Pre-Suit Notice Requirements for Claims Against State and Local Government

Under Georgia law, a person injured by the act or omission of a state, local or county government agency must file a written pre-suit notification of intent to file a claim before a lawsuit can subsequently be filed. These are known as “Ante-Litem” provisions. Under the State Tort Claims Act, for example, an Ante-Litem Notice must be filed within twelve (12) months from the date the loss was discovered or should have been discovered. Any person with a claim against the county must present that claim within twelve (12) months of the occurrence, however, claims against municipalities must be presented within six (6) months of the happening of the incident upon which the claim is based. Whether the claim is brought under the State Tort Claims Act ,against a county or a municipality, there are also provisions under the law which specify who must be served with the notice and what information must be contained within the Notice. Many cases have been dismissed for failure to file these notices in a timely manner and/or failing to provide the government agency with sufficient information to review the claim on an administrative basis.
Any individual who claims to have been injured by the acts of a government agency should confer with counsel immediately before their claims are time barred for failure to file the required pre-suit notification, the Ante-Litem Notice. If an injured individual does not timely file an Ante-Litem Notice, their claim may be barred by the statute of limitations. Accordingly, anyone with a potential claim should confer with counsel immediately.

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