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What is a limited liability release?

There are generally two types of possible releases to sign after a you get close to settling a case in Georgia: A General Release and a Limited Liability Release. So what’s the difference between them? What one should I sign? What does a limited liability release look like? Well, let’s take each one of those questions in turn:

First things first, always be careful when an insurance company hands you a general release. A general release is a settlement document that settles virtually everything in a case. You are releasing absolutely everyone “known and unknown” that may have been responsible for your injuries. With a limited liability release, as the name suggests, you are limiting it to certain people or entities. For example, you may settle with one the person who caused the car accident, but can still go on to pursue your on UM, which means under/uninsured benefits through your insurance company.”

As a practical matter, second, your default should pretty much always be a Limited Liability Release given the risks of a signing a General Release. This situation often comes up in the context of an automobile accident with a ‘minimum limits’ at-fault driver. Georgia law only requires that people carry $25,000 in insurance coverage. If a person hits you and your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, etc. exceed that amount, a Limited Liability Release will be the way for you to come back to your own insurance company for compensation.

Finally, you probably are wondering exactly what a Limited Liability Release looks like in Georgia. Here’s a template of one (with our usual disclaimer that’s not offered for legal advice):

LIMITED RELEASE PURSUANT TO O.C.G.A. § 33-24-41.1

______________________, (“the UNDERSIGNED”), for and in consideration of the sum of ___________ ($__________), to the UNDERSIGNED, in hand paid, receipt and sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, does hereby and for the heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns of the UNDERSIGNED acquit, remise, release, and forever discharge:

(1)       _________ __________________ (“INSURANCE CARRIER”) with regard to Policy No. _______________; from any and all claims, demands, rights, and causes of action of whatsoever kind and nature, including but not limited to, all known and unknown bodily and personal injuries of the UNDERSIGNED, all hospital bills, doctor bills, drug bills, and other medical expenses, that belong to the UNDERSIGNED or which may hereafter accrue to the UNDERSIGNED on account of or resulting from the incident, casualty or event which occurred on or about ________________ near or around ______________(“INCIDENT”); and

(2)       _______________________  (“LIMITED RELEASEE”), except to the extent other insurance coverage is available which covers the claim or claims of the UNDERSIGNED against the LIMITED RELEASEE, from any and all claims, demands, rights, and causes of action of whatsoever kind and nature, including but not limited to, all known and unknown bodily and personal injuries of the UNDERSIGNED, all hospital bills, doctor bills, drug bills, and other medical expenses, that belong to the UNDERSIGNED or which may hereafter accrue to the UNDERSIGNED on account of or resulting from the INCIDENT.

All parties acknowledge that the payment referenced herein does not make whole nor fully compensate the UNDERSIGNED for losses sustained as a result of the INCIDENT.

This Limited Release is entered into pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 33-24-41.1, and its force and effect shall be as contemplated by that statute.  This Limited Release does not release INSURANCE CARRIER with regard to other insurance policies issued to LIMITED RELEASEE or to any other person or entity, including the UNDERSIGNED, and the UNDERSIGNED maintains all rights to pursue recovery with regard to insurance policies not identified by policy number herein.

This Limited Release shall not release any persons or entities not specifically named.

All parties deny liability, and all parties may deny liability in any future action.

The UNDERSIGNED understands that the injuries sustained are or may be permanent and progressive and that recovery is uncertain and indefinite.  The UNDERSIGNED has relied wholly upon his or her own the judgment, belief and knowledge as to the nature, extent, effect and duration of said injuries and liability, if any, and such is made without reliance upon any statement or representation of any other person.  The UNDERSIGNED acknowledges that no promise, inducement, or agreement not herein expressed has been made and that this Limited Release contains the entire agreement between the parties.  The UNDERSIGNED is 18 years of age or older, of sound mind and laboring under no disabilities.  The foregoing representations are made in order for the parties released hereby to rely upon them in effecting this Limited Release.

The UNDERSIGNED acknowledges prior receipt of this Limited Release and that it is notice in writing of lack of consent of the LIMITED RELEASEE to this settlement and that the this Limited Release does not preclude the LIMITED RELEASEE from asserting claims against the UNDERSIGNED.

The UNDERSIGNED agrees to take reasonable steps to satisfy or otherwise resolve valid and enforceable liens accrued as a result of the UNDERSIGNED’s alleged injuries arising out of the INCIDENT and agrees to effect necessary probate matters, if any, in due course.

This ________ day of ___________, 20___.

___________________________

[Insert name of release]

Sworn to and subscribed before me,

This _____ day of _______, 20___.

____________________________

Notary Public

In short, be careful what you sign and talk to a lawyer first. We’re here to help so feel free to give us a call or send a message anytime: (404) 566-8964 or kevin@patricktriallaw.com

Pro Bono Representation: A Bond Forged between a Naval Officer and Trial Lawyer

Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.

 -Abraham Lincoln

Officer Motes’ Reflections:

I have always been given the short end of the stick as they say and being a veteran doesn’t make it any better. We are always praised for our years of service, but when in fact, we’re treated just the same and in some cases, very differently from the common civilian, which shouldn’t be the case for those individuals who make the ultimate sacrifice by serving for their country. When I was rear ended in a traffic accident in July of 2016, I was extremely skeptical about pursuing any action against the young man who caused the accident and his insurance carrier.  I was in pain, and I thought to myself, “I’m going to get the run-around by the big time lawyers from his insurance company so what’s the point of even trying.”

