Georgia Statute of Limitations on Injury Cases Runs on the Second Anniversary

I had a South Carolina lawyer telephone my office tonight with a question about the Georgia statute of limitations. There were confused under the wording of the statute as to whether you had until the day after the second anniversary of the injury or on the anniversary. As most trial lawyers know, the statute of limitations on personal injury claims runs on the second anniversary of the harm. “Actions for injuries to the person shall be brought within two years after the right of action accrues….” O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33. It used to be under the old OCGA § 1-3-1(d)(3), that the statute ran on the day before the second anniversary date but under the revised statute, it was changed to read as follows…

“Except as otherwise provided by time period computations specifically applying to other laws, when a period of time measured in days, weeks, months, years, or other measurements of time except hours is prescribed for the exercise of any privilege or the discharge of any duty, the first day shall not be counted but the last day shall be counted; …”

The plain English translation is that, in Georgia, you have until the second anniversary date of the incident to file suit. Not the day after. My advice is don’t wait.

We frequently have prospective clients call with very little time left on the statute of limitations. If you are within six months of the statute running, you should contact a lawyer immediately because the closer it gets to the deadline, the less likely it is a lawyer will accept the case due to the dangers involved in getting proper service on the defendant.