Are All Civil Claims in Georgia Subject to a Statute of Limitations?

civil cases georgia statute of limitations

Statute of limitations is the amount of time you have from when an act occurs until you must file a lawsuit.  The case does not have to conclude by the statute, it just has to be filed.  There are a number of factors that go into the statute of limitations so, if you want to pursue a civil claim, you are advised to contact a lawyer.

In general, if you are in a car wreck or are injured as a result of negligent security, you have two years to pursue a bodily injury claim and four years to pursue a property damage claim.  If the injured party is a minor or dies as a result of the wreck or a negligent act, the time to file suit is extended.  The deadline may also be extended in a car wreck case to the extent the other party is given a citation and they do not plead guilty and pay the fine immediately.  

If an individual dies, as a result of a car wreck or due to negligent security, then you are strongly advised to consult with an experienced lawyer because there are issues such as whether an estate should be set up and, if so, who can or should serve as the personal representative.  If an estate is set up, then there are probate issues in addition to deciding how to pursue the wrongful death claim.  All of these issues affect the statute of limitations.

Other cases such as nursing home abuse or neglect generally have a two-year statute of limitations, but if the injured person is or becomes incapacitated that could affect the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit.  Other factors that can affect the statute is whether there has been fraud in covering up what really happened.

Our Atlanta personal injury attorneys can explain these differences to prospective clients. Know that the statute of limitations is not a reason to wait until the last second to pursue a claim. In general, the sooner you do these things, the better your chances of success. Civil cases rely on evidence. Evidence – be it witness statements, photographs, surveillance footage, physical evidence, medical documents, or financial records – can be more difficult to come by as time passes. Memories fade. Records can be lost. Footage can be erased. Biological samples deteriorate. 

If you have questions about your civil injury case and how these statutes of limitations might impact your right to file a claim, our Atlanta personal injury and wrongful death attorneys are available to help.


The foregoing answers are not legal advice and are merely a general overview. You are advised to consult a lawyer to address your specific situation regarding your situation. For more information or to inquire about a free consultation, contact Stephen D. Apolinsky, an experienced Atlanta sexual assault victim attorney, at Apolinsky & Associates at (404) 377-9191 or email him at


About the Author

Stephen Apolinsky

Stephen D. Apolinsky is a Personal Injury Attorney who specializes in representing individuals and families concerning wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases. Stephen is licensed to practice in Georgia, Alabama, and the District of Columbia. With over 33 years of experience representing personal injury victims, Stephen has successfully tried over 80 cases to verdict before judges or juries, and has negotiated over 300 cases to out-of-court settlements. Stephen has been recognized as a Georgia Super Lawyer, and as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association.