More Frequently Asked Questions

What are Ante Litems?

Bringing a personal injury claim against a city, municipality or county government must be handled differently than pursuing a claim against a private person or corporation. Statutory requirements under O.C.G.A. § 36-33- 5(b) (city) and O.C.G.A. § 36-11-1 (county) impose strict notice and timeline prerequisites necessary for pursuing an injury claim. Failure to follow the statutory requirements exactly can result in a waiver of your claim. If you have been injured by the actions of a government employee or on government property, immediate consultation with an attorney is highly advisable.

What about Car Seats?

You should always replace a car seat if it was involved in a motor vehicle accident, even if your child was not involved in the incident. This recommendation comes directly from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and should be take very seriously. Car seats are made mostly of pliable plastic and are therefore highly susceptible to the impact force and vibrations of a crash. Moreover, structural damage can occur that is simply not detectible to the human eye. The car insurance company should pay for a replacement seat as part of your property damage claim, and there is no reason to risk your child’s safety.

What is Loss of Consortium?

Injured clients who must rely upon their spouse for physical, financial or emotional support often ask if their spouse has an injury claim as well. Georgia law does make provisions for married individuals, recognizing that what happens to one individual in marriage can negatively impact the spouse as well.

Primarily intended to address diminished “love, companionship and conjugal affection” a loss of consortium claim should be considered when pursuing personal injury claims, especially those that involve significant, serious or catastrophic bodily injury. It should be noted, however, that most standard insurance policies will treat loss of consortium claims as part of a “single injury”, and therefore not independent of the injured spouse’s bodily injury claim. This means that the claim of the uninjured spouse for loss of consortium could be paid from the same money available to the injured spouse for his or her bodily injury claim. Obviously, there are situations where this would not be advisable or economically feasible.

Loss of consortium claims must be brought within four years of the underlying injury. (O.C.G.A. 9-3-33).

Stop Using Social Media?

It may be perfectly appropriate and even advisable for you to post pictures of your motor vehicle accident and bodily injuries to social media such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. However, what we strongly suggest is that you consult with your attorney before you start to make these posts or discuss the incident in a public forum. After years of experience battling insurance companies, we can assure you that they will use anything they can to devalue your case, even if it is taken out of context. After you have spoken with your attorney and discussed appropriate social media content and best practices, you should be able to resume some or all of your social media activities.

What are Statute of Limitations?

Under O.C.G.A. 9-3-33, Georgia law limits the amount of time you can pursue a wrongdoer for personal injury, wrongful death or medical malpractice. Known as the statute of limitations, the deadline for bringing most personal injury claims is two years from the date of the incident or act. Put simply, you must file a lawsuit within two years of your injury or you risk losing your rights to any and all recovery.

There are instances where the statute of limitations does not start on the date of injury and is therefore “tolled”, but you should never assume that an exception applies without first consulting an attorney. Examples where a personal injury claim may be initiated after two years include injuries to minors (clock starts when they turn 18), an unrepresented estate of a deceased claimant (tolls limitation period for 5 years), and an unresolved crime that gives rise to the personal injury claim. Fraud that prevents a victim from filing suit is an additional area where the two-year statue of limitations may not apply.

Regardless of whether or not you believe two-year statue of limitations applies to your case, you should always consult with an attorney. It may be inadvisable to delay pursuit of your claim, even if more time is permitted. Also, it is certainly possible that a recent court ruling or a change in the law could impact the time you have to pursue your rights for injury compensation.

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