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Georgia Court of Appeals Finds that Plaintiff’s Provided Notice Was Sufficient, Although Imperfect

In Georgia, almost all personal injury claims against the government or the state government must follow certain procedures to be properly heard by a court of law. One such requirement is that the injured party provide notice to the government. This notice must include certain pieces of information, including:

  • The name of the government entity being sued and the alleged acts of negligence;
  • The time of the accident;
  • The location of the accident;
  • The nature of the loss suffered (financial, personal injury, etc.);
  • The amount of loss claimed; and
  • The specific acts that caused the loss or injury.

manhole-cover-1335904-mIf a plaintiff fails to provide the government with this notice, Georgia courts will not be able to entertain the plaintiff’s action against the government. However, as the Georgia Supreme Court has routinely held, the information does not need to be perfect, but only accurate to the best of the plaintiff’s knowledge.

Georgia Department of Transportation v. Griggs

In a recent case out of the Georgia Court of Appeals, Georgia Department of Transportation v. Griggs, the plaintiff was injured on the side of a highway when her car broke down. According to court documents, she got out of her car, walked around to the passenger side of the vehicle, and stepped on a piece of plywood that was covering a manhole cover. The plywood broke, and the plaintiff fell, fracturing her elbow and knee.

The plaintiff sued the Department of Transportation and attempted to provide the necessary notice. In her notice, she claimed that the “manhole was located on the emergency lane of Interstate 285 northbound between Riverside Drive and Roswell Road in Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia.”

At trial, the Department of Transportation sought to dismiss the case based on a lack of notice, arguing that, using the plaintiff’s description of where her injury occurred, they could not find the manhole.

The Court of Appeals held that the plaintiff’s notice was sufficient, even if it was not specific enough for the Department to find the exact manhole that caused her injuries.

This is a favorable case for Georgia accident victims because it upholds the longstanding rule that the notice requirement does not need to be perfect, as long as it is accurate as to the best of the injured party’s knowledge.

Have You Been Injured in a Slip-and-Fall Accident?

If you have recently slipped and fallen on public land, or on the land of another, you may have a cause of action against that party for failing to maintain the premises in a safe condition. At Miller Legal Services, we have a dedicated team of Georgia personal injury attorneys who are ready to speak with you about the facts of your case. Having represented injured Georgians for a number of years, Miller Legal Services knows what it takes to recover for their clients. Click here, or call 770-284-3727 to schedule your free initial consultation today.

See Related Blog Posts

Georgia Teen Dies in Car Accident, Possibly While Street Racing, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, May 28, 2014.

Distracted Driving Cited as Cause for Georgia Traffic Death, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, May 7, 2014.