Hi, I’m Roger Ghai and I practice, many times, in the area of automobile accidents, trucking accidents, slip and falls, those types of cases, as well as pharmaceutical litigation. But today’s video is going to be on the topic of non-resident motorist accidents.
What I mean by that is, let’s say you’re involved in an accident in Cobb County, but the defendant actually lives in Florida. How do those cases get filed?
You actually are able to go ahead and file a case in the County where the accident happened or where you live. What will happen is the non-resident is deemed to have appointed the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office as the agent for receiving all the legal papers. When I say legal papers, I mean the lawsuit would be filed, say, for example, in Cobb County, even though the defendant lives in Tennessee, like I have a case right now. We had to file the case in Cobb County because that’s where the accident happened. We filed the case, we served the Georgia Secretary of State with a copy of the the lawsuit, along with all the other litigation documents. We then received a receipt from the Georgia Secretary of State confirming that they received the documents from us. We remitted to them the $10 fee and we filed that and the actual litigation in Cobb County, George Secretary of State’s receipt.
Then what happens is, we are also required to serve the defendant by certified mail. In this case, they lived in Tennessee, we had to send a copy of the lawsuit, the other litigation documents, to the defendant who lives in Tennessee. And in this case I actually happened to have, after they were served in Tennessee and we served the Georgia Secretary of State with a copy of everything, then we serve the … mailed, a copy of the lawsuit and the other legal documents to the defendant’s insurance company. They came in, they filed an answer to the case, we’re still awaiting resolution of the case.
Sometimes we do get those questions as to where do we file the case if the person lives out of state. So you’re not required to go file the lawsuit in Tennessee, in this instance.
If you have questions, or you’ve been involved in an accident with a non-resident motorist, then call my office at (770) 792-1000, and I’ll try to help you out.