On the analysis of 2.7 million consumer complaints, it was discovered that debt collection, identity theft, and imposter scams made up the majority of these cases. These issues, and many more fall under the wider branch of consumer law.
Now, a consumer protection lawyer is an attorney who specializes in the field of consumer law. They help consumers protect their rights and get the justice and compensation they deserve through the legal remedies outlined within these consumer laws.
To further understand what exactly a consumer lawyer does, we need to take a deeper look into what is protected under the law itself.
What issues does it cover? When can you file a consumer complaint? And how can the average person seek legal remedies against big corporations?
Let’s start by addressing the most important concept.
Understanding Consumer Law
Consumer law is a branch of law that grants consumers rights and the power to protect these rights against abusive, fraudulent, or predatory practices carried out by businesses, manufacturers, and corporates. These laws exist at both, the state as well as the federal levels.
In addition to giving consumers rights, it also holds businesses accountable for the quality of the goods and services they are selling to incur profits from their consumers.
These laws include a wide variety of issues ranging from product liability to bankruptcy.
When Can You File a Consumer Complaint?
If you have reason to believe that a business, agency, merchant, or corporation has violated your rights, you can file a consumer complaint.
Given the huge variation between the types of issues covered under consumer law, it can be confusing to gauge whether or not your case warrants the hire of a consumer protection lawyer. The truth is, if your case requires you to file a consumer complaint, you can benefit from hiring an attorney who specializes in the field.
Generally, a typical consumer complaint could be filed if you experience any of the following.
Consumer fraud refers to deceptive practices used by businesses. This could include:
- False advertising
- Bait and switch tactics
- Pyramid schemes
- Mail fraud,
For example, a business can be held guilty of false advertising if they mislead you into believing something about a product that isn’t true. Bait and switch is a tactic whereby you are presented with incredible deals for a product that is unavailable. After this, you are then offered a variety of different products sold by the same business.
When it comes to defective products, consumers are generally protected under two laws. These include personal injury law and consumer protection laws.
Personal injury law applies when you suffer an injury due to a product’s defects or faulty design. However, if you do not suffer an injury, but the product is simply not up to standard, or does not function as advertised, you can claim compensation by exercising your consumer protection rights.
Credit protection covers various acts including the Federal Truth-in-Lending Act, Fair Credit Billing Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair, and Accurate Credit Transaction Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, Disclosure Act.
In a nutshell, these acts aim to:
- Protect the consumer’s rights to the informed use of their credit cards
- The right to withhold payment for disputed goods
- The opportunity to get full credit reports when denied opportunities due to poor credit
- The opportunity to correct errors in credit reports
- Receiving a summary of rights in case of identity theft
- The right against discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, marital status, age, or type of income while being considered for credit
If any of your above rights have been violated, you have the right to file a consumer complaint.
As in the case of credit, you also have protection against abusive practices initiated by debt collectors. This includes the rules under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Under this act, a debt collector is not allowed to seek you out at your workplace, against your will. Additionally, they are also not permitted to contact you at inconvenient times. If you do have an attorney, there will be more restrictions on the powers of the debt collector.
The debt collector is also prevented from connecting with third parties without approval from the court.
Class Action Lawsuits
When several people suffer a similar grievance due to a defective product or service, they may decide to pool their resources to fight the business in question through a class action lawsuit. These cases are usually represented by a consumer protection lawyer.
To file a case like this, there must be a common legal interest among the plaintiffs. Some common examples include plaintiffs who have consumed a drug that induces severe and life-threatening side effects. Here, the plaintiffs would file a class-action lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company who produced this drug.
Hiring a Consumer Protection Lawyer
Leading the charge against a big corporation or company can be tricky. However, an experienced consumer protection lawyer can help you create a strong case to help you get the compensation you deserve.
At Los Angeles Legal Solutions, we are here to address the needs of consumers who have had their rights violated by debt collectors, banks, manufacturers, and more. We have had years of experience in this field, and have both, the knowledge and the skill to represent you.
Get in touch with us to set up a confidential case evaluation with our expert attorneys in Los Angeles today.