The Ante Litem Notice: A Potential Legal Pitfall for Injury Claims Against the State of Georgia
A prerequisite that has to be satisfied before a lawsuit can be filed against the State of Georgia for personal injuries due to the State’s negligence is to provide the State of Georgia written notice of the particulars of the claim within twelve months after the incident that your claim is based against the State of Georgia. The notice is referred to as an ante litem notice. The legal requirements of what needs to be contained in the ante litem notice to the State of Georgia must be strictly complied with in order for it to be effective. If the requirements set out by law for what must be contained in your ante litem notice are not met, then your claims against the State of Georgia will be subject to dismissal.
The requirements of what information must be included in the ante litem notice to the State of Georgia placing it on notice of your claim are the following: (A) The name of the state government entity, the acts or omissions of which are asserted as the basis of the claim; (B) The time of the transaction or occurrence out of which the loss arose; (C) The place of the transaction or occurrence; (D) The nature of the loss suffered; (E) The amount of the loss claimed; and (F) The acts or omissions which caused the loss.
In a case decided on May 17, 2016, the Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of the injured victim’s claims against the Georgia Department of Transportation arising from a vehicle collision, because the victim failed to place the amount of the loss she claimed in her ante litem notice. The victim stated the reason for the omission was that she did not have knowledge of the amounts she was claiming at the time of the notice.
The lesson to be learned from this case is that personal injury victims have to strictly follow the statutory ante litem notice requirements or they will lose the right to bring their claim. In order to successfully assert your claim against the State of Georgia, it is recommended that you consult an experienced personal injury attorney immediately after the incident that you believe was caused by the negligence of another individual.
Please contact Rumsey & Ramsey at (770) 394-9400 to discuss the facts of your case with a lawyer.