Pre-Suit Notification for Claims Against the State of Georgia
If anyone has a claim against the State of Georgia for personal injuries caused by a state employee’s negligence, notice must be given in writing, mailed by certified mail return receipt requested, to the Risk Management Division of the Department of Administrative Services. This is set forth in O.C.G.A. § 50-21-26(a)(2). Additionally, a copy shall be delivered personally to or mailed by First Class Mail to the State government entity involved. Content of the notice is governed by O.C.G.A. § 50-21-26(a)(5). As a general proposition, such an Ante-Litem Notice must state the extent of the claimant’s knowledge of the circumstances including the name of the government entity, the act or omission involved, the time and place of the alleged negligent act, the nature of the loss suffered, the amount of the loss claimed and the acts or omissions which caused the loss.As can be seen, Ante-Litem Notices against the State are governed by statute and if these statutes are not closely observed, a claim against a State government agency or employee can be lost altogether. While such claims must be given with in twelve (12) months from the date of the date the loss was discovered or should have been discovered, even if an attempt is made to file a pre-suit notice of loss within twelve (12) months, if the form is not sent in the correct way to the correct individuals, the claim can be time barred. Accordingly, once again, we urge all claimants who may have potential claims against a State government agency or employee to confer with counsel just as soon as possible so as to protect their interests.