Settlement Reached Over Macon Car Crash After Defendant Ordered to Turn Over Recorded Statement Made to Insurer

The Butler Law Firm has secured a confidential settlement for the victim of car accident in Bibb County that involved a distracted driver who ran a red light and collided with our client.

A key issue in the case centered on a motion to compel the defendant to turn over a recorded statement she made to her insurance company. The case settled after a State Court judge issued an order compelling production of the statement.

The crash occurred at the intersection of Interstate 75 and Hardeman Avenue in Macon on July 4, 2019. According to the plaintiff’s complaint, the defendant ran a red light on Hardeman Avenue and collided with the plaintiff’s vehicle as she was going through a green light on the southbound exit ramp from I-75 onto Hardeman.

The officer who investigated the crash found that the defendant disregarded the traffic light and was responsible for the collision. The complaint further alleged that the defendant was holding her cell phone at the time, in violation of Georgia law. The defendant’s illegal use of her cell phone caused or contributed to the crash, according to the complaint.

The Butler Law Firm’s client sustained severe bodily injuries from the crash, in addition to physical and mental pain and suffering. She brought a lawsuit against the defendant in the State Court of Bibb County to seek compensation for her losses.

During the pretrial discovery process, an issue arose over whether the defendant’s insurance company had to turn over a recorded statement the defendant made to her insurer after the crash. The defendant opposed the plaintiff’s motion to compel by arguing that the statement was work product, and thus not subject to discovery.

In an order dated June 29, 2020, Judge Sharell F. Lewis disagreed. She ruled that the recorded statement was not work product because it was taken in the insurer’s ordinary course of business. Judge Lewis ordered the defendant to turn over the statement.

In the wake of the ruling, the defendant and plaintiff reached a confidential settlement. The plaintiff described the settlement amount as “a complete 180” from the insurance company’s initial offer. “The first offer almost insulting considering the injuries … I obtained because of the at-fault driver,” she said. “But the end results were completely extraordinary.”