This is a follow up to my previous blog post titled, Man Walking home from Jail is Hit and Killed in Georgia and Widow Receives over a $1M Verdict in a Wrongful Death Action ~ part 1.
As stated in blog post 1, this case illustrates three (3) important doctrines of Georgia Law: 1.) Wrongful Death and the determination of damages beyond just the economic value of a person’s life; 2.) The theory of Comparative Negligence under Georgia Law; and 3.) Stalking of Insurance Coverage and the use of the injured’s own uninsured and uninsured insurance coverage when the other parties coverage is not enough to provide for all of the insured’s damages.
This case illustrates the theory of Stacking Insurance Coverage in Georgia since although 23%, which was $ 375,590.00 was placed on the driver of the car, she only had $ 25,000.00 of insurance coverage which her insurance carrier, Mercury, that had already paid, and released her from any further liability since I am sure that the insurance company insisted on a Waiver of Liability being signed further releasing their insured from any further liability after payment of the policy limits.
Therefore, the Plaintiff’s Attorney is seeking to recover damages from his client’s own underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage with State Farm, under the theory of Stacking whereby a party can stack insurance from different insurance companies in a manner prescribed by Georgia Law, and use the Plaintiff’s own uninsured or underinsured insurance to pay for bodily injury to the insured as is set forth in the Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A.) Annotated Section § 33-7-11 that governs uninsured motorist coverage under motor vehicle liability policies.
The Plaintiff’s insurance policy for this type of case is capped at $ 75,000 and State Farm had already paid burial expenses of $ 3,000.00 so any further liability apportioned under this policy would be limited to $ 72,000 which State Farm would pay and insist that the parties sign releases of further liability from the insured in this case. The owner of the Mack truck and the driver, who the Jury apportioned a the majority of the liability in this action, will pay $ 685,860.00 unless the Defendants’ Attorney wins his motion for a Judgement Notwithstanding the Verdict (a/k/a JNOV) that he plans on filing asking the Judge to set aside the Jury’s decision.
It is interesting in this case that the police did not cite either driver in the accident and blamed the Pedestrian, Daniels, for the incident. It was dark outside and raining when the accident happened and this emphasizes the concept that both the Pedestrian and the Driver both bear responsibility to look out for one and other, and use the best measures of safety to avoid such catastrophic injuries.
This is a very unfortunate situation and our sympathies go out to all of the parties involved as in these cases, there are no winners. A man has lost his life, a woman has lost her husband, and both drivers will have memories of this incident that will haunt them for the rest of their lives regardless of liability. This is one of those terrible situations, as in most accidents, that could have been avoided and instead ended in a catastrophe.
At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates, we are experts in Auto Accidents, Trucking Accidents, Pedestrian Safety, Wrongful Death actions, and we understand the Laws of Staking Insurance in Georgia so that you receive all of the just compensation that you deserve in any accident.
Please Contact Us if you or a loved one has been injured or killed in any type of accident. We are here to protect you and make sure that you receive all of the just compensation that you deserve in any of these types of unfortunate situations. You need a strong advocate by your side, and we are here to do the job!