“Consumer rights” is a phrase which many of us hear on a regular basis, whether it be a story in the media or something which has affected a friend or family member. But despite being a household term, a lot of consumers are not familiar with what their consumer rights are and what options are available should they have a concern with a product or service.
Your Consumer Rights
Consumer rights refers to a body of the law. These rights apply to different things which the producers of goods (such as corporations and manufacturers) must do to protect their customers from injury or loss.
There are a few basic consumer rights:
- The right to safety (consumers should be able to assume that the products they buy are safe when used for their intended purpose)
- The right to be informed (consumers have the right to information that will allow them to make well-informed decisions about their purchases)
- The right to choose (consumers have the right to have alternatives in terms of the quality, service and price of a product available)
- The right to be heard (consumers should have the assurance that their government will take the concerns of consumers into consideration and make sure statutes and administrative regulations are enacted to protect them)
What Is Consumer Class Action?
Consumer class action refers to a lawsuit made in the state or federal court which is brought by one or more individuals on behalf of a larger group of people who have suffered similar losses or who have similar concerns. For example, if a group of individuals all purchased the same product which is defective for the same reason, they may choose to enter into a consumer class action lawsuit.
How Class Action Claims Work
A case which is brought as a class action will go through two steps:
- The court will initiate “class certification”, a process which determines if your case is a proper class action lawsuit
- Parties will proceed toward trial based on the claims made in the lawsuit
Settlement negotiations can occur at any point during this process.
Why Consumer Right Claims Often Go to Class Action
Many class action lawsuits put everyday consumers up against large multi-million dollar corporations. These corporations have deep pockets and are backed by an experienced legal team which is well-versed in downplaying or even denying the concerns of a consumer.
In most cases, class action lawsuits are used to combine smaller-dollar claims of a large group of people. Each individual’s claim may be too small to pursue in a cost-effective way, and combining several smaller claims also justifies the expense of litigation and increases all claimants’ chances for success.
Some of the most common “types” of class action lawsuits involve:
- The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
- The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
- False Advertising
Opting-In and Opting-Out of a Settlement
At any point you may receive notice of a class action settlement. In the papers, it will be explained what the terms of the settlement are and the settlement options available to you. In most cases there will be a toll-free phone number or a web site address provided with FAQs and additional contact information.
You can “opt in” to the settlement if you agree to the settlement terms, or you may choose to “opt out” and not participate. This typically occurs if a claimant believes that they have a lot of money at stake. In this situation, it is best to bring your settlement to a consumer rights attorney such as the Azadian Law Group, PC.
How the Azadian Law Group, PC Can Help
The Azadian Law Group protects the rights of consumers in the Los Angeles area by using our knowledge of the law and experience in litigation to hold corporations accountable for the products and services they offer. Our attorneys work on a contingent fee basis, meaning that we only receive a portion of compensation recovered in a settlement or after a trial.
If you believe that your consumer rights have been violated and you would like to speak to an accomplished consumer rights attorney, we welcome you to contact us online or give us a call today at (626) 449-4944 or (213) 229-9031.