Appeals Court Judge rules in favor of Doherty Law Firm client in personal injury case
A Fulton County Superior Court judge on Thursday October 8, 2015 ruled in favor of our client in a personal injury case, allowing the case that had previously been dismissed by a Fulton County Magistrate Court judge to proceed to trial. The magistrate court judge had dismissed the case on statute of limitation grounds, and Attorney Akins Doherty appealed the magistrate court judge’s ruling.
The motor vehicle collision that gave rise to the lawsuit happened on September 18, 2011, when our client was rear-ended by a driver insured by Progressive Insurance. The responding officer cited the driver for following too closely. The client appeared in the City of Atlanta Municipal Court and eventually bounded the case over to the State Court of Fulton County. The previous attorney handling the case did not file a lawsuit and three years had passed before anything was done on the case (the general rule is that the statute of limitations for personal injury actions in Georgia is two years). In any event, the traffic citation the at-fault driver received remained pending in the State Court of Fulton County until June 2015, when it was dismissed.
Our client filed the lawsuit pro se in February 2015 and the client was referred to The Doherty Law Firm to assist him in recovering damages for personal injury against the at-fault driver. After several failed attempts at mediation, the case proceeded to trial. After the Plaintiff rested, Progressive’s attorney moved for the dismissal of Plaintiff’s claim, stating that the case was barred by the two year statute of limitations. Plaintiff’s attorney objected, arguing that O.C.G.A. 9-3-99 tolled the statute of limitations of Plaintiff’s claim because the traffic citation the at-fault driver received was still pending in Fulton County State Court until June 2015. Attorney Akins Doherty further argued that the Supreme Court of Georgia’s ruling in Beneke v. Parker states that the statute of limitation for a personal injury action that arises out of a collision in which the at-fault driver received a ticket is tolled from the date of the collision till the disposition of the traffic ticket. The judge nevertheless ruled in favor of the defendant and dismissed our client’s case. An appeal followed.
After appealing to the Superior Court of Fulton County, the defendant again moved to dismiss our client’s lawsuit on statute of limitation grounds, and we opposed the motion and filed a brief. The court later set a hearing date. On the day of the hearing, after both sides presented arguments, the Superior Court judge ruled in our client’s favor, stating that O.C.G.A. 9-3-99 did indeed toll the statute of limitations from the date of the collision till the date the citation was finalized, which was in June 2015. The ruling effectively reversed the magistrate court’s previous ruling.
The Doherty Law Firm will stand up on behalf of our clients against the insurance companies irrespective of how small the case maybe. It is the right thing to do.