There are many circumstances in which a policy limits demand is appropriate prior to filing a lawsuit in a personal in case in Georgia. Below is one such example in which the policy limits are low compared to the injuries sustained by the Plaintiffs and liability is clear.
Defense Attorney, Esq.
Defense Firm, LLP BY FEDERAL EXPRESS
Claims Adjuster BY FEDERAL EXPRESS
Insurance Casualty Company
Re: Plaintiff v. Defendant, as administrator of Estate of Deceased, et al.
State Court of Gwinnett County
Civil Action No.
Dear Defense Attorney and Insurance Adjuster:
As you know, we are the attorneys for the Plaintiff’s family, who are plaintiffs in the above-referenced suit. We are writing to demand settlement for the $50,000 policy limits in the policy issued to defendant’s decedent. We further demand that such limits be tendered no later than February 15, 2017. We enclose for your review medical bills for Plaintiffs, indicating current medical costs in the amount of $136,974.36.
For purposes of invoking applicable legal authorities including but not be 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 two weeks of your receipt of this TIME LIMITED DEMAND as to whether Insurance Casualty Company intends to meet our demand to resolve this claim within the policy limits.
There appears to be no defense to liability for the way this wreck occurred, and the Plaintiffs’ bills clearly indicate that all of their injuries occurred in the impact by Defendant’s vehicle. 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, there is evidence Defendant ran a red light and was found with marijuana in the car following the accident.
We have supplied reasonable proof of the fact that the amount of damages is more than the liability coverage without even allocating a sum for our clients’ suffering, disability and loss of the quality of life.
Our offer to accept $50,000.00 (or such amount correctly reflecting all available liability insurance policy limits) within two weeks is made based on the representations in the policy provided by Atlanta Casualty which indicates a $50,000.00 combined single limit in applicable liability insurance limits. We offer to give a limited release pursuant to O.C.G.A. Section 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 by Plaintiff in connection with this demand. Alternatively, we ask that they identify any additional coverage.
We do not intend to modify or extend our demand deadline. This demand which is purposefully limited in time for the express purpose of placing Insurance 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 Insurance 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.
This offer to resolve the claim within the policy limits is by its terms is expressly withdrawn at the close of business on fourteenth day following the date 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, Insurance Casualty Company has sufficient information to properly evaluate this claim, which information dictates that the insurer protect the insured.
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. Section 33-24-41.1 and tender of an affidavit simply attesting to the fact there is not additional coverage. Please deliver checks made payable to our clients and this law firm within 14 days of the date of this letter.
We request that you not seek to vary the express terms for acceptance of our demand. In that regard, we expressly agree to deposit such proceeds in trust and not disperse same until all releases and documents can be agreed upon. Additionally, we will agree to reasonable lien protection language, but will want to have specific input into development of any release language.
If you have any questions or request any additional information, please notify me, in writing. Thank you very much for your prompt attention to this demand.
In this type of situation, the insurance company must tender their policy limits or risk exposing their insured to an excess verdict which would put his or her personal assets at risk.
Robert J. Fleming 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 and would like discuss your case in complete confidence, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.