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Southern General v. Holt Holds Georgia Insurance Companies Liable For Bad Faith

In Georgia, the insured owns a bad faith claim against his insurance company if the insurer does not accept the insured’s time-limited demand to settle within the policy limits. This claim was established by the seminal case in Georgia of Southern General Insurance Company v. Holt.

This scenario usually arises in a situation when there is a very serious personal injury which far exceeds the policy limits of the at-fault insured. The plaintiff’s attorney will usually send all the information that the insurance company could reasonably need to evaluate the case and make a 10-day demand to settle the case for the policy limits. This is commonly referred to by Georgia injury lawyers as a time-limited Holt Demand. While the facts and damages of each car wreck case are unique, most insurance companies look evaluate case value, at least to some degree, based upon: (1) the venue in which the defendant would be sued if the case were to go into litigation; (2) whether there is clear liability or whether there is a question about who caused the accident; (3) the injuries sustained in the wreck; (4) the amount of property damage to the cars involved in the wreck; (5) whether the injured person is taken by ambulance from the scene to the Emergency Room; (6) whether the plaintiff has continuity of medical treatment or whether there are large gaps in the treatment; (7) whether the plaintiff has been out of work due to the wreck and the amount of lost wages claimed by the plaintiff; (8) whether there is a permanent injury caused by the wreck; (9) the amount of medical bills; and (10) the quality of the plaintiff and defendant.

This is not an exhaustive list, and case value can vary greatly, based on many other intangibles that could add value to your case and cause the case to lose a bit of value. These intangibles sometimes will become clear once the case is developed and the settlement package is being prepared. Other times, facts come out during the litigation process that greatly impact case value.

Robert J. Fleming, Esq. is a Georgia personal injury lawyer who has achieved record successes in personal injury cases such as serious car accidents, medical malpractice and dental malpractice. He has been handling wrongful death cases, dental malpractice, bus accidents, car accident cases and premises injury cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years. He practices in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area including handling lawsuits in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, Cobb and other counties and nearby cities including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident and would like discuss your case, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.

If you would like to discuss your case in complete confidence, please contact Mr. Fleming directly.