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Georgia Wrongful Death Time Limits

The time limit for filing a wrongful death case in Georgia is generally two years from the date of death. This limitation is based on separate statutes in general personal injury and medical malpractice contexts, but the effect is almost always the same.

There are some exceptions, when the time period may be "tolled" so that in effect the clock stops running for a time. However, the safer course is to always file within two years rather than delaying.

Note that the two-year limitation period is for Georgia. Other states have shorter or longer limitation periods.

There are additional factors to consider in particular types of cases.

Trucking Cases

Interstate motor carriers are required by Federal law to maintain certain records of their operations for six months. While they are not required to destroy records after six months, some do. Often these records provide the only way to prove multiple violations of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. If nothing is done to assure preservation of specified documents before the expiration of six months after a wreck, documents which may be invaluable to your claim may be legally destroyed.

Companies that handle wireless data transmissions for truck fleets may routinely purge their electronic records within six weeks.

If a loved one is killed to negligent operation of a motor carrier's truck, it is extremely important to hire a lawyer experienced in trucking cases as soon as possible -- preferably within a month -- in order to allow time to take the necessary action to prevent destruction of the trucking company's records. Lawyers who are not experienced in trucking litigation simply won't know this, and won't know what records to ask for.

Claims against state and local government

State Government: Under the State Tort Claims Act, the claimant must present a pre-suit notice of claim in writing with specificity, to head of each state agency involved, and to Risk Management Division of Department of Administrative Services, within 12 months. Suit must be filed within the applicable of limitations, but not less than 90 days after presentation of presuit notice of claim.

County Government: Present claim in writing to county commission within 12 months, and prior to filing suit.

Municipal Government: Present claim in writing within 6 months, then wait at least 30 days before filing suit.

Common Disaster

File suit within 12 months to maintain priority of your judgment where there are multiple claimants and funds are inadequate to fully compensate them all.

Life Insurance Contracts

While the statute of limitations for filing suit on insurance policies generally is six years, many insurance policies contain a contractual suit limitation clause which may limit the time for filing suit to as little as one year. Insurance policies must be carefully reviewed in detail to determine whether there is a contractual suit limitation.

Client Reviews
"Goes above and beyond and is a mountain of knowledge on spine and brain injuries. He does his research and represents you with a level of excellence. Remains a friend after representing me." Dee M., Woodstock, GA
"I have collaborated with Mr. Shigley on several initiatives within Georgia’s Judiciary over the past few years and found him to be a persistent and attentive individual. Ken has taken great pride in his involvement with the projects that I have worked on and he is good at influencing success. Despite his hectic schedule, Ken has always made time to discuss, research and review ideas for the best way to accomplish goals. I look forward to a continued working relationship in this and future roles." Jorge B., CIO, Judicial Council of Georgia
"After having to have a hole drilled in an automobile part at a machine shop 10 years ago, I told my uncle I could have done that. My uncle replied, "You are doing this once these guys do it every day" That simply means if you don't know where to turn, get help and get an expert. Ken was that help when I was severely injured during a fatal accident. Ken and his team at Shigley Law are experts, and are here to help you during your crisis. Ken will be there during the injury, recovery, and trial. He and his firm will work hard to see that you are represented fairly!" Jeremy R.
"Ken is a very kind man. He has a wealth of knowledge and is going above and beyond to help us while representing our case." Candy F., spouse of catastrophic injury client, Plains, GA
"I know Ken as trial lawyer of highest standards. Ken is knowledgeable and innovative and that translates to success in the courtroom. He is outgoing, compassionate and personable which makes him a pleasure to work with in any setting." Eric B., Attorney, Canton, GA