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Georgia Car Accident Injury Case Guide

Common Questions Answered About Georgia Car Accident Cases

What is medical-legal funding, and are funding statements admissible in an accident trial?

In Georgia, medical-legal funding is becoming more and more common, because it allows car crash injury victims who do not have medical (health) insurance to receive and pay for medical treatment that they may not otherwise have access to.  One controversial issue is whether the issue of medical funding is admissible at trial of a car wreck injury case, and whether bills received from medical funding are recoverable at trial as part of your damages – or whether you need the original billing statement from the doctor’s office, even if you did not ever receive a direct bill.

As of 2018, this issue appears to be unresolved under Georgia law, O.C.G.A. 24-9-61, with some Trial Court Judges ruling that bills received from medical legal funding are admissible as certified business records, and others ruling that the statute allows only bills received from medical care providers to be admitted at trial.  If you have a personal injury case involving a car, truck or motorcycle about to go to trial in Georgia, we recommend that your attorney seek a ruling from the Trial Judge in advance of trial as to whether medical-legal funding, especially the bills received for it, will be allowed into evidence at trial to avoid any difficult surprises.

I want to make a claim against MARTA (Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) is an ante litem notice required?

No.  An ante litem is a notice required in advance of filing a lawsuit that must be filed against some government bodies.  If you want to make an injury claim against MARTA, no ante litem notice needs to be sent, this includes both car accident cases and other injury matters, such as premises liability cases.  However, Georgia law requires that any lawsuit filed against MARTA must be filed in Fulton County Superior Court unless you have a co-defendant who lives outside of Fulton County.

Is a Georgia’s City Government immune from being sued if I am injured in a car accident caused by a city employee?

A claim can usually be made against Georgia city government  for a car accident because sovereign immunity (immunity from suit) for car and other motor vehicle accidents is waived by O.C.G.A. 36-33-1 and 36-92-2 up to a set statutory limit whether the city has purchased insurance or not.  If a city has purchased insurance (some cities like Atlanta are self-insured and have not purchased separate insurance policies), the city will have waived its immunity up the limit of insurance, if they have more insurance than the statutory limit.  O.C.G.A. 33-24-51.

On the other hand, many police activities are considered discretionary functions.  This means that a city’s immunity from suit is not always waived for the police by the purchase of automobile insurance.  Usually, though, routine patrolling functions and some negligent uses of a police car (negligent initiation or continuation of a police chase) are considered negligent use of a motor vehicle and may be covered under a motor-vehicle insurance policy.  The circumstances of any accident between a police officer and a member of the public should be carefully investigated.

What happens to a Georgia car accident injury claim or case if the injured person dies before the case is settled?

If you are reading this, you may have had a family member or close friend who passed away while his or her car accident injury case was in progress, and are wondering what to do.  If this has happened, let the personal injury attorney know immediately, so that the lawyer may take steps to protect the claim and notify all of the appropriate parties, including the at-fault driver’s insurance company and the medical providers.  Additionally, the claim will now belong th the estate of the deceased person, and the estate must now hire an attorney (it can be the same lawyer) to complete the case.  If there is no estate or personal representative for the deceased, no one — not even the deceased’s (now former) lawyer — has authority to settle the injury claim.

 

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