Recently, the city of Atlanta reached a $500,000 settlement with a woman who lost her arm in a car accident involving an Atlanta police officer. The crash occurred last February when the officer ran a red light and struck the car driven by Lisa Williams. Williams lost her left arm in the crash and filed a lawsuit against the city. The Atlanta City Council Public Safety Commission approved the half million dollar settlement on Tuesday, January 15, 2019 almost a year after her accident.
Filing a Lawsuit Against a Government Entity
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Atlanta or anywhere in the State of Georgia, you have two years from the date of the accident to file an injury claim or personal injury lawsuit. Unless, of course, you’ve been injured by a government entity, such as a police car, government official, or city bus. In this case, you may only have six months to give notice of your plans to file a claim. If you miss this deadline, you could be barred from ever filing a claim.
When filing a claim or suing a government entity in Georgia, you have to follow a specific set of rules, known as ante litem laws. These laws set the timelines and the rules you must follow precisely when filing a claim. You are not allowed to file a personal injury lawsuit in Georgia unless you’ve given proper ante litem notice. A proper ante litem notice should include:
- Name and state agency responsible
- Time and location of the accident
- Severity of the injuries you sustained
- Municipality’s reckless actions that caused your injury
- Details of your claim
- How much you are seeking in damages
What Government Entities Can You Sue?
In Georgia, you can sue various government entities, including municipalities, cities, towns, counties, and even the entire states.
- Georgia Municipalities – if you plan to sue a local Georgia municipality, you have 6 months from the date of your accident to send written ante litem notice. Within 30 days, the government municipality will respond either offering you a settlement or denying your claim. If your claim is denied, you are then eligible to file a lawsuit.
- Georgia Counties – if you plan to sue a specific county in Georgia, you must file your ante litem notice within 12 months of the injury. You can also submit your ante litem notice and lawsuit at the same time.
- State of Georgia – if you plan to sue the state of Georgia, you must file an ante litem within 12 months of your injury. Once you’ve submitted your ante litem notice, the Department of Administrative Services must respond within 90 days. If you are not offered a settlement after that time has passed, then you may proceed to filing a lawsuit.
Have You Been Injured in an Atlanta Car Accident?
Have you suffered an injury in a car accident in Atlanta? Are you struggling to pay your medical bills and car damages? At Schnipper Law, P.C., our Atlanta car accident attorneys know that injured accident victims need money NOW. Unfortunately, insurance adjusters don’t always agree. That’s why we work aggressively from the start to obtain the maximum compensation for all our clients. Call Schnipper Law P.C., at (404) 545-5845 for a free initial consultation and review of your case. We can help you recover the money you need to put your life back together after a serious accident.