Q: If I noticed my accident injuries several months or years after my accident in Atlanta, can I still file a personal injury claim?
If accident injuries don’t manifest until months or even years later, a claim could still be filed if it falls within the statute of limitations. However, there may be exceptions based on what is called the discovery rule, which should be discussed with an Atlanta personal injury attorney regarding a particular case.
Statute of Limitations in Atlanta, Georgia for a Personal Injury Claim
The timeframe in which an injured person can file a personal injury claim in Georgia is two years. So, if an accident occurred on April 15, 2011, the individual would have until April 15, 2013 to pursue compensation for any resulting injuries.
If the accident victim discovers an injury several months after the accident, this should allow enough time to pursue the case. When the injuries are not discovered or linked to the accident right off the bat, this could present some challenges in pursuing compensation.
In these types of unique cases, the discovery rule may kick in. When allowed, the discovery rule is based on when the injury was actually discovered or should have reasonably been discovered.
For instance, if someone was involved in a serious car accident, choosing not to seek medical attention to rule out injuries – even if the victim does not feel injured at the time – could destroy any chance of filing a claim later on. It may be considered unreasonable not to see a doctor after a serious accident.
The prospect of using the discovery rule would need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. This is where seeking legal advice from an Atlanta personal injury attorney might be to an injured person’s advantage. After all, a lawyer understands in-depth the legal process and if the victim’s case is being handled fairly.
Don’t Wait to See a Doctor or File a Personal Injury Claim for Accident Injuries
Waiting to seek medical care after an accident may damage the potential to file a personal injury claim later. Why? Because the insurance company will be skeptical as to why the victim didn’t seek medical attention sooner. This is why, victims of car accidents, should still seek emergency care if he or she doesn’t feel that it’s necessary. Not only can the medical visit help preserve an injury claim if one is pursued, but it can also benefit if internal bleeding is present, which can save the victim’s life.
Accident victims can consult an Atlanta personal injury attorney soon after their accident to review legal options for filing an injury claim. If injuries are not noticed until years after the accident, they can still consult an attorney to go over eligibility to file a claim based on the discovery rule. An attorney at the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz can help determine the viability of a claim, even if months have past after the accident and injuries are just now being discovered.