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Questions Answered by Michael W. Horst
1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents and Civil Litigation for Georgia on
Q: Am I obligated by law to pay for repairs?

In June ‘22 I was in a minor fender-bender where I hit the rear bumper of another car (damage was only a small crack). The other party agreed to work outside of insurance and I agreed to pay for the damage but only directly to the collision center. Months went by and I kept getting excuses on why... Read more »

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst
answered on Jan 7, 2023

Yes. When you cause an accident, you are legally obligated under Georgia law to pay for the damages you caused. The statute of limitations in Georgia for property damage to a vehicle is four years, meaning the other party could wait until June 2026 before filing suit against you and yet still... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Construction Law for Georgia on
Q: Renovations guy ripped me off and closed his business. How should I procced? What happens if he is hard to locate?

Contracted a business (a man and his son) to do some reno work. Most of what they did is unfinished and now he has closed his business. The work was done in GA, where I also reside, but his business is located in SC. I don't live near the area the work was being done so I asked him to send me... Read more »

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst
answered on Dec 30, 2022

Since the work was done in Georgia but his business is located in South Carolina, you have the option to sue him in the Georgia county where the work was done or in South Carolina. Since you live in Georgia, I would file suit in Georgia as it is most convenient for you. In Georgia, magistrate... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents and Personal Injury for Georgia on
Q: What is the proper venue when the at-fault driver moves out of state after the accident?
Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst
answered on Dec 27, 2022

The answer to your question is governed by the Georgia Nonresident Motorist Act statute (specifically, O.C.G.A. 40-12-3). Under that statute, suit against a nonresident may brought (1) in the county in which the accident or injury occurred or the cause of action originated or (2) in the county of... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury and Civil Litigation for Georgia on
Q: If the defendant did not follow the instructions and objected to every question in discovery & interrogatories what I do

Civil Personal Injury

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst
answered on Dec 18, 2022

A discovery dispute is a two step process: (1) The law first requires that you confer with the opposing party in an effort to work through the dispute. If your attempt(s) to resolve the dispute do not work, then you go to the next step (2) File a motion to compel with the Court against the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury for Georgia on
Q: If my attorney negotiated my medical bills down but never gave me any proof of documentation, is this agreement binding?

Bill went from 10k to 4k but she never gave me an updated bill or any signed agreement stating the facility agreed to this negotiation. I’m just worried if there is no legal document how do I know that the facility won’t change their mind and I won’t be screwed with the higher bill. Is it... Read more »

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst
answered on Dec 18, 2022

It is very common for a personal injury attorney to negotiate a reduction and no formal document is executed. This situation is particularly true if the attorney and the medical care provider work together frequently. It is certainly best practices for the reduction to be confirmed in writing... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents and Personal Injury for Georgia on
Q: Would you use GA SOS to serve a nonresident who is the owner of a vehicle involved in an accident?

The owner was not the driver nor passenger of the vehicle involved in the collision?

Also, same question but for the nonresident policy holder who was not operating nor in the vehicle at the time of the collision?

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst
answered on Dec 10, 2022

You may serve a nonresident using the Georgia Nonresident Motorist Act statute. In order to do so, you must serve a copy of the complaint/summons on the Secretary of State AND by giving notice of such service and a copy of the complaint/summons by registered or certified mail or statutory... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury, Car Accidents and Civil Litigation for Georgia on
Q: I won a settlement but the company is not paying. What can I do ?
Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst
answered on Nov 19, 2022

Once a case settles, both sides are contractually obligated to fulfill their respective ends of the deal. In most instances, that means the injured party will sign a release while the other party will pay a sum of money. In the event either party fails to uphold its end of the bargain, the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Personal Injury for Georgia on
Q: What would be the best way to proceed with getting relief outside of court on a personal injury from a dog bite due to

negligence of owner Ordering a food delivery( I’m told this would be inviting me on their property) and not securing their dog.Also If I fill out the company’s workers claim form ( which I believe primarily covers medical bills)for the incident does this limit my relief from the owner?... Read more »

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst
answered on Nov 8, 2022

It is always preferable to settle a case short of filing a lawsuit. Lawsuits are expensive, time consuming, and stressful. In dog bite cases, a good first step is to learn the identity of the homeowner's insurer. If the homeowner will provide that information, you can then file a claim with... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Personal Injury and Legal Malpractice for Georgia on
Q: is there a time limit in Georgia for serving interrogatories?
Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst
answered on Sep 28, 2022

The Uniform Superior Court Rules, which apply in both Georgia state and superior courts, provides the answer. Specifically, Rule 5.1 provides that in order for a party to utilize the court's compulsory process to compel discovery, any desired discovery procedures, like interrogatories, must... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Landlord - Tenant for Georgia on
Q: How can I make my apt complex pay for my shattered windshield? Their employee dropped a bag of trash on it.

Employee dropped a bag of bath tiles onto my car. Apt complex filed a claim w their insurance company, who have agreed to pay, yet can't tell me when they will pay. ??? What can I do?