I was so happy that I decided to pull the trigger and move forward with my case. I honestly recommend any person, especially veterans, to consult with a lawyer before you make any decision. Lawyers know what they are doing and without a lawyer having my back and going the extra mile each day, I am sure that my outcome would have been much different (and not in a good way). My case was settled much faster and everything went smoothly. At the end of the day, I was able to sleep clearly because I knew I had a lawyer in my corner guiding me through this difficult time. Most people never think about getting a lawyer until something happens to them. I can truly say that I am a veteran who has been shown the right way to be treated by a lawyer.

 

Kevin Patrick’s Reflections:

Over the years, I have become accustomed to standing for the national anthem, thanking a soldier quietly at the airport, and making donations to wounded soldier projects. I never quite felt though like I knew a veteran on a personal level or understood the unique challenges facing veterans in our community. The words of Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird, “You can’t understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes,” began to resonate more and more with me with each and every passing day. As a trial lawyer, I longed for an opportunity to make an active and meaningful difference in the life of a veteran and help dispel the popular myth that lawyers prefer to advance their own self-serving agendas.

Officer Motes and I initially met under challenging circumstances in early-July of 2016. He was hurt because of an automobile collision. Despite this difficult situation, Officer Motes’ inherent qualities, like courage and loyalty, were very evident. Most importantly, Officer Motes embodied the naval motto: Non sibi, sed patriae. He always had and still would put his country above himself. Officer Motes taught me an important lesson about pro bono service that transcends all practice areas:  We have the ability to use our respective talents to give back to those individuals that are willing to sacrifice their own lives to protect our Constitution. Veterans are not mere statistics, but rather they are very real people. On behalf of all layers, we salute you, Officer Motes.

Congratulations to Jacqueline Boatwright-Daus!!!

We want to extend a special congratulations to Mrs. Georgia International Jacqueline Boatwright-Daus. She was recently invited to the Pentagon to speak with senior members about the continued importance of daycare safety and the need for improved regulations.

As many of you know, Jaimg_3462ckie is known as the woman who single handedly changed the face of child day care in Georgia through her advocacy which resulted in the passage of Juan’s Law in 2004 named in honor of her late son who died as a result of injuries sustained at his state licensed child care center. Her tenacious fight for change was again victorious in the state of Virginia who also passed Juan’s Law in 2006. She took her fight to the United States Capitol and gained another success for her cause with the passagimg_3463e of The Anthony DeJuan Boatwright Act in 2009.

Jackie is truly carrying on the legacy of   beautiful son Juan. A tragic situation at a daycare, like the one that happened to Jackie’s son, should never have to happen again! We all can cary on Juan’s legacy by continuing to reach out to local and national officials to make sure that the topic of daycare negligence stays on their agendas each and every leadership session. At the very core, the safety and well-being of our children is cause that should unify all members of legislative body in Georgia and our county.

For more information on daycare negligence or ways to become involved in helping with our efforts to improve the standard of care in daycares across Georgia and the country, please contact us at (404) 566-8964 or kevin@patricktriallaw.com. We are one of the few firms in Georgia with a practice specifically focusing on daycare negligence. You can also visit Jackie’s website for more details on becoming involved in this noble and wonderful cause. Together we can truly make positive changes in our community and, most importantly, prevent daycare negligence.

The Importance of a Right to a Trial by Jury

          Congratulations to Dillan and Isaiah! They were the winners of the 2016 Kevin Patrick Law Essay Contest. This year’s topic was “Why is the right to a trial by a jury of our peers such an important part of the Constitution?”  These two students offered wonderful insights into the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. We are highlighting for you portions of their essays:

Dillan’s Essay

       The balancing act of justice. The Constitution of the United States of America was written in 1787 by 4 of 7 America’s founding fathers. And they were Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. One of the founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, came to America alone at the age of 15.       

         Sixth Amendment guarantees a cluster of rights designed to make criminal prosecutions more accurate and fair under the law. The institutions of American criminal justice have changed to an extent that is clearly noticeable over the past several centuries, forcing courts to consider how old rights apply to new institutions and procedures. At that time there were local sheriffs but no professionalized police forces; instead ordinary men took turns serving as a peace officer with limited policing authority, typically in a small town.

         […]

          Jury service is the most common way in which citizens are able to have a direct role in our country’s judicial process. 

Isaiah’s Essay

          A jury of one’s peers does not mean a black defendant must be tried by a black jury or a female defendant must be tried by an woman panel. The objective is to select an impartial jury from a randomly selected juror pool who will be fair, listen to the facts of the case, and render and just verdict based on the evidence.

          Serving on a jury is the most direct and impactful way for citizens to connect to the constitution. It is more active and participatory than voting. Citizens can help perpetuate our system of laws, and stabilize our democracy. For a jury pool, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that courts may not remove a potential juror based solely on his or her race or gender.

          […]

       At Kevin Patrick Law, we believe that our work extends well-beyond the courtroom. We strive to be part of the community. If we can ever assist you or your organization, then please feel free to get in touch with us at kevin@patricktriallaw.com or (404) 566-8964.