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Questions Answered by Michael W. Horst
2 Answers | Asked in Tax Law and Wrongful Death for Georgia on
Q: Do I have to pay taxes on funds received from my mother's personal injury cases case. She died as a result.

The defendant payed a settlement to my mother's estate. The settlement states "No Releasee has ever admitted, and but rather each specifically denies, any allegation of wrongdoing. " The case was against a nursing home.

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on Aug 17, 2020

No matter the language of the release, personal injury settlements themselves are not subject to income tax under either federal or state law. There is a seldom used exception for awards or settlements which are for punitive damages exclusively but it does not sound like that applies in your case.

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1 Answer | Asked in Medical Malpractice for Georgia on
Q: How long does someone have to file a malpractice lawsuit

i was injured 5 years ago and the condition has gotten so much worst due to nothing being done

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on Aug 17, 2020

The answer to this question is complicated. Generally speaking, patients have two years from the date of injury or death to bring a lawsuit for medical malpractice. However, the two year "clock" does not start running on the date the medical treatment was received unless an injury was... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury for Georgia on
Q: Settled in court for 50,000 and 100,000 per medical bills .. well my lawyer only gave me 12,000 total out of the 50,000l

He told me the rest of the money was being held because a lein was put on it .. andy medical bills were 300,000$ and policy only covers to 100,000.

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on Aug 12, 2020

The result you experienced is typical. An attorney is legally required to pay any liens out of the settlement proceeds. In fact, given the amount of the medical bills it is a nod to the attorney's fine work that you were able to recover anything. It sounds as though the attorney was able to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Georgia on
Q: can a home owner of a house be fined for animal abuse even if the dog is not theirs?

My boyfriend is a homeowner, but the occupants who live with him refuse to take care of their dog and wont let us help the dog. Refuses us to be able to get vaccinations, flea prevention, everything. A few years ago, the people who live with my boyfriend, picked this dog up off the street, and has... Read more »

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on Aug 2, 2020

Georgia law provides "[a] person commits the offense of cruelty to animals when he . . . [h]aving intentionally exercised custody, control, possession, or ownership of an animal, fails to provide to such animal adequate food, water, sanitary conditions, or ventilation that is consistent with... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Georgia on
Q: Should I be worried about my case taking so long
Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on Jul 14, 2020

Without knowing the specifics of your case, the likely answer is probably not. Cases take time. The average case which does not go to litigation takes 9-12 months to resolve. For cases which go to litigation, it is not uncommon for the case to take more than two years to resolve. Of course, the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Wrongful Death for Georgia on
Q: Does 19-7-1 (c)(6) apply to an adult deceased
Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on Jul 12, 2020

Yes. Please see Hall v. Bailey, 560 S.E.2d 76, 253 Ga.App. 595 (2002).

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1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice for Georgia on
Q: Is there an impact for plaintiff attorneys when a hospital discounts a patient's bill 100%?

A patient goes into the hospital for emergency surgery* and is discharged ~2 months later. The hospital discounts the 800K hospital bill 100%.

I understand the part about needed to contact a malpractice attorney in the area, but I'm actually looking for answers that explain the... Read more »

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on Jun 18, 2020

The short answer is no. It does not matter the hospital did with the bill.

To win a medical malpractice claim, the injured person must prove a professional health care provider's treatments departed from the standard of care met by those with similar training and experience.

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury for Georgia on
Q: I was in Winn Dixie, and slipped and fell in human feces, hurt my knee pretty bad how much is my settlement claim worth?

As I was walking back from the bathroom in WinnDixie, I slipped and fell to the ground hitting my knee very hard during the fall. When I got up I realized I had slipped and fell because of feces laying in the middle of the aisle. It was all over my foot as well. I have a deep contusion on my right... Read more »

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on May 18, 2020

The value of your claim is determined by a number of factors including, but not limited to, the seriousness of your injuries, the permanency of your injuries, the nature of your treatments, the amount of your medical expenses, the amount of your lost wages, and pain and suffering. Until you... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury for Georgia on
Q: If I work for an employer and I go into a building and fall threw the floor injuring my ribs. Can I sue
Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on May 12, 2020

