To the average person with no legal training, the law can be a confusing, complicated and too often a frightful intruder into one’s personal life. People are said to hate all lawyers except the one representing them.

If you are injured:

  • Take care of your injuries immediately (see a doctor)
  • Contact a lawyer
  • Document all injuries and any damage to property (get copies of accident reports, take pictures, keep record of all receipts and invoices, keep notes of new symptoms, document time off from work, etc.)
  • Get information from witnesses (phone numbers, addresses, statements, etc.) Be sure to get the other person’s insurance information as well as driver’s license and plate number of his vehicle.
  • File a claim with the other person’s insurance company
  • Do not give any statements to anyone other than the police before speaking with a lawyer
  • Do not sign any releases of liability or potential claims before speaking with a lawyer

Statute of Limitations

You have a limited amount of time to file your personal injury claim in Georgia. The statute of limitations dictates how long you have to file the claim with the court after you are injured. In some cases, the statute of limitations starts when the person becomes aware of the injury or should have become aware of the injury (the Discovery Rule).

Georgia Statute of Limitations Laws

Type of Claim: Statute of Limitation:
Negligence (car accidents, slip & fall, toxic torts, etc.) 2 years
Assault or Battery 2 years
Defamation 1 years
Strict Liability 2 years
Products Liability 2 years
Wrongful Death 2 years (potentially 4 years)

Types of Claims: Who Is Liable?


The person or company who was negligent is liable. However, Georgia uses a legal doctrine called modified comparative negligence to assign fault. This system of assigning fault has two important aspects to it. First, the injured party may recover damages only if he or she is less than 50 percent at fault. Second, if the injured party was also negligent, the original negligent party is only liable for the percentage of damages he or she caused.

For example, if you are in a car accident where the person who hit you ran a red light while you were speeding, the jury can find that running the red light was 80 percent negligent while your speeding was 20 percent negligent. You will only be rewarded 80 percent of your total damages. However, if the jury found that your speeding was 55 percent negligent, then you would not be able to recover any damages at all.

Negligence is defined as conduct which falls below the standard established by the law for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm.

In order to have a claim (or cause of action) against another party, the following elements must be present:

  • Duty of care. The defendant has a legal duty to protect the plaintiff against unreasonable risk of harm.
  • Breach of duty. The defendant’s failure to conform his conduct to the legally required standard.
  • Proximate cause. The breach of the duty by the defendant constituted the proximate or legal cause of plaintiff’s injury.
  • Damages. The plaintiff has suffered actual harm to himself or his property that is measurable and compensable in money damages.

To protect your interest and get the proper determination of your rights, call us immediately.