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Statute of Limitations – 2 years means 2 years…most of the time

January 29, 2019

It’s date night. That one night out of the week where you and your spouse get to spend an evening together without worrying about the kids. You truly look forward to these evenings where you get to talk about adult things. But most importantly, you get to eat your food while it is still hot! The babysitter arrives so you are on your way. As you head down Sixes Road, already enjoying a grown-up conversation (albeit about how much you miss the kids already) a car runs through a stop sign and hits you from the side. You are hurt.


Fortunately, you are back to your old self in less than a year. The at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster wants to talk to you about your legal claims for your medical expenses and your pain and suffering. You think to yourself, “this wreck was clearly their fault. Surely I can handle this claim on my own.” The adjuster sends you an “authorization” to allow the insurance company to get your medical records. As you look the document over, you notice that it is not limited to getting just the records from the treatment you received related to this wreck. Why would the adjuster want access to all of your medical records? Why does this authorization allow the adjuster to get your employment records as well? Feeling uneasy about signing this release, you decide to obtain your medical records to submit your claim. Who knew it could be this difficult to get your OWN medical records and bills? Now the HR department at work is taking forever to produce a lost wages statement. Ugh. Who has time for all of this? Then it happens. You receive a letter from the insurance company informing you that you no longer have a claim against the person who caused the wreck because the Statute of Limitation has expired. What?!


One of the most difficult conversations we have with folks is when they come to our office seeking help too late. Through these conversations, we have learned that many people are not aware of what a “statute of limitation” is or how it affects your legal rights. Generally speaking, Georgia’s Statute of Limitation requires that all claims for personal injury must be brought within 2 years of the date of the wrongful act. Bringing a “claim” does not mean notifying the at-fault driver’s insurance company that you were hurt. Nor does it mean that you submit your settlement claim within the 2 year period. “Bringing a claim” means a lawsuit must be filed and served on the at-fault party within this 2-year period. Failing to do so results in forfeiting all legal claims you have against the at-fault driver. This statute is unforgiving. Filing your lawsuit just one day after the 2-year statute expires will result in your claim being dismissed.


Like all good statutes, though, there is an exception to the general rule. If the person who caused your injury was prosecuted by law enforcement for the behavior that caused your injury, the 2-year period does not begin to run until after the criminal case has ended. Traffic citations are included as “criminal prosecutions.” In other words, if you are injured in a wreck that happens on February 1, 2016, but the at-fault driver pled guilty to running the stop sign on March 15, 2016, you actually have until March 15, 2018, to file and serve your lawsuit. If you have a claim for personal injuries arising from a car wreck, the attorneys and staff at Tidwell Strimban can help. We can remove all of the stress and anxiety of dealing with the insurance company. We will navigate this complex system for you, making sure you receive the just compensation you deserve; allowing you to focus on one simple thing – getting better.

Highly recommed Tidwell Strimban

In October 2015 my wife was a pedestrian struck by a vehicle in a crosswalk in front of a grocery store. She suffered multiple injuries including a traumatic brain injury from which she has yet to fully recover. We were referred to the Tidwell Strimban law firm after the insurance company made a very small settlement offer. It took over two years to reach a settlement 3 weeks before the case was scheduled to go to court. Robert and Aaron recognized the seriousness of the injuries and were very diligent in pursuing our claim to a satisfactory conclusion. WE would also note that the staff, Donna and Ashley are extremely good at keeping us informed at all times. We do not hesitate to highly recommend them for any personal injury matter.
Hank B.

Always There

Mr. Tidwell and his staff are great people to deal with. He was the first attorney I have ever had to use. If I ever need to use an attorney again he will definitely be my go to guy. When I had a question about something his staff was always there. So if you are needing an attorney, Robert Tidwell is the guy to use.
Larry H

Amazing Service

I had been hesitant to hire a lawyer to represent me in my personal injury case, but once I met with the lawyers at Tidwell Strimban, I knew they were the right attorneys for me and that they could expertly handle my legal needs. Their experience, personal rapport and genuine concern for my health and well-being immediately put me at ease. They were always accessible and kept me informed throughout the entire process. They resolved my case in an extremely satisfactory, professional and expeditious manner. I would highly recommend Tidwell Strimban to anyone who needs a personal injury attorney.
Brian S.

Best Experience

I can not say enough about the support I received from Tidwell Strimban. There is so much uncertainty after you have been in a car accident. All my fears were relieved after my first meeting, they literally took care of me from the moment we met. They fought for me from the beginning to the end and only had my best interest at heart. After a year of having Tidwell Strimban represent me, we achieved a wonderful settlement in the amount that was fair and just for my accident. I would highly recommend the Tidwell Strimban firm. When you are uncertain and your trust is at stake, place yourself in Tidwell Strimban’s hands, they will not only earn your trust, but work for you to gain the outcome that is fair and just for you as an individual. Could not have been a better experience in the most trying of times.
Brittany L.