Consumer Fraud Attorney in Louisville
When a person seeks financial gain through misrepresentation, deceit, or dishonest or unfair behavior, they are committing an act of fraud. Fraud is illegal, and a person who commits fraud, or who attempts to commit fraud, may face criminal penalties as such.
But because fraud often results in damages to the party who is the victim of fraud, someone who has been defrauded may also bring civil charges against the party who committed the act of fraud. At the law offices of John H. Ruby & Associates, we represent victims of fraud in their pursuit of civil damages, assisting in the recovery of all funds that have been lost and damages suffered. To schedule a free consultation with our Kentucky fraud lawyers, please call us directly or send us an email.
Elements of Fraud
As stated above, fraud involves the taking, or intent to take, property, assets, or something of value from a person. However, unlike theft, which involves the physical action of taking something, fraud relies on deceit, dishonest practices, or misrepresentation of a fact. To bring forth a successful civil case for fraud, there are a number of elements that will need to be satisfied:
- A fact or item was misrepresented or concealed;
- The defendant knew that they were misrepresenting a fact;
- The misrepresentation or deceit was intentional;
- The plaintiff believed the misrepresented item to be fact, and relied on this information in deciding; and
- The plaintiff suffered damages, typically in the form of monetary losses, as a direct result of the misrepresentation and fraud.
In Kentucky, fraud by omission is also recognized, and a civil suit may be brought forth. In a fraud by omission case, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant had a duty to disclose facts to the plaintiff, that the defendant breached this duty, that the breach induced the plaintiff to act, and that the plaintiff suffered harm as a direct result.
Types of Fraud
As stated above, fraud may be both criminal and civil. The primary differences between civil and criminal fraud are:
- A civil fraud suit is brought forth by a private party, whereas a criminal fraud case is brought forth by a prosecutor (the state);
- A criminal fraud case will have criminal consequences, such as the guilty party going to jail;
- A civil fraud case has civil consequences, typically in the form of the defendant paying the victim damages; and
- A civil fraud case can only be brought forth when actual damages result.
There are many cases in which acts of civil fraud and criminal fraud may overlap. For example, a party who commits fraud may have criminal charges brought against them and civil charges. Acts of fraud that may warrant a civil lawsuit for damages include:
- Mail fraud;
- Consumer fraud;
- Identity theft;
- Insurance fraud;
- Tax fraud;
- Credit card fraud;
- Telemarketing fraud;
- Wire fraud; and
Damages You Can Recover in a Civil Suit Following Fraud
Because there are many different types of fraud, there is a wide range of damages that a party may incur. For example, if you are deceived into buying a product, you may suffer the loss of the money spent on that product, but nothing more. On the other hand, if you are the victim of credit card fraud, you could lose thousands of dollars as well as time, a major hit to your credit score, and future difficulty with obtaining a loan or credit cards. Clearly, fraud can have long-term effects that make calculating damages more difficult.
In a civil fraud case, a plaintiff may seek damages for the full extent of losses they have incurred. In addition to compensatory damages for actual losses, Kentucky Statutes Section 411.184 explains that punitive damages may also be recovered in civil cases where the defendant acted with “oppression, fraud, or malice.” The same section of code defines fraud as “intentional misrepresentation, deceit, or concealment of material fact known to the defendant and made with the intention of causing injury to the plaintiff.”
Why You Should Work with a Kentucky Fraud Attorney
It can be hard to know if you are a victim of fraud, and even harder to prove it. In fact, there are many situations in which an individual may feel like they have gotten the short end of the stick with a business transaction, purchase, investment, etc. However, just because you have suffered monetary losses does not necessarily mean that fraud has occurred. Remember, in Kentucky, in order to bring forth a suit for fraud, you must prove that the defendant had knowledge of the misrepresentation or deceit and intent to defraud you.
When you hire an attorney who is experienced in bringing forth fraud cases, you improve your chances of a more successful claim. The process begins with a thorough review of your case to determine whether fraud has even occurred, and how strong of a case you have. If your attorney determines that you do indeed have a case and that fraud has occurred, your lawyer will get to work gathering evidence that’s necessary to prove duty, breach of duty, knowledge, intent, and damages. Your attorney will also be responsible for working with any necessary experts who can substantiate fraud and calculate the extent of damages that you have incurred.
Our Legal Team Is Ready to Represent You
An act of fraud is not only illegal, but it can have serious financial consequences for an affected individual as well. At the law offices of John H. Ruby & Associates, we are committed to helping victims of fraud recover any money that they have lost, and ensuring that they are compensated for any financial and legal harm done to them. Our lawyers are highly experienced, and knowledgeable in Kentucky civil code and fraud laws.
If you believe that you are a victim of fraud and have suffered actual damages, we want to meet with you. Please visit our law firm today, send us a message online, or call us at 502-895-2626 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation where you can ask questions and receive sound legal information.