If you are negotiating a settlement with an insurer on an accident claim and the statute of limitations runs out before the claim is settled, does that end the case?

In other words, does this now release the insurance company from any further obligation as far as settling the claim?

Asked on July 7, 2014 under Personal Injury, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Did you file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations ran out or not? If you filed the lawsuit prior to the expiration of the SOL, then you are fine--you got in under the wire. The SOL merely requires that the suit be begun prior to the expiration of the statutory period, not that it be concluded. However, if you did not file the suit prior to the SOL expiring, then it is probably too late to file it (a court could allow you to do so under some circumstances, but is not likely to); and if that is the case, the insurer cannot be compelled to pay, since you cannot sue. Therefore, while they could voluntarily choose to settle at that time, they would not have to.


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