Covering Injury Expenses and Home Defense – WTVM Legal Break with Gary Bruce
Injury & Accident Attorney Serving Nearby Areas of Columbus & Fort Benning, Georgia and Phenix City, Alabama
This week Gary Bruce takes two more questions from viewers. Our first question comes to us via our Facebook page and this viewer would like to know if she can get more money from the court for medical treatment if she has exhausted the $10,000 already given to her. Gary discusses different types of claims and how they affect settlements and the finality of your case.
Our second viewer asks about his rights to use deadly force against someone while in his home – Gary discusses citizens rights in defending their home and when the use of deadly force is permissible in Georgia and Alabama.
Narrator: Now answering your questions about the law and legal issues, this is Legal Break with attorney, Gary Bruce.
Maureen: Gary we’ve got a couple questions today, we’ll jump right in. We’ve got one from Jane in Phoenix city. I’m gonna read it so we get it exactly right. What happens when I have exhausted my ten thousand dollars, and after two years still being treated by doctors, and incurring more medical bills? And as a follow-up question, she asked, can I go back to court and ask for more?
Gary: Interesting question on two fronts. Where did the ten thousand come from? Generally money comes from two different places, and when you’re dealing with an injury case one from liability coverage, so that would be the other person’s coverage if they were negligent. So maybe she’s settled for $10,000 before her case was really ready, and so in that situation, the answer is probably no, can’t go back. If you’ve settled you signed a release, you’ve taken the money, you’ve made an agreement with the insurance company, it’s over. But maybe it came from med pay, because medical payment coverage is something you can carry on your own policy, and they sometimes come in ten thousand dollar increments. So while liability coverage is usually 25, 50, or 5100, or something like that, med pay can be five thousand, and med pay doesn’t have anything to do with whose fault it is. So if she exhausted the ten thousand in med pay then I would say again the answer is probably no because it’s all gone. But really the key is where was it? What’s the lesson? Don’t settle the case until it’s time. I mean don’t get in a hurry, don’t fall for some open-ended promise, ill-defined promise. Wait till you know what your story is before you try to tell it. So that’s what we tell people.
Maureen: Well very good, and very good answers. Now we have a man on the street question here from Burton in Columbus.
Question Two: Hey, Gary I have a question for you. So, if somebody breaks into my house do I legally have the right to shoot them?
Gary: Well good question, Martin, thank you. So, here’s the answer in Georgia. There are three exceptions, or three times when you can. It generally comes down to this, I mean who has time to analyze, “well does this fall in the exceptions to when I can use deadly force?” Nobody does. You’re reacting to a situation, and I suspect our law enforcement people understand that too, juries understand that. But it’s to prevent, if a crime, if it’s to save someone, or to protect somebody, or they’re breaking into your home and they’re not a relative, then the law says those are times when the jury could find that you can use deadly force. And in Alabama you can use it also to prevent arson. But certainly these are jury issues right now.
Be prudent, use common sense. Yeah, if you have any more questions please definitely email them in to us, we’d be glad to take your questions. We’ll see you on the very next Legal Break.