Suing the Government for Car and Truck Accidents

Contract

Traditionally, the federal and state governments were immune from lawsuits brought by citizens unless the government specifically consented to being named as a defendant. The idea was, we don't want the government paralyzed with lawsuits that will distract it from governing. Over time, states passed legislation codifying the areas where immunity would be waived to eliminate unfair results.

In Georgia, the Georgia Tort Claims Act (GTCA) provides citizens with notice as to the areas where immunity will be waived and what requirements must be followed in order to bring a lawsuit against a government defendant. It is important that prospective Georgia personal injury plaintiffs understand the nature of their claims, and whether they fit within the GTCA’s waiver of immunity. One of the many requirements of the GTCA is an ante litem notice, or a pre-suit notice. Specifically, Georgia Code section 50-21-26 states that “notice of a claim shall be given in writing within 12 months of the date the loss was discovered or should have been discovered.”

This notice must be delivered personally, or sent by certified mail to the Risk Management Division of the Department of Administrative Services. A copy must also be provided to the specific agency being named in the lawsuit. If the requirements of section 50-21-26 are not followed precisely, then a Georgia court will likely dismiss a plaintiff’s case. That is exactly what happened in a recent Georgia car accident case. This is a good illustration of why you really need a lawyer anytime you are dealing with the government. The slightest mistake, even if it does not matter because they knew about it anyway, can kill these cases.

The Facts

The plaintiff was injured in a single-vehicle accident that he claimed was due to an unsafe road that allowed for water to accumulate, causing his vehicle to hydroplane. The plaintiff filed an ante litem notice. However, the notice was delivered to the Georgia Department of Transportation rather than the Risk Management Division of the Department of Administrative Services. The plaintiff presented evidence suggesting that the notice was eventually forwarded to and received by the Risk Management Division. Neverthless, the court dismissed his cases.

The court explained that the exacting requirements of the GTCA must be followed precisely. Otherwise the court does not have jurisdiction to hear the case and it must be dismissed. Here, because the plaintiff failed to comply with the requirements of the GTCA, either by failing to notify the proper government entity or by failing to comply with the method-of-service requirement, the court dismissed the plaintiff’s case.

Have You Been Injured in a Georgia Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Georgia accident that you believe was due to the negligence of a government employee or entity, you may be entitled to monetary compensation.

Attorney Christopher M. Simon is a dedicated Georgia personal injury attorney who is well-versed in the GTCA. Attorney Simon knows what it takes to succeed on behalf of his clients, and works tirelessly to help them obtain the compensation they deserve. To learn more, call 404-259-7635 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case today. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our services unless we are able to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Client Reviews
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My wife and I were hit by a tractor trailer in 2014. After extensive research online, we were deeply impressed with the various reviews we read on Google and Avvo and chose Chris to represent us. We could not have a made a better decision. Chris and his firm treated us like we were their only clients, soothed our worries, and instantly gained our trust. Chris settled both of our cases for more than we expected. James
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A co-worker of my wife recommended Chris to us. At the very beginning Chris showed that he cared and his knowledge is priceless. Going through this process can be aggravating but Chris did a great job guiding me through this and was always available to answer my questions. Chris fought to get what I deserved even though at times I wanted to give up. Tracy
★★★★★
I want to express my deepest sense of gratitude and appreciation to Attorney Chris Simon & Attorney Chris Carsten, for all the hard work that they put forth into my case (car accident filed after being hit by drunk driver). Their attention to detail and professionalism far surpasses their firm's reputation. Because of their diligence and dedication to their craft, they were able to bring my case to a successful close, one that I could live with. You will not find a better team for your case. Should I have a need for their services again in the future, or know of anyone looking for a top notch Auto Accident Law Firm, I would not hesitate to recommend them!!!! Elle
★★★★★
Wow...Chris is a very good attorney. Me and my son was in a very bad car accident an I was clueless on how to handle the situation. It's very hard to find an attorney who allows you to contact them personally instead of you contacting their asst. I was told that I didn't have a case because the hosiptal put a lien on my acct. Chris prove different and I was able to file my case with the insurance company. The process was very quickly and Im glad I selected the right attorney..Thanks Chris A Car Accident client
★★★★★
Chris is a great lawyer and the most people friendly attorney I have ever delt with. He handled my case with great attention to detail and did so in a very short period of time. He is very consice, efficient, patient and understanding. He has a strong passion for what he does and he does it well. I recommend Chris Simon as legal representation for anyone who has suffreed damages or a loss at the negligence of others. He really cares about you and your case. A Car Accident client