Beware of the Fine Print in Lease Agreements

Beware of the Fine Print in Lease Agreements
May 8, 2019

The statute of limitations is often missed by clients unaware of its influence over personal injury claims. However, a dedicated personal injury attorney could help you file your claim promptly.

A Big Change Ahead

Most people have a general idea that there is a time limit for filing personal injury claims. This period, called the statute of limitations, is established by law. In Georgia, there is a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. But an individual’s ability to rely on that statutory limitation period has now been questioned.

Possible Changes to the Statute of Limitations in Georgia

The Georgia Supreme Court recently heard arguments in a case involving a contractual limitations clause in an apartment lease. In Langley v. MP Spring Lake, LLC, the plaintiff’s lawsuit, which alleged an apartment complex was negligent in failing to repair a damaged curb, was dismissed as untimely even though it was filed within two years after the plaintiff fell and was injured at the apartment complex where she lived. The lawsuit was dismissed because the plaintiff’s lease contained a provision limiting actions to one year. The Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of the suit, but the Supreme Court agreed to review the case.

The case is being closely followed by attorneys for both plaintiffs and defendants in civil cases, as it will likely affect the rights of individuals to pursue injury claims in all kinds of situations. Should the ruling be upheld, we are likely to see provisions limiting the time for filing suit in medical admission forms, employment agreements, purchase agreements and many other contexts where an individual is required to sign an agreement with a lot of fine print. The limitation period in the lease at issue was one year. But, what is to stop the next complex from limiting the right to sue to one month, or even one year?

Hopefully, the Georgia Supreme Court will reject the idea that an individual’s right to file an injury claim can be limited by the person or entity that caused the harm. In the meantime, read the fine print and protect your rights.

Reach Out to an Attorney Who Could Help

The statute of limitations is currently set in stone, and while the future may be open to changes in the Georgia statute, an attorney may be required to help you understand the nuances of filing a claim. Reach out to one today.