How Much Can I Get For a TCPA Lawsuit?
Just about every American agrees: telemarketers, spam calls, and unsolicited text messages are one of life's greatest nuisances. No one likes to get a call in the middle of the day or when they are settling down to eat, only for the other line to be a recording telling you that you've won a free vacation or that your phone needs to be verified by calling a suspicious-sounding number.
Especially in this day and age, people think there is nothing they can do to stop these robo-calls. However, not only do you have rights under the law to not be called by telemarketers, but if they keep calling after you tell them to stop, you can also sue them for damages.
The experienced telemarketing lawyers at Halvorsen Klote have helped many people across the St. Louis area defend themselves against repeated spam calls and texts. In this FAQ, they will educate you about your legal rights to not be bothered by spam calls, how you can defend yourself against them, and what you can get if you decide to sue telemarketers.
Your Rights Under Federal Law
In 1991, then-President George H.W. Bush signed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, or TCPA, into law. This law gives US citizens wide-ranging protections from telemarketers, as well as sets limits on direct-dial marketing. Among other provisions, the TCPA established that:
- Telemarketers cannot call you outside the hours of 8 am and 9 pm
- Telemarketers must provide their own name, who they are calling on behalf of, and a number where they can be contacted
- No calls can be made to a residence that use a recorded or artificial voice
- Companies must maintain a "do not call" list that individual people can join: these requests are valid for five years
- If you have previously given a company permission to call you, you may rescind this permission at any time and for any reason
In addition, the TCPA authorized the FCC to establish the National Do-Not-Call List, which was eventually established by President George W. Bush in 2003. Anyone can put any phone number on this list, whether it is a landline or a mobile phone. In addition, the FCC has also issued guidance that states that any call made to a cell phone using an automatic dialer or a pre-recorded message is illegal.
What Happens When Companies Don't Follow These Rules?
The TCPA establishes very stiff penalties for companies who violate the terms of the TCPA, or otherwise call people who have put their numbers on the National Do-Not-Call List. To begin with, TCPA violations are based off a legal principle known as strict liability, which means that plaintiffs do not have to prove fault or intent to harm. The law provides that you can sue a party for damages of $500 per call. If you know that they willfully violated the law, such as if you had put your number on the National Do-Not-Call List and you still received spam calls, that number triples to $1,500 per call. Not only are these damages stackable, they are also uncapped. This means that if, for example, you got 20 calls from a telemarketer after you registered for the DNC List, you could be eligible for $30,000 in damages.
Contact An Experienced TCPA Lawyer Today
As you can see, you have the right not to be harassed by spam calls or texts, especially if you are being harassed on your cell phone. But if you decide to sue your harassers, what you can get varies greatly depending on the circumstances of your case and just how many times you've been called by telemarketers. The TCPA is a complex law with a lot of interesting details that could help or harm your case, so talking to an experienced St. Louis TCPA law firm is a must.
At Halvorsen Klote, we have a dedicated team of attorneys who specialize in TCPA cases. They have helped dozens of people throughout the St. Louis area who have been repeatedly harassed by telemarketers and robo-calls. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 877-51-HKLAW, or by filling out our online contact form.