Consumer protection laws are specific laws that are intended to prevent consumer fraud and various unfair business practices. Such laws aim at providing various rights for consumers while still maintaining a certain degree of freedom for manufacturers. Most of these have to do with health and safety laws, as well as warranties and product contracts.
What Do Consumer Protection Laws Cover?
The Federal Trade and Commissions Act (FTCA) serves a major consumer protection law. This is a broad act that outlines industry standards for businesses. It basically prevents businesses from making statements that might be misleading or confusing to a consumer. Another consumer protection law is the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, which regulates the information presented on the packages of retail products.
Some other issues that consumer protection laws may cover include:
- False advertising and false business claims
- Various anti-fraud and anti-scam efforts
- Breaches of consumer contracts
- Health and safety codes
- Dangerous products and products liability issues
Thus, consumer protection laws cover a wide range of different legal topics and subjects. Many consumer claims often involve a violation of more than one consumer protection law.
What if a Consumer Protection Law has Been Violated?
Smaller violations of consumer protection laws can sometimes be handled by contacting the manufacturer or seller directly. For instance, a faulty product can often be exchanged or refunded according to the product warranty. For more serious cases, it may be necessary to file a consumer complaint or to file a civil lawsuit. This is common for consumer protection violations that result in serious injury or economic loss to a person or to a group of persons.
Many consumer protection lawsuits are filed as class action lawsuits, especially for products that affect a whole group of consumers.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with Consumer Protection Laws?
Consumer protection laws can sometimes be difficult to understand. However, you should know that you have various rights and protections as a consumer. If you feel that your consumer rights have been violated, you may need to hire a consumer lawyer for assistance. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice for your situation, and can also represent you if you need to file a lawsuit in court.