Waiting too long to start your case is a mistake that is easy to avoid. Under Georgia law, you do have two years (24 months) from the date of your accident in which to file a lawsuit, but it is not a good idea to wait until month 23 to start the process.
First, you will find it difficult to find a lawyer to take your case if you wait until the last minute. If someone calls me and there are only a few days or weeks left before the statute of limitations runs, I am going to assume that there is a problem.
As a general rule, I would not like to be in a situation where I have to file a lawsuit to beat a statute of limitations without having time to review the medical records, police report, interview witnesses and conduct my own investigation.
Second, by waiting, you may have trouble gathering evidence. Medical records can be lost, witnesses may move, physical evidence from the crash scene will be long gone.
Third, if you wait until the last minute, it will be much more difficult to negotiate a fair settlement with the other driver’s insurance company. They will discount the value of your case because you waited. There may not even be time to engage in negotiations.
Finally, if you do find a lawyer who is willing to file a lawsuit at the last minute to beat the statute, you may have difficulty obtaining service of that lawsuit on the adverse driver. He may have moved, or even died. Without service, your lawsuit cannot be pursued.
For all of these reasons and more, please do not wait to contact a lawyer about pursuing an injury claim on your behalf.