Last month, a state appellate court issued an opinion in a Georgia car accident case requiring the court to determine if the plaintiffs were covered under a policy underwritten by the defendant insurance company. The court ultimately determined that the plaintiffs were not among those named in the policy for whom underinsured/uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage was provided, and the plaintiffs’ argument that the policy was invalid was without merit. Thus, the court dismissed the plaintiffs’ case.The Facts

The defendant insurance company wrote a policy for a car dealership. The policy provided both liability and UIM coverage. However, the UIM coverage was only extended to “directors, officers, partners or owners of the named insured and family members who qualify as an insured.” In fact, the policy specifically stated that “any other person who qualifies as an
Insured” was not afforded UIM coverage.

The plaintiffs decided to test-drive a car from the dealership. While out on the test-drive, the plaintiffs were rear-ended by another motorist. The at-fault motorist had liability insurance coverage, but the policy limits were such that the plaintiffs were not fully compensated for their injuries, even after settling and obtaining the maximum benefit amount under that policy. Thus, the plaintiffs filed a claim with the dealership’s insurance policy, under the UIM coverage.

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Recently, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a Georgia slip-and-fall case dismissing a plaintiff’s case based on her knowledge of the ice that she slipped on. The court had to determine if the plaintiff’s decision to exit out of the same door she entered through was fatal to her claim, when she knew that there was ice on the ground. Ultimately, the court concluded that it was and dismissed the plaintiff’s case.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was picking up an order for her employer at the defendant’s millwork studio. At the time, it was below freezing, and when the plaintiff entered through the front door she noticed that a water spigot had been left open and water was dripping out onto the ground. The water was not quite frozen, but it had formed a mixture of water and ice.

The plaintiff navigated the entrance to the studio without a problem, and when she got inside she told an employee about the hazard. The employee told her to leave out of another rolling door so as to not risk slipping on the ice. The employee explained not to tell anyone that he told her to use that door, because he could get fired for permitting her to use the rolling door.

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Earlier last month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a Georgia car accident case brought against the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) by a man who was injured in a single-car accident due to what he claimed was an improperly maintained roadway. The court ultimately rejected the plaintiff’s claim because he failed to follow the procedural requirements stated in the Georgia Tort Claims Act (GTCA) precisely.The case illustrates the importance of having a dedicated and knowledgeable Georgia personal injury attorney that is experienced in pursing compensation from government defendants.

Ante-Litem Notice

Under the GTCA, any plaintiff who plans on bringing a lawsuit against a government entity must follow certain procedural guidelines in order to establish the court’s jurisdiction. Essentially, the government is presumed to be immune from all tort liability. However, the GTCA waives this immunity in certain circumstances if, and only if, the plaintiff complies with the GTCA requirements. If the plaintiff fails to comply with the requirements of the GTCA, then the court will not have power to hear the plaintiff’s case because the government will be immune from liability.

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Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a Georgia premises liability lawsuit brought by an office manager who slipped and fell after stepping in a puddle of water. The case required the court to determine if the plaintiff’s case against the owner of the building was legally sufficient despite the plaintiff’s own conflicting testimony as to whether it was raining on the day of the accident.Ultimately, the court resolved the conflict in the plaintiff’s testimony against her, and it found that there was no issue of fact that needed to be resolved by a jury. Thus, the court entered judgment in the defendant’s favor.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was an office manager at a tax preparation company that was located in a building owned by the defendant. One day, the plaintiff was the first to enter the office, and as she did so, she slipped on a puddle of water that had gathered near the back office.

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Earlier this month, an appellate court issued a written opinion in a Georgia premises liability lawsuit requiring the court to interpret and discuss the state’s recreational use immunity statute. Ultimately, the court ruled in favor of the defendant landowner, basing its decision on the fact that the accident victim did not pay a fee to enter the stadium.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiffs took their daughter to a youth football game at the defendant stadium. The admission fee was $2 for adults and children over six years old. However, children under six were free. The plaintiffs paid $2 each for their own admission, and their young daughter was admitted for free.

During the game, the plaintiff’s daughter slipped through a gap in the bleachers and fell approximately 30 feet. As a result of the fall, the plaintiff’s daughter was seriously injured, and the plaintiffs filed a personal injury case against the stadium. The plaintiffs alleged that the stadium was negligent in the construction of the bleachers, allowing for a gap where a small child could slip through.

