Purchasing or leasing a lemon – through no fault of your own – is fun for no one. Unfortunately, getting a refund for a defective car isn’t like going to Walmart or Target with a receipt. You’ve got to jump over a handful of legal hurdles to hold the automaker responsible. For this task, you need a lemon law lawyer by your side.
Before we dive into the article, let’s clarify something: you NEED a lemon law lawyer to manage your lemon law claim. Car manufacturers have extremely powerful legal defense teams helping them avoid responsibility for selling defective cars.
Trying to argue your claim without a skilled attorney will almost certainly end with a low-ball settlement – or worse.
Chances are, you’ve never dealt with the lemon law process before. You might not have known it even existed until you found yourself with a lemon. There are many lemon law attorneys out there, and some take advantage of this to make a quick buck. Fortunately, it’s easy to differentiate the good lemon lawyers from the shady ones – if you know what to look for.
There’s never a convenient time to deal with a faulty vehicle. Let’s discuss the signs to look for in your search for a trustworthy lemon attorney.
1. The Lemon Law Attorney Prioritizes Speedy Buybacks
Auto manufacturers have no problem throwing wrenches in the gears to slow down the lemon law process. For the most part, they do this in hopes the consumer will give up and take a small cash settlement. Manufacturers know how inconvenient the process is for consumers – and they’ll do everything to create unnecessary hiccups.
This is why hiring a skilled lemon law attorney is so important.
An experienced lawyer knows all of the manufacturer’s tactics to delay the process. More importantly, they know how to navigate around these tactics and earn your refund as quickly as possible. In the initial consultation, ask the lawyer what their biggest priorities in a case are. Speedy buybacks should be one of the top ones.
2. The Best Lemon Law Lawyers Have a Clear Passion for Consumer Justice
Lemon law exists to hold giant corporations responsible for selling defective products to consumers.
It’s no secret that multi-million dollar companies have an advantage over everyday civilians. Holding automakers accountable for their mistakes is very much a David versus Goliath situation – and a skilled lemon law lawyer will revel in this challenge.
When you first meet with an attorney, it should be clear that they are motivated to stand up for the common person (and stick it to the big wigs). Without going into too much detail, a trustworthy attorney will be happy to tell you about past victories against global auto manufacturers.
3. A Trustworthy Lemon Law Lawyer Doesn’t Demand Out-of-Pocket Costs
If a lemon law attorney asks for ANY money up front to take your case, head for the door.
When you win a lemon law case, the manufacturer is required to pay for all your attorney and court fees. This is why lemon law attorneys work on a contingency fee agreement. They know they will get paid AFTER they win a fair settlement. A trustworthy lemon lawyer will never demand anything from clients to take the case. Moreover, they won’t take your case unless they think they can win.
Lemon law lawyers know you’re in this situation through no fault of your own – and the good ones won’t do anything to make your financial situation more stressful.
4. A Good Lemon Law Attorney Doesn’t Make Bold Guarantees
There are very, very few guarantees in the legal system. If any lawyer is making promises about results early in the process, it’s a giant red flag.
The lemon law process is full of moving parts. No attorney can make any guarantees about the settlement, dollar amount, or anything else related to the refund. All they can truthfully promise is they will do everything in their power to fight for a fair settlement, that’s it.
Try to get a feel for the attorney’s vibe. If they are telling you exactly what you want to hear and saying things that sound too good to be true, it’s a bad sign. A trustworthy lemon law attorney should give off a cautiously optimistic vibe. They won’t sugarcoat any details of your case and make it clear that anything can happen.
6. The Lemon Law Attorney is Ready to Fight for Every Last Nickel
To reiterate, lemon law attorneys work on a contingency fee agreement. They make a percentage of the total payout after they win the case. It’s in the best interest of a trustworthy lemon law lawyer to negotiate the highest possible settlement.
That said, your attorney shouldn’t leave ANY money on the table when they are building your claim. They will ask for every record, every receipt, every piece of communication with the manufacturer, and so on to ensure every penny is accounted for. This will include (but is not limited to):
- Purchase order of the vehicle.
- Loan agreement
- Down payment
- Payments made
- The remaining balance of the loan
- Incidental costs – rental car, cab fares, towing fees, hotels, meals, etc.
Keep in mind, documentation is everything in a lemon law case. Be sure to help your attorney and keep track of all paperwork to maximize the claim.
The Next Step
Fighting a lemon claim on your own is never a good idea. Consumers who go this route almost always end up getting short-changed – no matter how strong their case is.
Winning a lemon law case all boils down to the attorney you hire. No one should hire theirs on a whim. Take your time, be picky, do your research, and partner with a professional who has your best interests in mind. Hopefully, this list has helped to point you in the right direction. You can also contact Lemonlawlawyerscalifornia.com for free consultation on your case.
Author Bio: Brian K. Cline’s Lemon Law Legal Group provides premier legal services. Our California lemon law lawyers aggressively and ethically force vehicle manufacturers to buy back defective and dangerous vehicles. Our team includes experienced trial lawyers with over 40 years of combined trial experience.