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Seeking justice with your Georgia whistleblower lawsuit

In a previous article on our website, we discussed how the federal government allows private citizens to sue individuals and corporations engaged in defrauding taxpayers. These so-called "whistleblower lawsuits" help the government fight fraud by offering a percentage of the damages recovered as a sort of bounty. In other words, an individual with some unique or special knowledge regarding fraud against the government, also known as the relator, can be entitled to receive a portion of the money the government recovers as a result of the lawsuit.

For many Georgia residents, stepping forward out of shadows to report fraud against the government can be a frightening experience. Oftentimes relators with evidence of fraudulent activity are fearful of retaliation. Many relators are concerned that the company or organization they work for will terminate them or otherwise take some measure of retaliatory actions against them for exposing their fraudulent activities.

Why are Georgians likely to see even more auto recalls?

Last year saw a record 60 million-plus vehicle recalls, led by those with exploding airbags and faulty ignition switches. However, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this year will likely bring an even larger number of recalls.

Why even more recalls? According to the NHTSA, the nation's top auto safety regulator, they intend to be more vigilant than ever, making more pre-emptive recalls. Further, newer vehicles are increasingly complex. One minor electronic malfunction is enough to warrant a recall. In addition, as demand for vehicles grows, quality control sometimes suffers, leading to potential defects.

Facts regarding products liability and tire safety

Under Georgia law, manufacturers who sell defective products to consumers can incur certain legal liabilities for those products. That products liability can also include automobile and truck tires. Poorly designed and manufactured tires can lead to tread separation and tire blowouts. Such events often result in rollovers and other serious accidents. Sometimes, these tire-related accidents result in deaths and injuries to unsuspecting motorists.

When faced with a products liability lawsuit, some tire manufacturers might argue that a consumer's failure to heed appropriate tire maintenance requirements may have contributed to their own accidents.

Protecting Georgians' rights against predatory lenders

Most of our readers have likely heard the term "predatory lending," perhaps related to the housing crisis of the previous decade. However, unfortunately, predatory lending is not a thing of the past, and it goes beyond mortgage loans.

There are a number of predatory lending practices that unscrupulous mortgage brokers, loan officers, bankers and payday lenders use to cheat borrowers. Sometimes, these borrowers don't realize that they are the victims of illegal practices.

Recognizing the causes of truck accidents in Georgia

Georgia residents have a right to use the state roadways without being placed at unnecessary risk from commercial trucks, buses or motor coaches. In a previous article, we discussed how many commercial vehicles operators fail to take adequate steps to ensure the safety of their vehicles.

In fact, safety officials recently conducted 82,702 roadside inspections of commercial vehicles. As many as 6.7 percent of those drivers were determined to be "out of service." In other words, those drivers were banned from operating any commercial vehicle until bringing themselves or their equipment back into compliance with applicable safety standards.

Foreign car makers score big in auto accident tests

Georgia drivers shopping for a 2015 car should consider some Asian and European vehicles. A number of them scored high marks in the most recent annual Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests.

The IIHS tests look at a vehicle's performance in five areas that measure how well those inside the car will fare in a car crash. These include roof strength, side strength and head restraints. The scores are also based on the car's performance in small and moderate overlap front tests. During these tests, vehicles are driven at 40 mph into rigid or semi-rigid barriers.

Understanding Georgia’s whistleblower statute for taxpayers

Currently, the state of Georgia has strict laws on the books that are designed to protect taxpayers from entities bent on defrauding the state coffers from tax revenue. The Georgia Taxpayer Protection False Claims Act imposes stiff civil penalties against individuals, corporations and other entities that knowingly and improperly attempt to avoid some manner of tax liability.

The GTPFCA also allows a private individual to bring a whistleblower action as long as he or she first obtains the approval of the state's Attorney General in writing.

What are your rights if injured by a defective product?

Georgia residents who are injured by a product that is defective may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. There are three primary kinds of claims for defective products.

-- Warning defect: This is when the manufacturer does not provide adequate written warnings about the potential dangers of a product if not used properly or according to instructions. Products that can be fire hazards, for example, need to contain explicit warnings and instructions for safe use.

Is texting while driving really as bad as experts say?

We've all been there before at some point while driving. Something happens within the inside of your car that forces you to momentarily take your eyes off the road. Perhaps it's something remotely beyond your control like a huge bumblebee that has somehow found its way inside your vehicle through an open window. Or maybe your dog suddenly decided to leap from the back seat into the front so that it could bark at someone on the street.

Certainly, those types of random driving distractions do occur, but safety experts also say that some drivers participate more actively in their own distractions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted driving in the U.S. is responsible for an estimated nine deaths and 1,153 injuries per day. As many as 17 percent of all crashes in 2011, or one in five crashes, involved someone becoming injured as a result of distracted driving.

Georgia residents can be victims of credit insurance fraud

Some Georgians purchase credit insurance to protect their loans, credit cards and other types of lines of credit if they are not able to make their required payments because they have become unemployed or disabled or in case of death. Many people use them to help protect their mortgages and car loans so that they and their families don't risk losing a home or necessary vehicle if the unexpected occurs. Some insurance policies will pay all of a loan or line, while others only pay some of it.

Some credit insurance companies bill consumers monthly for the credit insurance. However, other companies require customers to pay the total premium for a car, recreational vehicle or boat loan in a single premium upfront.

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