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Understanding Car Accident Legal Timeframes in Georgia

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In Georgia, the law mandates a specific period during which you can file a lawsuit for injuries resulting from a car accident. This time period, known as the 'statute of limitations', is outlined in section 9-3-33 of the Georgia Code. Basically, you have two years from the moment your right to sue comes into effect, or "accrues."

Typically, this right to file a lawsuit starts on the day of the car crash. However, there are instances where this two-year clock may be put on hold, or "tolled." This could happen during a criminal investigation related to the accident, which may extend the timeframe by up to six years. Another example is if the at-fault driver who hit you received a citation, then the 2-year clock may not begin to run until after the citation is paid. To understand if any exceptions might apply to your case, it's best to consult with a personal injury lawyer.

Compared to other states, Georgia's two-year timeframe might seem short, but it's quite standard. In fact, around half of all U.S. states also maintain a two-year statute of limitations for car accident injury cases. The duration varies among other states, from as short as one year to as long as six years.

In the unfortunate event where a car accident results in the death of a victim, the deceased person's estate has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The two-year limitation period also applies to these tragic circumstances.

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