Euless, Texas Deceptive Trade Practice Lawyers
Protecting Consumers From Fraud and Misleading Statements
Many people have had the unfortunate experience of being ripped off when they’ve purchased something. However, most don’t realize that there are state laws in place to protect consumers from dishonest sellers. There are several ways a business might try to deceive a consumer. For example, they may claim a celebrity or expert endorsed a product when they didn’t or say a product includes an expensive ingredient that it actually doesn’t have. The law also protects smaller businesses that have suffered due to the dishonest actions of their competitors. The Wolf of Law Street will fight to get you fair compensation if you have been the victim of deceptive trade practices. For a free evaluation of your case, call (972) 573-4532 today.
What Is a Deceptive Trade Practice?
The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) was written into law in 1973. The DTPA is meant to protect consumers from false, misleading, and deceptive practices, as well as breaches of warranty and unconscionable actions. For the purpose of this law, a “consumer” is an individual or a small- to medium-sized business. Large businesses with more than $25 million dollars of assets are excluded from coverage by the DPTA.
The DTPA lists 27 acts or practices that the law deems to be false, misleading, or deceptive. Examples of prohibited acts can include:
- Advertising goods or services with the intent to not sell them as advertised.
- Bait and switch advertising.
- Claiming that products have ingredients, uses, benefits, or qualities they do not have.
- Failure to disclose certain information in the sales of goods and services.
- Fake endorsements or implying an endorsement that is untrue.
- Passing goods or services off as those of another.
- Price gouging following a disaster.
- Promising a guarantee or warranty that isn’t enforced.
- Representing that products are original or new when they are not.
- Using deceptive claims of geographic origin in connection with goods or services.
- Spreading false disparagement about another company.
Under the Texas DTPA and related statutes, there are also other forms of conduct that may be actionable. Some examples of this conduct are insurance code violations, unfair debt collection, and pyramid/Ponzi schemes, among others. A deceptive trade practices lawyer can evaluate your case and offer their perspective and advice on how to proceed.
What Must Be Proven for a Successful Deceptive Trade Practice Case?
The laws on deceptive trade can vary from state to state, so it is important to hire a local lawyer who understands the nuances of filing a lawsuit. But broadly, there are three things that need to be proven in a deceptive trade practice case:
- A deceptive trade practice occurred: For example, a company advertised a computer they were selling as being new. You had no reason to disbelieve them, so you base your purchase decision on their claim. However, the computer was actually a used model which had been refurbished.
- The deceptive trade practice affected commerce: You bought the computer instead of a competitor’s computer, but if you had known the truth, you would have purchased a different product.
- The deception was the cause of actual injury to you or your business: As a consumer, you paid for something you did not get: in this case, a new computer. Or, if you are a competing business, the injury might be that you lost customers and income due to your competitor’s deception.
It is not always necessary to prove fraud to have a successful case. If the claims about the goods or services are found to be likely to deceive, even if there was no ill intent, that may be sufficient. Each case of deceptive trade practices can be different, so it is important to consult a lawyer as soon as possible to learn how the law applies to your specific situation.
What Type of Compensation Could I Seek?
If you have been a victim of deceptive trade practices and you have been unable to gain satisfaction for your injuries by contacting the business or person, then you may choose to file a legal case against them. There are several types of compensation you may seek. Some common examples of compensation are:
- Actual damages: The amount of money you lost due to the deception.
- Attorney’s fees: Litigating this type of case may be expensive and time-consuming. If so, the defendant may be ordered to pay your legal fees.
- Mental anguish damages: If the deception caused you anxiety, fear, embarrassment, or other mental distress, you might be compensated for it.
- “Treble damages”: If the court finds that the defendant willfully violated laws or statutes, they may award you treble damages. This is capped at three times the actual damages you incurred and is often used to dissuade others from committing the same offense.
Why Is Hiring a Deceptive Trade Practices Lawyer Important?
If you’ve been a victim of deceptive trade practices, you deserve justice for the losses you’ve experienced. Taking these types of cases to court can be complex because every situation is different, and previous court decisions can impact how the law is interpreted. This makes it even more crucial to have a law firm on your side who not only understands the laws and statutes involved with deceptive trade practices but knows the applicable case law as well. The Wolf of Law Street has a deep understanding of these laws, and we take pride in serving those who have been harmed by deceptive businesses. Call us anytime for a free consultation to discover how we can help you: (972) 573-4532.