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Fraud In Georgia: Do You Have A Case?

fraud Pic.jpgFraud comes in many forms, such as Internet fraud (scams), real estate fraud, and consumer fraud. Thousands of people are victims of fraud every day, leaving many with a deep gut-wrenching feeling, once they realize they’ve been mislead/scammed. If you have been a victim of fraud, you may be able to do something about it, legally.

After realizing you are a victim of fraud, the question becomes: how can I recover what I lost? If you decide to contact a lawyer to help you recover against whomever defrauded you, the essential question for your attorney is: how do I prove fraud? That task is not as easy as you may think.

Briefly, In Georgia, there are generally two types of fraud: actual fraud and constructive fraud. We will talk briefly about actual fraud, which involves five (5) key elements: (1) a false representation by the defendant; (2) knowledge that the representation is false or with reckless disregard as to whether it was true; (3) an intent to induce you to act or refrain from acting based on the knowingly false representation; (4) reasonable reliance by you on the knowingly false representation; and (5) damage done to you because you reasonably relied on the false representations made by the defendant.

The strength of your case will depend on how well the facts of your situation apply to the above-mentioned five elements, amongst other Georgia laws. Significantly, Georgia courts do acknowledge that fraud many times can be difficult to prove. Consequently, Georgia courts have recognized that fraud is, itself, subtle and therefore slight circumstances, and their supporting facts, may be sufficient to support a favorable verdict for the plaintiff, you.

However, not every act of fraud means that you have a claim against a defendant, in Georgia. For example, what if you suffered no damages due to the fraudulent act (see element five [5] above)? If there is no damage, then there may be no case. Or, what if you unreasonably and/or unjustifiably relied on a knowingly false representation (see element four [4] above)? If relying on a false representation makes no sense, given the surrounding circumstances, then, again, you may not have a case.

In addition, many times what people think is fraud, may not be recognized as such, by Georgia courts. For example, a mere breach of a contract does not necessarily amount to fraud. Bad faith in falling to carry out an obligation may not rise to the level of fraud, either. Then again, there are situations where breach of contract and bad faith do rise to the level of fraud and thus you may have a claim, which may involve punitive damages, which is an award of money given as punishment to deter future, similar conduct.

There are other issues to consider, such as statute of limitation concerns and constructing your complaint so that it meets the requirements of Georgia law.

I think you get the point: fraud cases can be very complex, so you need a good attorney that understands the law in this area. Williams Oinonen LLC can help maximize your recovery by evaluating your case thoroughly.

Contact Williams Oinonen today for an initial consultation.