The Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) reports that nearly 4,300 motorcyclists are involved in traffic collisions in the state each year. The overwhelming majority of motorcycle accidents result in injuries to the rider. Indeed, motorcyclists are nearly 25 times more likely to be seriously injured or killed in a crash than the occupants of passenger cars.
Injured victims have the right to file a legal claim against the at-fault party. This raises an important question: How long do you have to file a motorcycle accident claim in Georgia? With limited exceptions, the statute of limitations is two years. Here, our Atlanta motorcycle accident attorneys provide a comprehensive guide to the statute of limitations for motorcycle injury claims in Georgia.
Know the Law: Georgia’s Statute of Limitations for Motorcycle Injuries
You do not have an unlimited amount of time to file a personal injury lawsuit in Georgia. Motorcycle accident claims are certainly no exception to the rule. Under Georgia law (OCGA § 9-3-32), the general statute of limitations for a motorcycle accident injury claim in Georgia is two years from the date of the crash. This deadline is crucial. In other words, an injured motorcyclist must file a personal injury lawsuit within two years, otherwise, they will not be able to pursue a claim at all. To be clear, a motorcycle accident injury claim that goes to court (litigation) does not necessarily need to be resolved within two years. Instead, the statute of limitations is the deadline to file a lawsuit. Do not wait to take action: Speak to a Georgia motorcycle injury lawyer right away.
Special Rule for Motorcycle Accident Claims With a Government Vehicle
If the defendant in your motorcycle accident injury claim is a government entity, there is another (stricter) deadline that you need to be aware of. Your case likely falls under the Georgia Torts Claims Act. You have just 12 months to file a document called a Notice of Claim. A Georgia motorcycle accident lawyer can help you navigate this legal requirement.
Only Narrow Exceptions Apply to the Statute of Limitations in Georgia
Georgia has a very strict statute of limitations for motorcycle accident injury claims. There are only very limited exceptions to this rule. The most notable example is that a minor plaintiff is subject to a less strict legal standard. If the person injured in the motorcycle accident is under the age of 18, the statute of limitations does not begin until they turn 18. For instance, if a 15-year-old is injured, they would have until their 20th birthday to file a lawsuit.
Be Proactive: Do Not Fall Behind Defendants or Insurers
Being proactive in your injury claim is key. You should not rely on the insurer or defendant to protect your interests. Big corporations and large insurance companies will put their own best interests first. Notably, they generally waste little time in building their defense after a serious motorcycle crash. You should not wait until the statute of limitations deadline draws near to get started with your case. A comprehensive, prompt investigation of a motorcycle accident by an experienced Georgia attorney is a must. The sooner you consult with a top motorcycle accident lawyer, the better position you will be in to get justice and full and fair financial compensation.
A Wide Range of Financial Compensation May Be Recovered in a Motorcycle Accident Claim
A motorcycle accident can cause catastrophic harm to an injured victim. Georgia law allows injured riders to seek compensation for economic losses and intangible damages. By pursuing a timely claim, you will be in the best position to maximize your recovery. Depending on the situation, an injured motorcycle accident victim in Georgia may be entitled to recover financial support for:
- Property damage (motorcycle repairs);
- Emergency medical treatment;
- Hospital bills and other medical expenses;
- Lost income and diminished earning capacity;
- Pain and suffering & mental anguish;
- Long-term disability or physical disfigurement; and
- Wrongful death of a family member.
Get Help From an Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
At Lawbike Motorcycle Injury Lawyers, our Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyers are standing by, ready to help you seek justice and financial compensation. Get in touch with us by phone at 1-866-529-2453 or connect with us online for a free, completely confidential legal consultation. From our Atlanta office and our Roswell office, our firm is well-positioned to fight for the rights and interests of motorcycle accident victims throughout Georgia.