You absolutely may file a claim but the person or party against whom that claim is filed will depend on the specific circumstances of your injury. If your employer was the negligent party which led to your fall, you may file a workers' compensation claim but you will not be able to sue your... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents and Personal Injury for Georgia on
Q: I was hit from behind by a lady claims to be a minister in the middle of prayer meeting call on her phone what can I do

She ran me down at a red light she claimed she was having a very serious prayer meeting over her Bluetooth, I looked in the rearview mirror and saw both her hands in the air trying to catch the phone before she hit me so it was not Bluetooth she was holding her phone, now she is saying this... Read more »

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on May 10, 2020

It sounds like from your question that the criminal aspect of your case has been resolved in your favor. Assuming the person who was struck by your vehicle wishes to continue to pursue her case, she will need to do so by pursuing a civil claim. I suspect that if that person was injured and wishes... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury for Georgia on
Q: Does 51-12-14 unliquidated damages act require plaintiff atny to send a copy of the demand for settlement to the insured

In order to collect interest from the date of the demand to the date of trial verdict?

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on Apr 23, 2020

Yes. There is a Georgia Court of Appeals case which provides "a demand sent by certified mail to the insurer alone as notice to both insurer and insured does not comply with [O.C.G.A. 51-12-14's] plain language and does not authorize prejudgment interest on unliquidated damages in a tort... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury for Georgia on
Q: State of Georgia, may I file on Monday, personal injury statue of limitation ends on the Sat. They'reSelf Insured/Good

( History:January 2018 radiation for lung cancer). Incident April 2018 I suffered swollen left foot/left fracture scapular Spring2019 brain aneurysm discovered also evidence of cancer Oct2019, Stroke 2019 Jan2020COPD

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on Apr 20, 2020

If the last day for a statute of limitation falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, you have through the following Monday. Of course, because of the current pandemic facing Georgia (and the world), the Honorable Harold D. Melton, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia, extended the statute of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for Georgia on
Q: I was told that if my case was settled and didn’t go to trial that I would be charged 30%, but I billed 33%

I got that percentage amount from my statement of distribution

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on Apr 8, 2020

The document which controls what you pay your attorney is known as the "Fee Agreement." You signed that document when you first hired your attorney. I suggest asking your attorney to forward that document to you. It will indicate what percentage you agreed to pay your attorney in the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents and Personal Injury for Georgia on
Q: We are not happy with the lawyers we have can we change and if so will we have to go through all the medical procedures

We was in car accident june 2019 instead of separate cases they put us as 1 and the offer they gave won't cover our medical bills

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on Mar 15, 2020

Yes. You can change attorneys. Who you choose to represent you is 100% up to you. In terms of your second question, your medical treatments should not have to be duplicated simply because you change lawyers. In other words, in this scenario one aspect of your case should not have anything to do... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents and Personal Injury for Georgia on
Q: Can we change our lawyers we was in a accident in June 2019. They have NOT been working for us

The offer they made us will not cover our medical bills we will have to come out of our pockets

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on Mar 15, 2020

Yes. You can change lawyers. Who you choose to represent you is 100% your choice.

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3 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury, Car Accidents and Civil Litigation for Georgia on
Q: Will asking questions here negatively effect an ongoing lawsuit?

Since this is a public forum, will asking questions here, regarding an ongoing lawsuit, hurt the case or either the plaintiff or defendant involved in the lawsuit?

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on Feb 7, 2020

So long as you remain anonymous you should be okay. What you want to stay away from is providing details where your identity or the identity of your case can be determined. Information which appears on-line can be used in a civil case, and possibly to your detriment depending on what is disclosed.

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2 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents and Wrongful Death for Georgia on
Q: My father died 22 years ago in a car accident caused by someone else. I was a minor and Nothing was pursued.

The other driver was at fault, failed to yield.

My parents were divorced and my mother did not pursue anything. I have just recently found out the details, can I do anything now ?

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on Feb 5, 2020

I am very sorry to hear about your father. In terms of your question, the short answer is nothing can be done 22 years later.

In Georgia, when someone dies to the negligence of another two claims arise. The first claim is the wrongful death claim. It must be brought within two years of...
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