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Questions Answered by Michael W. Horst
1 Answer | 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.

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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3 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents and Personal Injury for Georgia on
Q: Do Recklessness falls into intentional tort? If the driver was driving while being high but was careless?
Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on Jun 22, 2021

The short answer is no. Intentional torts require the wrongdoer (known as the tortfeasor) to do something on purpose. A person who is driving high does not intentionally try to get in a car crash. Accordingly, while driving under the influence is certainly reckless behavior, it is not an... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury for Georgia on
Q: If I was injured at Macy’s and my claim includes a loss of consortium, how long do I have to file suit?
Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on May 19, 2021

A loss of consortium claim must be brought within four (4) years after the right of action accrues. O.C.G.A 9-3-33.

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5 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury and Car Accidents for Georgia on
Q: My daughter was in an accident, 3 weeks ago, her lawyer is stating that medical costs being left open is not a thing.

My Daughter was in an accident in GA. She is currently dealing with 2 fractured discs in her back, a fractured elbow and blurry vision. Her lawyer is stating that there is a $130k pool for the 3 occupants and that medical being left open for future issues related to this " Is not a thing"... Read more »

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on May 13, 2021

Your lawyer is correct. Following an accident, the insurance company will make one payment to settle your daughter's case. Out of that one payment by the insurance company, all expenses will need to be paid including attorney's fees, cases expenses, outstanding liens, medical bills, etc.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury for Georgia on
Q: Can individual assets of a spouse be attached for the other spouse’s liability?

We have lived separately in the state of Georgia for 3 years but are still married. He frequently drinks and drives. The car and insurance is in his name only. I have insurance with another company. My assets are in my name only or are in the name of my revocable living trust. Would my assets... Read more »

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on May 3, 2021

The short answer is no. If all of your assets are in your name and all of his assets are in his name, I cannot think of any scenario wherein you would have exposure for his misdeeds.

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury, Car Accidents and Small Claims for Georgia on
Q: If driver caused bodily harm without insurance, then tries to fight citation with new insurance does driver get a pass?
Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on Feb 20, 2021

It is often the case that should an uninsured driver appear in Court and show proof that subsequent to the accident he obtained insurance, the solicitor will drop the no insurance charge. Of course, it is purely within the discretion of the solicitor if he wishes to drop the charges. The... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Medical Malpractice and Animal / Dog Law for Georgia on
Q: Just how successful are attornies as far as prosecuting malpractice cases against veterinarian surgeons?

My dog had cataract surgery whereas the surgeon really screwed up his eyes and made him worse than before the surgery. My dog never recovered from the procedure and untimely passed away shortly after. I had made several complaints against the surgeon to the clinic and the surgeon herself after... Read more »

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on Jan 10, 2021

I have been practicing law for approximately 20 years and I am not aware of any attorneys who regularly handle veterinarian malpractice cases. In fact, I cannot think of a single example.

In your case, I suppose you could sue the veterinarian for malpractice but you would have to show...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury and Car Accidents for Georgia on
Q: How to find out tha status of my lawsuit when complaint jas been filed and its been over 45 days and still havent heard
Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on Jan 3, 2021

If you know the county where the suit was filed, I suggest going to that clerk of court's website. Many of Georgia's counties have their dockets on-line. By inputting the parties' names and/or the civil action file number of your case, you can pull up the docket and see the latest.

1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents and Personal Injury for Georgia on
Q: How is a personal injury policy of $100,000 split 3 ways and 2 people being minors
Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on Dec 17, 2020

Based on your question, it sounds as though the policy is a $50,000/$100,000, which is to say $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident. If so, the $100,000 proceeds may be split between three people but in no case may any one claimant receive more than $50,000. It does not matter if the three... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury for Georgia on
Q: I need a copy of the store video where I fell and broke my pelvis. Can a citizen get a subpoena?

I fell at a Big Lots store in June of this year. I maintain that the clerk filled the sack with too many items, making it too heavy to lift; and that I may have tripped on a mat, causing me to fall and break my pelvis. In August I started a medical payments only claim with their headquarters in... Read more »

Michael W. Horst
Michael W. Horst answered on Oct 22, 2020

I suggest serving the subpoena on the company's registered agent. That is legally sufficient. While this information may be located on line, it is provided below:

Big Lots Stores, Inc.

c/o Corporation Service Company

40 Technology Parkway South, Suite 300

Norcross, GA 30092

2 Answers | Asked in Wrongful Death for Georgia on
Q: When a settlement is reached in wrongful death case in Georgia, what is the protocol for allocating funds fairly?

Without "enlightened conscience of jury", how to allocate fairly to both estate and WD claims in order to satisfy equitably the heirs. Isn't there some sort of protocol or "golden rule"? Being a heir, I cannot decide things like pain and suffering prior to death and the... Read more »

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

That is a great question and, unfortunately, there is no exact answer. It is generally the rule of thumb that the vast majority of the funds are allocated to the wrongful death claim. The reason being is that any funds applied to the estate claim are subject to any liens which may have been... Read more »

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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 »

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