Car Accident Statute of Limitations in Georgia Extended by Failure to Appear


So you may have read our previous post about the Beneke v. Parker decision that confirmed that the 2 year statute of limitations on car accident claims in Georgia is extended for the number of days after the crash that it takes to resolve the traffic ticket. One of the other lawyers came to me with a new client the other day and even though the crash is four years old he claimed that the police records showed that the defendant had not shown up for the hearing and therefore a FTA (failure to appear) warrant had issued.

My view had always been that the FTA warrant is a resolution of the case and therefore the stretching (tolling in legalese) of the Georgia Statute of Limitations would end on the anniversary of the FTA issuing. Mike argued that the FTA issuing is not a resolution and that the statute was therefore tolled. I was wrong and he was right. He sent the policy limits demand to the insurance company four years after the crash along with the case law interpreting OCGA 9-3-99 and they agreed and sent a check for the full amount of the policy.

Good news for the victim in Georgia. If you had a claim denied by the insurance company in Georgia and the other driver got the ticket and failed to appear in Court and the charge is still open, then the normal 2 year statute of limitations may be extended.

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