When a person pays for a product or services, those products or services should meet reasonable expectations that they are what the person is paying for. If that does not happen, certain state and federal laws give that person a right to recover for their costs and any damages they suffered. The laws can be common law, such as that the merchant or producer breached an implied or express warranty, or they can be specific statutes, like the federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act.
Consumer lawyers represent victims in consumer law cases. They could seek to win recovery of the plaintiff's costs in purchasing the defective product, the bills associated with fixing whatever damage it caused, or medical bills from any injury the victim incurred as a result of using the product.
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The American Board of Certification is accredited by the American Bar Association to certify attorneys as specialists in the field of creditors' rights. By becoming certified, the attorney has shown that he or she has met significant standards and may call himself or herself a specialist in most jurisdictions. To become certified, an attorney must show he or she dedicated at least 400 hours in at least 30 creditors' rights matters in the three years before seeking certification, among other requirements.
Consumer law matters are civil matters, so a civil attorney can represent the victim in any matter. However, since consumer law involves specific statutes, it may lead to a better result if the attorney has knowledge and experience in consumer law. The National Association of Consumer Advocates is an organization of lawyers in the United States who represent plaintiffs in cases of consumer law. NACA members have access to continuing legal education, publications and other tools, and therefore may be significantly more knowledgeable about such matters.
Consumers Union: The Consumers Union is a national organization that fights to protect the rights of consumers. Consumer Reports is a well-known publication from Consumers Union.