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst
answered on Aug 20, 2022

It sounds like your issue is more with your apartment complex's insurance company than the apartment complex itself. Here are your options:

1) You could file a law suit against the apartment complex and the employee who caused the damage. That would certainly move your claim along...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Workers' Compensation for Georgia on
Q: I was in a slip and fall at work and have been seen by a doctor on the company’s behalf but I still been having pain.

Do I have a case strong enough to go forward with a lawsuit?

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst
answered on Jul 29, 2022

If you were injured while within the scope of your employment, you do not have the option of filing a lawsuit against your employer. Instead, you would need to pursue a workers' compensation claim.

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2 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury and Landlord - Tenant for Georgia on
Q: Can I sue my apartment complex if my neighbor who is also the maintenance man dog jumped his patio fence and bit me

The apartment complex is pet friendly the patio gate is about 3 and a half feet to 4 foot high

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst
answered on Jul 28, 2022

The short answer is yes. It does not matter that the apartment complex is pet friendly or that it was the maintenance man's dog who bit you. What matters is that you are able to show the owner of the dog knew (or should have known) about the dog’s dangerous propensities. This is done... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury for Georgia on
Q: Should an AT FAULT Insurance company request my social security-# to pay bodily injury claim?
Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst
answered on Jun 30, 2022

Yes. It is typical for an at-fault insurance company to request a claimant's social security number. The reason being is the insurer has an obligation, under federal law, to determine whether the injured claimant was enrolled in Medicare. If so, and if Medicare paid any of the medical bills... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury for Georgia on
Q: does a dismissal without prejudice require an order to be signed by a judge?
Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst
answered on Jan 21, 2022

No. An action may be dismissed by the plaintiff, without order or permission of the court, by filing a written notice of dismissal at any time before the first witness is sworn in at a trial.

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1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents and Wrongful Death for Georgia on
Q: If my car get hit from behind and a passenger of my car dies can I be charged with anything

My car broke down in the road and my passengers and I got hit and 1 died

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst
answered on Jan 12, 2022

The short answer is maybe. If the car breaking down was sudden and unexpected to the extent it was impossible to avoid stopping and temporarily leaving your disabled vehicle in the roadway, then I do not see any charges being filed. However, if you had reason to know the car was not roadworthy... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury, Traffic Tickets and Insurance Defense for Georgia on
Q: What is the Georgia state law or Fulton county law that states or implies that a driver is at fault for a lane merge.

I was in a accident where the lanes merged from 2 lanes into 1 lane (the right lane merged into the left lane). I was in the left lane, but the driver in the right lane sideswiped me trying to cut me off. The driver that hit me was cited with a warning, I of course received no ticket. My insurance... Read more »

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst
answered on Dec 24, 2021

Based on the fact pattern you presented, I believe O.C.G.A. 40-6-42 is applicable to your situation. I suggest you Google it and see if that does not help you in your fight with the insurance company.

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1 Answer | Asked in Insurance Bad Faith and Personal Injury for Georgia on
Q: 2010 Georgia Code TITLE 33 - INSURANCE CHAPTER 4 - ACTIONS AGAINST INSURANCE COMPANIES § 33-4-7 -

Section d.. I need more clarity about the unnamed party..

It’s almost 60 days no response and liability was already accepted 100%.

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst
answered on Dec 5, 2021

Section (d) discussing the "unnamed party" pertains to the insurance company for the person who caused the damages to your property.

In other words, since the insurance company failed to make a good faith effort to settle with you, your next step is to file a law suit against...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury for Georgia on
Q: When filing a civil suit and I have multiple claims how do I proceed?

my claims are as follows: intentional negligence, extortion and conversion and racketeering, intentional infliction of emotional distress, securities and investment fraud

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst
answered on Nov 17, 2021

When filing a complaint with multiple claims, it is best to set out each claim separately. In other words, it should look like "Count I - Negligence," "Count II - Extortion," "Count III - Conversion," and so on. Under each count heading, set forth the law for that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Civil Litigation and Health Care Law for Georgia on
Q: Does HIPAA apply to veterinary medicine in the state of Georgia?

A friend of a client asked about the client's dog's health condition. A receptionist gave the friend information regarding the dog's health, however the only information given was the diagnosis of the dog's health condition. The client was unhappy that her dog's diagnosis... Read more »

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst
answered on Oct 12, 2021

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) that governs privacy when it comes to human medical care does not apply to veterinary patients. However, Georgia has a statute on point, O.C.G.A. 24-12-31(a) which provides [n]o veterinarian licensed under Chapter 50 of Title 43 shall... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Personal Injury for Georgia on
Q: My daughter was attacked by dogs. The owner received citations. What is he liable for concerning my daughter’s injuries?

My daughter received several lacerations, puncture wounds, an ankle sprain, had to have stitches, is currently having to receive a series of rabies vaccinations, lost her glasses, and her phone was broken. The dogs had gotten loose from the fenced in area of property the owner inhabits. My daughter... Read more »

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst
answered on Aug 15, 2021

I suggest pursuing a claim against the dogs' owner. Hopefully the dogs' owner owns his/her home. If so, that will mean the dogs' owner likely has a home owner's insurance policy which will be available to compensate your daughter for her injuries.

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