Georgia Appellate Court Dismisses Plaintiff’s Lawsuit for Failure to Provide Proper Advance Notice

Sometimes, accidents happen out of pure chance or bad luck, with no one to blame. Often, however, accidents resulting in injuries are preventable and caused by someone else’s negligence. In these cases, Georgia law allows the victim, hurt because of someone else’s actions, to file suit to recover monetary damages. Damages in a Georgia personal injury accident can cover past and future medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. For this reason, these civil suits are incredibly important to victims and their families in the aftermath of an accident, especially a costly one. Thus, plaintiffs must understand all the rules governing personal injury lawsuits fully, because one mistake could result in the case being dismissed, and the plaintiff barred from recovery.

One of the important aspects of filing a suit to keep in mind is the rules governing notice. Plaintiffs, when they file a lawsuit, are required to notify the other party. The rules of notice may change depending on the defendant. For instance, in Georgia, a plaintiff filing a suit against a city must do so per Georgia Code § 36-33-5-(e). This notice must be ante litem, or given in advance of the filing of the case. This means plaintiffs have to let the city know they intend on suing the city before the actual lawsuit can be filed. This notice must include a number of specific things, and failure to properly notify a city properly will result in the claim being dismissed, regardless of what the city did.

For example, take a recent Georgia Appellate case. According to the court’s written opinion, the plaintiff was injured when she attended a street festival in the city. During this festival, she stepped into a hole in a crosswalk area and suffered a broken leg, requiring surgery and physical therapy. According to the plaintiff, residents complained about this hole to the city previously, but the city failed to fix it. The plaintiff, intending to sue the city for negligence, filed a complaint and provided ante litem notice to the city. However, the court ultimately dismissed her case, because she failed to include everything needed in the notice. Specifically, OCGA § 36-33-5 (e) requires a plaintiff to include the specific amount of monetary damages sought from the city, and the plaintiff only said that “the value may exceed $300,000.00.” Because of this, the plaintiff’s case was dismissed and she was unable to proceed in her suit against the city, even though she had been injured.

This case highlights the importance of understanding Georgia personal injury law before filing a suit against a negligent party. The court may dismiss even the worthiest of cases for a procedural error. Those who have been injured in a Georgia accident should consult with an attorney to ensure they follow all the necessary steps to receive their monetary compensation.

Do You Need A Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer?

If you have recently been injured as the result of another party’s negligence, you may be considering filing a civil suit to recover for your losses. Before you do, contact the Atlanta-based personal injury lawyers at McAleer Law. Our Georgia slip and fall lawyers are experienced and knowledgeable in Georgia personal injury law. They can handle your case from beginning to end, ensuring your case does not get dismissed due to a procedural error. We will zealously advocate for you to get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at 404-622-5337 to schedule your free initial consultation.