Court Rejects Accident Victim’s Claim against GDOT, Demanding Precise Compliance with Georgia Tort Claims Act Requirements

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.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was injured in a single-vehicle accident when his vehicle hydroplaned into a tree. The plaintiff claimed the accident was caused by an improperly maintained roadway that allowed for water to collect at a low point on the road’s surface.

In October, 2016, the plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against GDOT. Attached to the complaint was a letter from his attorney addressed to the Commissioner of GDOT. It seemed that the letter was eventually forwarded to the Risk Management Division of the Department of Administrative Services.

In a pretrial motion, GDOT argued for dismissal of the plaintiff’s case. Specifically, GDOT argued that the plaintiff failed to comply because, under the GTCA, notice must be delivered to the Risk Management Division of the Department of Administrative Services.

The plaintiff attempted to argue that the Risk Management Division did indeed eventually receive notice of the claim. However, the court explained that the requirements of the GTCA are clear, and that the plaintiff failed to follow them precisely. As a result, the court dismissed the plaintiff’s case. Consequently, the plaintiff will not be able to recover compensation from GDOT for the injuries he sustained in the car accident.

Have You Been Injured in a Georgia Car Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Georgia car accident, the dedicated personal injury lawyers at McAleer Law can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. We have represented injury victims and their families in all types of Georgia personal injury cases for decades, and know what it takes to succeed on our clients’ behalf. To learn more, call 404-622-5337 to schedule a free consultation 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.

See More Posts:

Determining Insurance Coverage Following a Georgia Car Accident, Georgia Injury Attorney Blog, May 30, 2018.

Georgia Court Discusses Plaintiff’s Potential Failure to Comply with Terms of Insurance Contract, Georgia Injury Attorney Blog, June 11, 2018.