New law governing settlement demands in motor vehicle cases take effect in Georgia on July 1, 2013

A new Code Section, O.C.G.A. § 9-11-67.1, provides a minimum of 30 days for a defendant (or his liability insurance company) to respond to a settlement offer made before suit is filed, in case arising from the use of a motor vehicle.  The new law allow the insurance adjuster “to seek clarification regarding terms, liens, subrogation claims, standing to release claims, medical bills, medical records, and other relevant facts,” without that being deemed a counteroffer.  The demand should be sent by “certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested” and shall specifically reference the new Code section.  This statute was meant to give insurance companies adequate but not unreasonable time to respond to a settlement demand without being subjected to a subsequent bad faith claim for failing to settle the case within policy limits. 

Click here to review the complete text of the new law.

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