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.
Issues in Consumer Law
- Lemon Law: "Lemons" are products that have not met reasonable expectations, and a "lemon law" gives consumers a right to recover for the product. Lemon laws may be either state or federal. They involve breach of warranty, which is a legal term for an expectation that the product will work.
Find a lemon law attorney.
- Auto Dealer Fraud: A motor vehicle is often an expensive purchase, with many moving parts. Sometimes, the purchaser of an auto may not realize that the vehicle is defective until after driving it some time. If the dealer knew or should have known, however, that dealer is practicing fraud.
Find an auto dealer fraud lawyer.
- Creditors' Rights: A person or business that lends to another has a right to be repaid. Sometimes, however, that does not happen. When that occurs, the lender, or creditor, has certain rights and certain methods available to him or her to recover the money from the borrower.
Find a creditors' rights lawyer
Creditors' Rights Certification
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.
Hiring a Consumer Lawyer
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.
Consumer Law Resources
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.