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Earlier this month, an appellate court issued an opinion in a Georgia car accident case requiring the court to determine if the plaintiff’s case against the defendant contained sufficient evidence to survive a summary judgment challenge by the defense. Ultimately, since the court found that the plaintiff presented insufficient evidence to give rise to a material issue of fact, it granted summary judgment in the defendant’s favor.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was a truck driver who was heading east on a stretch of highway when the defendant’s vehicle, which was traveling in the opposite direction, crossed over the center median and crashed into the plaintiff’s truck. At the time, the plaintiff had no idea what caused the defendant to lose control of the vehicle, but it became evident after the collision that the defendant had collided with a bull that had escaped captivity and walked onto the highway.

The defendant filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, claiming that she was negligent in failing to keep a proper lookout. The evidence also showed that the plaintiff was traveling below the posted speed limit and that it was dark outside at the time of the collision. It was also established that there was a line of cars on the side of the road belonging to the people who were searching for the bull.

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Earlier this month, the Court of Appeals issued an opinion in a Georgia car accident case involving a dispute between a motorist who was injured in an accident and that motorist’s insurance company. The case required the court to determine if the plaintiff’s failure to provide the insurance company with prompt notice of the accident and subsequent lawsuit was a violation of the clear language contained in the insurance policy. Ultimately, the court concluded that the plaintiff’s four-and-a-half-year delay in notifying the company did violate the policy language and that, as a result, the plaintiff’s lawsuit against the insurance company was dismissed.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was injured in a car accident while she was a passenger in a friend’s car. Several others were also injured. Two years after the accident, the plaintiff filed a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. The plaintiff eventually settled that claim for $36,000, which was all that was available under the at-fault driver’s insurance policy after compensating the other accident victims.

The plaintiff claimed that she sustained injuries above and beyond those covered by the $36,000 settlement with the at-fault driver, and she joined her own insurance company as a defendant in the lawsuit. By this time, about four and a half years had passed since the accident. The plaintiff claimed that since the at-fault driver was underinsured, her own insurance company should cover her injuries under the underinsured motorist provision of her policy.

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Earlier this month, the Georgia Court of Appeals issued a written opinion in a workplace injury lawsuit brought by a man who was working as an independent contractor when he stepped into a puddle of hazardous chemicals. The case required the court to determine if the defendant company violated any duty that it owed to the plaintiff. Finding that the company fulfilled any duty it had to the plaintiff, the court dismissed the plaintiff’s lawsuit.

Workplace Injury Cases Generally

There are two types of Georgia workplace injury cases. The first is a Georgia workers’ compensation claim. These claims are appropriate when the worker’s injury is caused while on the job, and the party responsible for the worker’s injury is either the worker himself or his employer.

If, however, the worker was injured due to the negligence of a third party, a Georgia personal injury lawsuit may be appropriate. Georgia personal injury cases are often preferred to workers’ compensation cases because the compensation amount in personal injury cases tends to be more significant.

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Whenever a plaintiff files a Georgia premises liability lawsuit against a government entity, they must file an ante-litem notice to the government entity named as a defendant in the lawsuit. The ante-litem requirement is designed to provide notice to the government entity about the nature of the lawsuit so that the entity can conduct a pre-trial investigation.The requirements of an ante-litem notice are set forth in O.C.G.A. § 36-33-5. Specifically, the plaintiff must submit the ante-litem notice no more than six months after their injury, and they must detail “the time, place, and extent of the injury, as nearly as practicable, and the negligence which caused the injury.” If a plaintiff fails to file an ante-litem notice or files a notice that does not substantially comply with the requirements of O.C.G.A. § 36-33-5, the court hearing the case may dismiss the plaintiff’s case. A recent case illustrates how a Georgia premises liability plaintiff’s case was dismissed for failing to comply with the ante-litem notice requirement.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff inadvertently stepped in a manhole that was left uncovered. The next day, the plaintiff called the police department to inform them that he had stepped in an uncovered manhole, and he provided the address of 425 Chappell Road in Atlanta. The plaintiff also indicated this was near the intersection of Chappell Road and Mayson Turner Road.

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In a recent Georgia personal injury case, the Georgia Court of Appeals found that a woman’s claim could continue against a store after she allegedly stepped on an anti-theft pin in the store.

The Facts of the Case

The woman was shopping with her daughter at a clothing store and stepped on the anti-theft sensor pin on the floor. The pin was about the size of a thumb tack and went through the woman’s sandal, puncturing her foot. She alleged that the pin caused her permanent nerve and tissue damage. The woman claimed that at the time, she was shopping with her daughter and held up a piece of clothing to her daughter, while an employee was unloading new clothing nearby. She explained that three other employees were standing behind the cash registers about four or five feet away. None of the employees or the woman saw the pin before the woman stepped on it, and it was not clear how long the pin had been on the floor.

The woman filed a premises liability claim against the store, alleging that the store breached its duty of care by failing to keep the premises free from hazardous conditions that were present or that the store should have known were present.

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