A New Jersey Consumer Protection Lawyer Protecting Your Rights as a Consumer
Many people are unaware of their rights as consumers. However, New Jersey law has some of the strictest consumer-protection laws in the country. If you believe that you have been unfairly treated as a consumer, you may be entitled to compensation. A New Jersey consumer protection lawyer can review your case and determine whether you might have a claim.
What Does a New Jersey Consumer Protection Lawyer Actually Do?
They represent individuals who have suffered financial harm as a result of unethical practices committed by retailers and other businesses. They can help you recover the money you lost as well as any other damages you may be entitled to under federal and state laws that protect the rights of consumers.
They will first review your case in order to determine which laws have been violated and what rights you have in pursuing your claim. From there, they will send a letter to the business in question, identifying the violation and demanding that you be made whole. If the business refuses or does not respond, they can then help you navigate the legal process in order to get the compensation you deserve.
In addition, your attorney can also report the business to any relevant regulatory agencies, whether governmental or private entities specific to that business’s industry. Ultimately, a consumer lawyer can protect your rights as well as prevent them from taking advantage of others.
New Jersey Consumer Protection Laws
New Jersey has enacted a robust system of laws designed to protect consumers from unethical business practices. In addition, the New Jersey Office of Consumer Affairs (a division of the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General) enforces these laws against businesses and others when violations occur. One of the most important aspects of New Jersey’s consumer protection laws, however, is that it enables private citizens to seek their own counsel to bring a claim essentially on behalf of the state. This means that consumers do not have to rely upon the limited resources of the Office of Consumer Affairs that are stretched to the breaking point due to the overwhelming demands that it faces.
Of these laws, the Consumer Fraud Act is perhaps the most important. It is one of the strongest consumer protection statutes in the country, allowing consumers to recover three times their actual losses plus their attorney’s fees and costs.
The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act prohibits fraud, misrepresentation, deception, omission, or other unconscionable commercial practices in connection with any consumer transaction. The Consumer Fraud Act applies to any size and type of business, including single-person businesses and large retailers. It also covers more than just the sale of goods, applying to financial transactions, real estate transactions, and the purchase of services. It applies to mechanics and car dealerships, health clubs, retailers, employment agencies, and home improvement businesses.
If you believe you have been deceived or treated unfairly in any type of consumer transaction, a New Jersey consumer protection lawyer can review your case and help you understand your options.
Examples of Consumer Fraud
Consumer fraud isn’t always easy to identify. Fraud can often be sophisticated and subtle even for people who consider themselves savvy consumers. However, an experienced New Jersey consumer lawyer can determine whether you are the victim of consumer fraud and then help you pursue a claim. We work with consumers who have suffered harm in all types of fraud, including the following:
- Selling damaged or defective goods
- Engaging in “bait and switch” tactics
- Misrepresentation of warranties and other benefits
- Deceptive financing practices
- Fraud by individuals such as contractors or real estate agents
- Attempting to hide various costs or charging excess fees
- Using contracts with provisions that are prohibited by law
- Using contracts that lack provisions required by law
- Charging more than the amount provided in your estimate without your consent
- Misrepresentation in advertising
Fraud can be especially difficult to identify in more complex transactions. Thankfully, the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act has provisions specific to certain industries, including health clubs, car dealers, and home improvement contractors. If you feel that you suspect that you have been taken advantage of, we will be able to identify the unique provisions of the law that apply to your case.
The Damages You May Be Entitled to in Consumer Rights Cases
As mentioned above, the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act entitles consumers to pursue triple damages. This means that you are entitled to seek compensation in the amount of three times your actual economic loss. In addition, the statute allows you to recover your legal fees and costs if your claim is successful.
For example, let’s say that you paid a mechanic $2,500 to complete some repairs on your car that he claimed were necessary. Later on, you discover that the repairs were unnecessary, and in fact, he did not even perform the work he billed you for. The actual repair was much less expensive. If you pursue a claim under the Consumer Fraud Act, you can seek damages of $7,500.00 ($2,500 x 3) plus whatever attorney’s fees and court costs you have or will incur.
You do not have to prove you relied on the other party’s fraudulent misrepresentation, but you do have to prove that you suffered economic harm. Even if you can prove that they did something dishonest, they will attempt to argue you suffered no actual harm or that your harm was not to the extent that you are claiming. They will know how to build a strong case to help you get the damages you are entitled to.
Contact New Jersey Consumer Protection Lawyer Daniel P. Silberstein Today
New Jersey consumer protection lawyer Daniel P. Silberstein has decades of experience in holding unethical businesses accountable for their actions. If you have lost money as a result of unfair dealings, we can help you be made whole. Call or email us to discuss your case and what we can do for you to schedule a consultation. Our office is conveniently located in Union County, New Jersey, and we serve clients in Newark, Elizabeth, and more.