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Proper Demand Forces Insurance Company to Pay Georgia Personal Injury Claims

In Georgia auto accident cases, if the claim is worth substantially more than the amount of available insurance coverage available to one of the defendants (and there are multiple defendants), a time limited demand is sometimes appropriate to resolve the claim with one of the defendants while preserving the right to pursue additional claims against the remaining defendants. Below is a sample time-limited demand.

Re: Plaintiff v. Defendant, as administrator of Estate of Deceased, et al.

State Court of Fulton County, Georgia

Civil Action No.  16-111-0659

Dear Defendant Insurance Company:

As you know, we represent the deceased Plaintiff’s family, who are plaintiffs in the above-referenced suit.  We are writing to demand settlement for the $300,000.00 policy limits for the policy issued to defendant’s decedent.  We further demand that such limits be tendered no later than the 30th day following your receipt of this correspondence. Enclosed for your review are all of the medical bills and records for the Plaintiff related to the wreck, showing current medical bills in the amount of $136,454.36.

This demand is made pursuant to all applicable Georgia legal authority including but not limited to Southern Gen. Ins. Co. v. Holt, 416 S.E. 2d 274 (Ga. 1992), dealing with bad faith failure to resolve a claim and United States Fidelity & Guar. Co. v. Evans, 156 S.E. 2d 809 (Ga. App. 1967) dealing with negligent failure to resolve a claim, we request that you respond in writing, within thirty days of this TIME LIMITED DEMAND as to whether Atlanta Casualty Company intends to meet our demand to resolve this claim within the policy limits.  

Liability in this case is clear, and the Plaintiff’s medical bills and records clearly show that all of the injuries complained of in this lawsuit occurred as a result of the defendant’s negligence. Our clients’ injuries and medical treatments are all severe and self-evident, and any suggestion that their injuries were not caused by the collision is not credible. Additionally, the facts show that defendant rear-ended plaintiff and was found arrested and the scene for DUI and subsequently pleaded guilty to the traffic infraction (following too close) and DUI.

You are in possession of all proof of the fact that the amount of damages is more than the liability coverage for this case. Our offer to accept $300,000.00 (or such amount correctly reflecting all available liability insurance policy limits if there is more than $300,000.00 in available liability coverage) within 30 days of your receipt of this letter is made based on the representations in the policy provided by Atlanta Casualty which indicates a $300,000.00 combined single limit in applicable liability insurance limits. We offer to give a limited release pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 33-24-41.1 which will fully protect the insured’s assets from judgment and levy, but allow us to pursue claims to the extent of any other applicable excess, umbrella or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage available to our client.

We also request confirmation of coverage by the insured’s representative executing an affidavit attesting to the truthfulness of the representation that defendant had in force as of the date of the subject collision no additional or other liability insurance coverage which is or might be applicable to the claims asserted in connection with this demand.  Alternatively, we ask that they identify any additional coverage. 

This demand which is purposefully limited in time for the express purpose of placing Atlanta Casualty Company in a position of excess exposure if they do not settle this case now and based on the information they have been provided so as to give Atlanta Casualty Company a clear and unequivocal chance to protect their insured, rather than gamble with their insured’s assets by potentially subjecting the insured to a large judgment which exceeds the insurance.

Our offer to resolve the claim within the policy limits is, by its terms, expressly withdrawn at the close of business on 3oth day following your receipt of this letter. After that time, we will take the position that the insurer has failed to protect its insured and thus tortiously subjected the insured to liability in excess of the applicable policy limits. As expressed above, we request a written response to our demand so that there will be a clear and unequivocal record as to all efforts made to resolve this claim and protect your insured. We request that the claim be addressed now, and specifically document for the record, that in our opinion, Atlanta Casualty Company has sufficient information to properly evaluate this claim, which information dictates that the insurer protect the insured. Should you feel that you need any additional information to properly evaluate this claim, please notify me, in writing, as to what more information you believe you need, and I will accommodate any reasonable requests.

We hope to resolve the matter promptly, by tender of the limits in exchange for the limited release offered pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 33-24-41.1 and tender of an affidavit attesting to the fact there is not additional coverage. Please deliver the settlement check made payable to our clients and this law firm within 30 days of your receipt of this letter.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this demand.

Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, dental malpractice, bus accidents, car accidents 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 and would like discuss your case in complete confidence, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.