2010 Georgia Code
O.C.G.A. 44-14-473 (2010)
TITLE 44 - PROPERTY
CHAPTER 14 - MORTGAGES, CONVEYANCES TO SECURE DEBT, AND LIENS
ARTICLE 8 - LIENS
PART 8 - HOSPITALS AND NURSING HOMES
§ 44-14-473 - Effect of covenant not to bring an action; action to enforce lien; limitation; affidavit of payment
44-14-473. Effect of covenant not to bring an action; action to enforce lien; limitation; affidavit of payment
(a) No release of the cause or causes of action or of any judgment thereon or any covenant not to bring an action thereon shall be valid or effectual against the lien created by Code Section 44-14-470 unless the holder thereof shall join therein or execute a release of the lien; and the claimant or assignee of the lien may enforce the lien by an action against the person, firm, or corporation liable for the damages or such person, firm, or corporation's insurer. If the claimant prevails in the action, the court may allow reasonable attorney's fees. The action shall be commenced against the person liable for the damages or such person's insurer within one year after the date the liability is finally determined by a settlement, by a release, by a covenant not to bring an action, or by the judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction.
(b) No release or covenant not to bring an action which is made before or after the patient was discharged from the hospital, nursing home, or provider of traumatic burn care medical practice or, with respect to a physician practice, which is made after the patient first sought treatment from the physician practice for the injuries shall be effective against the lien perfected in accordance with Code Section 44-4-471, if such lien is perfected prior to the date of the release, covenant not to bring an action, or settlement unless consented to by the lien claimant; provided, however, that any person, firm, or corporation which consummates a settlement, release, or covenant not to bring an action with the person to whom hospital, nursing home, physician practice, or traumatic burn care medical practice care, treatment, or services were furnished and which first procures from the injured party an affidavit as prescribed in subsection (c) of this Code section shall not be bound or otherwise affected by the lien except as provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, regardless of when the settlement, release, or covenant not to bring an action was consummated.
(c) The affidavit shall affirm:
(1) That all hospital, nursing home, physician practice, or provider of traumatic burn care medical practice bills incurred for treatment for the injuries for which a settlement is made have been fully paid; and
(2) The county of residence of such affiant, if a resident of this state;
provided, however, that the person taking the affidavit shall not be protected thereby where the affidavit alleges the county of the affiant's residence and the lien of the claimant is at such time on file in the office of the clerk of the superior court of the county and is recorded in the name of the patient as it appears in the affidavit.
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