Craig Terrett and James Reeves obtained a Reversal in the Georgia Court of Appeals regarding a trial court decision denying summary judgment based on late notice to an Uninsured Motorist Carrier.
The trial court’s denial of the Carrier’s motion for summary judgment was based on the argument that Plaintiff did not timely realize the severity of his injuries. The plaintiff argued that once he did realize that his liability coverage was not going to be sufficient to compensate him for his injuries, he then notified his Uninsured Motorist Carrier. The trial court relied heavily on Progressive v. Bishop, 338 Ga. App. 115 (2016), in which the court held that “ignorance as to the extent of injuries may excuse a delay because … unlike determining the existence of coverage, the extent of injuries can take time to be revealed.”
However, the Court of Appeals disagreed that this was a justifiable basis to wait 13 months given the plaintiff’s alleged injuries and treatment. The Court of Appeals did not go so far as to vacate Bishop, but gives Uninsured Motorist Carriers further support for late notice defenses and weakens the excuse argument relied on in Bishop.