As a consumer, you deserve to not be taken advantage of, receive dangerous products, be a victim of illegal business practices, and more. Businesses are supposed to follow ethical and legal practices, but this doesn’t always happen. When people are harmed by businesses, they may not realize the business has violated their rights, and they can take legal action. Holding a business accountable for their actions requires the skilled experience of a Charleston consumer protection lawyer. DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC can help you stand up for your rights.
We’ll be at your side when you show the business their tactics or practices are unlawful and cannot continue. Our lawyers will investigate how the negligent business caused your suffering and losses, and we can start fighting for you to get the recovery you deserve.
What Is Consumer Protection Law?
Consumer protection law falls under the Federal Trade Commission Act. Under this act, the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection is in charge of keeping the marketplace fair, holding businesses that break the law responsible for their actions, and providing consumers and businesses with information about their rights.
An important part of the Federal Trade Commission Act includes its prohibition of unfair or deceptive acts or practices. Unfair practices include acts or practices that:
- Cause or are likely to cause consumer injury
- Consumers cannot reasonably avoid
- The benefits to consumers or competition don’t outweigh the risks
Deceptive practices are identified when:
- There is a representation, omission, or practice that misleads or will likely mislead the consumer
- A consumer has a reasonable interpretation of the representation, omission, or practice under the circumstances
- The misleading representation, omission, or practice is material
When businesses don’t act in good faith, they may show the following actions:
- Stealing money from consumers
- Failure to meet promises
- Harass consumers with robocalls
- Sell unsafe products
No one should have to experience the situations above. If you’ve been harmed by another unsafe or unethical business practice, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our attorneys as soon as possible.
When a business thinks it can intimidate you to stop you from exercising your rights, DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC is here for you. We will not be intimidated by a business and will not let them take advantage of you.
What Protections Do Consumers Have Under the Law?
If you’re wondering if you have a valid claim, you can take a look at the main protections consumer protection law provides. A situation that sounds familiar to you can indicate that your rights were violated. If any of the following as happened to you, then you should seek your legal options as quickly as possible:
- Were harmed by unsafe or hazardous products
- Were a victim of an internet scam or fraud
- Are suffering from improper or unfair debt collection tactics
- Experienced fraud from banks, mortgage companies, insurance companies, or other institutions
- Have a credit report dispute
Some of these situations may seem fairly straightforward and recognizable. If you purchase a product and you sustain injuries when you use it, then you’ll likely know that there was something wrong with it.
However, what if you were scammed or your identity was stolen? These may not have obvious signs at first, but then you later realize you’re in deep financial trouble. To recognize early warning signs that you may have been a victim of fraud, the Federal Trade Commission has provided a list to watch out for:
- Your bank account has withdrawals you didn’t make and you can’t explain
- You aren’t receiving bills or other mail
- Your checks are refused
- You’re getting calls from debt collectors, but the debts aren’t yours
- There are unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report
- You’re getting billed for medical services you didn’t use
- Your medical claims are rejected because you’ve reached your benefits limit
- A health plan won’t cover you because your medical records show a condition that you don’t have
- The IRS tells you there was more than one tax return filed under your name, or you are receiving income from an employer you don’t know
- A data breach at a company that you have an account with compromised your information
If you’ve lost important information or there was a data breach that could expose your personal information, you need to protect yourself. Learn how to protect yourself from identity theft here.
When you notice that your identity has been stolen, it can be difficult to take care of the damage that was done. If that has happened, a Charleston consumer protection attorney can help you defend your rights and get your life back on track. We’re here for you.
What Are the Steps You Can Take Next?
When you’re seeking legal action against a business or organization that violated consumer protection laws, you should get in touch with an experienced professional to go over what happened to you. A Charleston consumer protection attorney will be able to explain your options. While you may think the next step is to file a lawsuit, there may be a different option available to you that you weren’t aware of.
For example, if you were harmed by a defective product, it may have affected more people in a similar way. Whether the product had misleading instructions, the manufacturing plant made a mistake with a particular batch, or the product had an inherent design flaw, you may not be the only one who suffered injuries and losses because of the product.
If this is the case, your lawyer may speak to you about coming forward with a class action lawsuit. This may benefit your case as it can be difficult for each person to fight the company on their own, but joining together to bring a class action forward can help all of you get the justice you deserve. When you’re a part of a class action, the essential parts of the lawsuit can merge. This can include attorneys, eyewitnesses, and the evidence from each person like medical records of injuries and damages.
However, it’s important to not be discouraged if others didn’t have the experience you did. We’ll still gather the evidence of your case to bring a lawsuit forward against the negligent business. While it can be nerve-wracking to go up against a business, remember you’re seeking justice for yourself and you may help enact change that means the business won’t harm or deceive others in the way they did to you.
Your Charleston Consumer Protection Lawyer Will Fight for You
While there are many ways that violations of consumer protection law can harm you, our lawyers will help you get the recovery you need. We’ll fight for you to receive the compensation you deserve. If you’ve sustained injuries that require medical treatment, needed to miss work, or your property was damaged, we’ll seek for you to recover those damages. The pain and suffering you’ve experienced can also be included in your compensation.
The sooner you seek an attorney, the sooner you can start fighting for your rights. It’s important to start your case as quickly as possible so the evidence is preserved. Schedule a free case evaluation with DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC today.