You and your hard-earned money deserve respect, attention, and the best legal help! As a Texan, you’re entitled to many rights under the law, and your Texas Legal membership can make sure you know what your rights are and what actions you can take. Here are a number of issues that your Texas Legal plan covers under the area of consumer law.
Defense of Civil Action
Civil law cases are cases that arise outside of criminal law. Often, they involve disputes over money. Usually, they’re between two people or businesses where one party claims to have been harmed by the other and asking the court to either award them damages or stop the other party from doing something. Civil cases can go to court or be settled out of court. If they go to court, each side presents evidence about what happened and why what happened is a violation of the law. The judge or jury then decides which side’s case is more convincing, as well as what the legal remedy should be, such as damages or a legal order.
Common types of civil cases include:
- Breach of Contract: If a person breaks a legal contract, such as not completing a job, not paying on time, or not delivering goods, the other party can bring a case against them. The contract can be in writing or a verbal agreement.
- Property Dispute: asking the court to settle a dispute over property between two parties
- Tort: A tort is a wrongful act that causes damage to a person or their property. A tort case asks the court to decide if the victim of the wrongful act should be compensated. A common type of tort is a personal injury lawsuit.
- Equitable claim: an equitable claim case happens when one party is asking the court to order a party to take some action or stop some action, such as a restraining order or an injunction.
If you feel you’ve been ripped off, scammed or been the victim of false advertising, Texas Legal can help. Consumers in Texas are protected by a broad piece of legislation called the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. If someone is taken advantage of in a transaction – like purchasing a car, purchasing a house, having a contractor do a job, almost anything except a professional service – the party who promised you some kind of result doesn’t deliver or they deceived you or misrepresented, you can have an action through DTPA.
A Texas Legal membership can help you take the first step in a DTPA claim, which is having an attorney write a letter on your behalf, detailing your complaint and asking them to take certain actions, such as completing a service or providing a refund. Often, a letter like this can be enough to fix the issue.
If the party fails to respond to an attorney’s letter, it’s time to file suit under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Consumer Protection Act. Texas Legal plans cover consumer law cases and allow you to pursue these claims without extensive legal fees. Not only can you get whatever is wrong put right, you can also be awarded damages.
Other warranties and promises that might not fall under DTPA are often still covered by your Texas Legal plan, and you can get an attorney’s help to correct the situation and get what you are owed.
Read about a Texas Legal member’s consumer protection case and how their plan helped protect them from fraud and breach of contract with their home purchase and repair.
As a renter, you have certain rights as defined by the law, including health and safety, peace and quiet, security and more. Landlords are also required to meet certain requirements when it comes to collecting and returning your security deposit or pursuing eviction. If you think your landlord isn’t living up to the expectations laid out in your lease agreement, your Texas Legal membership can help. Your Texas Legal membership also covers negotiation, document review and prep and an attorney’s representation if an eviction is filed against you.
Breach of Contract
If you entered into a contract, whether a formal written contract or verbal agreement, and the other party failed to hold up their end of the contract, you may be able to sue for damages or to get them to fulfill their obligations. In Texas, breach of contract cases have a statute of limitations of four years.
Every Texas Legal membership includes identity theft monitoring and protection through Experian, but your Texas Legal membership also includes coverage for identity theft, should you need more help. The State of Texas allows for people to get a court order, declaring that they are the victims of identity theft, which can be helpful in clearing your name and may be submitted to private businesses and to governmental entities to help correct any records that contain incorrect information as a result of identity theft.
If you’d like to find out how to sign up for your free Experian’s identity theft and monitoring coverage, contact member services at 1-800-252-9346 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creditor’s Rights and Collections
In Texas, citizens are protected from abusive debt collection tactics, such as threats, deception, accusations, harassment, collect calls, or obscene language. If you are being harassed by debt collectors or dispute a debt that someone is attempting to collect, an attorney can help you sort out the issue and put a stop to unfair debt collection practices. Under the DTPA, you can even seek injunctions and damages against debt collectors if you have been harassed or deceived.
Finding a Consumer Law Attorney
Do you need an attorney’s help with a consumer law issue? Go to our online attorney finder, select “Consumer Law” under Area of Law, and choose the specific issue you are dealing with. Then put in your location to find an attorney near you that handles these cases.