life back on track. One of the last things on their minds it making sure that they file a lawsuit on time. However, filing your injury claim on time is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your rights after an accident.
In a recent case in Pennsylvania, a court denied a woman’s lawsuit for personal injuries sustained when a sponge was left inside her following a surgery. The judge in that case found that the woman waited too long, almost 11 years after her surgery, to file her lawsuit. Therefore, her case against the defendant doctors was dismissed.
Each state has different deadlines by which a personal injury lawsuit must be filed. The time period to file a lawsuit is referred to as the statute of limitations.
In Georgia, the deadline to file a lawsuit for personal injuries in two years. The two-year clock for the statute of limitations generally starts to run from the date of the accident that caused your injury. This means that if you do not file a lawsuit before the two-year time period ends, you could be barred from forever bringing your case to court. This time period applies to car accidents, slip and fall accidents, dog bites, and generally other types of accidents that result in personal injuries. The two-year window also applies to medical malpractice cases, but there are certain situations that may vary the deadline. This is why it is so important to make sure you are aware of the deadlines so you can recover any compensation you may be entitled to.
You should keep in mind, though, that even though you have two years to file your lawsuit, you should file your claim with the insurance company well before that deadline. In fact, you should file your claim with the insurance company as soon as you can to ensure that you have enough time to negotiate and resolve your claim before the two-year window expires.
The insurance company is also aware of the statute of limitations and will most likely try to drag out negotiations as long as they can to prevent you from filing a lawsuit on time. This is where consulting with a personal injury attorney is helpful. The attorney will be able to advise you of any deadlines you need to keep in mind, and also help with negotiating with the insurance company so you can maximize your recovery.
Filing your insurance claim early will allow you to have enough time to try to resolve your case before the deadline the file your lawsuit expires. This way you won’t feel pressure to accept just any offer the insurance company gives you, and you will still have the option to file a lawsuit if the insurance company will not agree to compensate you completely.
If you have been injured in an accident, you should consult with a lawyer to discuss your legal rights and determine how you can recover compensation for your injuries. The Atlanta accident attorneys at the Katz law firm represents persons injured in car accidents and other types of injury claims. Call to speak to one of our attorneys and learn how you can receive compensation for all of your losses including medical costs and lost income.