Can I Just File A Claim On My Own Why Do I Need To Hire A Lemon Law Attorney
Anyone who owns a car can end up being trouble with a lemon car. When this happens, most people complain about being uninformed regarding the matter. The idea of filing a case on their own will definitely pop on their minds. Note, however, that nothing’s better than hiring a lemon law attorney instead.
Typically, when you file a claim on your own, you still can resolve the matter, but what you get from it will be less than the amount that the Lemon Law attorney can help you recover. There is a difference in the fact that lemon law attorneys do this on a daily basis, whereas, you don’t. They have the knowledge and skills to defend your case, and seek the most suitable action that will surely benefit you.
One more thing is you might end up getting confused about the law and where you can get the help that you need. You will also be troubles about knowing which rights you may have, and generally, what to do about the situation. The process may take a long time, thus this can make you even angrier waiting for the answer that you are looking for. Of course, there is that urge to know what is happening while you are waiting in line to resolve the case. It is always best to hire a Lemon Law lawyer, since it is the fastest, and cheapest way you will get approval for your claim – whether you want a new vehicle or simply get your money back.
Can I Resolve This Myself?
Laws are complicated and you need a trained skilled lawyer representing you.
The manufacturer will be represented by an attorney why would you want to represent yourself with your second biggest purchase without an attorney?
Do Lemon Laws apply to private party sales?
Even when the sale between a private seller and a buyer isn’t protected under state lemon laws, the buyer can assert his or her right whenever he or she experiences recurring problems for the car. That applies when the car is covered under a manufacturer’s warranty, and that same warranty has been transferred by the old owner to the new one. