A brain injury attorney explains the statute of limitations and more.
If you’ve experienced head trauma but didn’t contact a brain injury attorney right away, you’re probably wondering if there’s still anything you can do. Maybe it’s been a while, and you’re starting to notice little things that aren’t quite the same as before your accident. Or only a fraction of your bills were covered by insurance.
Whatever the case, you’ve likely got options.
How Long Before the Clock Runs out on My Ability to File a Lawsuit?
The Statute of Limitations, or the “ticking clock” on your time to file, can vary from state to state. This expiry date on filing serves a few purposes:
- It protects defendants from living in fear of a lawsuit forever
- It encourages a plaintiff to file while records are readily available, and memories are still recent.
- It (usually) gives the plaintiff enough time to reach what doctors call a “steady state”; your condition levels out and the full extent of the damage can be medically assessed.
In the state of Georgia, you have two years from the date the injury is incurred to take action. After that time, no suit can be filed.
What Constitutes a Brain Injury?
Any temporary or permanent functional difficulties within the brain caused by a traumatic event or oxygen deprivation are included in the definition of brain injury. While many people picture dramatic effects (lacerations, paralyzation, comas), the lasting effects can be much more subtle. Minor tremors. Memory loss. Mood alteration.
Even minor injuries can have an impact on daily life. Short-term memory loss can affect your ability to do basic things like drive a car or maintain a job. Mood alteration can make an individual prone to emotional outbursts or inappropriate commentary. The impacts are as varied as the situation and injuries themselves.
What Are the Options When Filing a Lawsuit?
Your claim depends entirely on the circumstances of your injury. Did you slip and fall? Were you in a car accident? Perhaps you were assaulted in a bar fight. The severity of the injury, and how you incurred it, will ultimately determine the size of the damage award you may be eligible for.
Will I Have to Go to Court?
In the majority of cases, no. Most personal injury lawsuits are settled outside the courtroom. However, the process can take a while. Each party will review the circumstances and medical records associated with your injury. Based on their review, they may offer a settlement amount, or decide to try their luck in court.
If they offer a settlement, you are not required to take it. In fact, it’s likely you’ll review several offers before ultimately settling the matter. But “holding out” for more isn’t the best approach. It’s important to understand what amount you’re going to require for any ongoing care, lost wages, and emotional stress.
Discuss the realities with your lawyer and health care providers; then determine what amount is going to be right for you.
Ready to Schedule a Free Personal Injury Consultation?
What have you got to lose? If you have questions about the benefits of hiring an experienced brain injury attorney, just click to contact the Wilbanks Law Firm, P.C. online.