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Imagine the following scenario.  You are driving down the road when you come to a stop at a red light.  The car behind you fails to stop in time, hitting the rear of your car.  You do all the things you’re supposed to do.  You exchange information with the other driver.  You contact the police, who cites the other driver for following too closely.  However, your car is damaged and you are injured.  You are afraid to contact your own insurance company out of fear they will cancel your account or raise your rates.  Don’t be.  Insurance companies cannot cancel a policy or raise your rates because of an accident for which you are not responsible.  While you may assume the other driver’s insurance will pay for your damages, they may have minimal amounts that won’t cover everything, or if the other driver refuses to cooperate with their insurance company, their insurance company may deny coverage, and you will have to turn to you own insurance company or be completely out of luck.

Georgia law states “No insurer shall surcharge the premium or rate charged on a policy of motor vehicle insurance or cancel such policy as a result of the insured person’s involvement in a multivehicle accident when such person was not at fault in such accident”. O.C.G.A 33-9-40.  What this means is that it is illegal for an insurance company to raise your rates or cancel your policy merely because you were involved in a car accident which was not your fault.

The courts, however, have stated that an insurance company can choose not to renew your policy when it expires.  The Georgia courts have ruled that cancelling and nonrenewal are not the same thing.

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Nissan recently recalled a series of vehicles because of their passenger airbags. A local Georgia newspaper reported that these airbags had the potential to explode and shoot shrapnel at individuals in the vehicle. Officials who have been investigating the cars explained that the shrapnel and shards of metal could cause serious injuries to the occupants. Thus far, there have been about three injury claims from the passenger airbag.

airbag-850338-mThe number of vehicles that are covered by this recall went up from 30,000 to over 52,738. And currently there are about eight states that are affected by this recall, including Georgia. Nissan and Takata Motors have reported that the airbag inflator will be replaced at no cost, and if that is not available, a certified Nissan dealer should disconnect the airbag and advise individuals not to use the passenger seat.

Products Liability in Georgia

There are many types of products liability cases and a few theories that one can claim against a manufacturer, designer, or seller of a defective product. Products designed for consumers can be dangerous if they do not contain appropriate warnings and usage directions, or are defectively designed or manufactured.

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We all love posting on Facebook, but you better be careful what you write. Several courts have now ruled that what you post on Facebook can be used against you in a court of law. This is especially important in the personal injury arena. In a recent case a woman claimed she had “serious and permanent physical and mental injuries”, however she posted on Facebook about “going to the gym.” She also posted pictures of her enjoying life with her family. Don’t think someone has to be a Facebook “friend” in order to see your postings. Courts have ordered parties to turn over all their Facebook postings and have even been able to retrieve postings that have supposedly been “deleted”. My advice when you post on Facebook is to assume everyone in the world will read what you post. That should act as an effective filter.