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Can the statute of limitations in a car accident case be extended to the date the ticket was resolved? Under what circumstances?

Decatur, GA |

I have heard this is rare, but possible. Is a request for the change in date automatically granted? Does a judge have to rule on the extension?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Best answer

    As of September 28, 2009 there is a HUGE change in the law as it pertains to car accident cases and any injury case stemming from the commission of a crime. In Beneke v. Parker et al. S08G2078. S08G2082. (2009) the Supreme Court ruled that the two years statute of limitations for personal injury claims is tolled (extended) for the the same amount of time that passes between the commission of the traffic crime and the resolution of the traffic ticket. That means if a person gets ticketed for running a red light and then pays the ticket 30 days later, the statute of limitations will run 2 years and 30 days from the night the car accident occurred.


  2. Yes. Certain situation can toll the statute of limitations. Until the legislature rewrite OCGA 9-3-99, the case Beneke v. Parker, et al allows the tolling of the statute of limitation until the resolution of the crime for victims of the crime to bring action against the defendant. HURRY! Good luck.


  3. Your question is hard to answer without additional facts. As the other post indicates, while there are factors that extend the statute of limitations, they are limited and only apply in certian circumstances. If you are coming up on the statute of limitations you should consult a lawyer as soon as possible to determine whether there are any exceptions that would apply in your case.


  4. Possibly. The better quesion is what are you waiting for? Consult with an attorney ASAP if you feel that you have a decent PI case.

    The information is for general information purposes only. Receipt of this information or e-mail from our website, or other communications should NOT be construed as legal advice for any individual case or situation, nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship.


  5. Possibly, but the closer you wait until the statute of limitations the less effective your lawyer can be. If you think you have a good case, get counsel now, and not tomorrow or later.

    Usually there is a two year statute of limitations. Once that expires you lose all rights to pursue a case. In 2009 Beneke v. Parker was decided by the Georgia Supreme Court. It held that under certain fact patterns that the two years statute of limitations for personal injury claims is tolled (extended) for the the same amount of time that passes between the commission of the traffic crime and the resolution of the traffic ticket.

    It is chancy to rely on that case for many reasons. First of all, the legislature may change the statute in light of that decision. Second the case appears to apply to crimes, and while most tickets in Georgia are misdemeanors or felonies, a few (such as red light cameras and some parking tickets) are not and I don't think any case has addressed that. Third, a court may find that your facts and the facts in that case differ in some detail no one in this website forsees.

    Again, the safe answer - get a lawyer ASAP. Don't wait the 2+ years.

    If my office can be of assistance, feel free to call me at 404-768-3509.

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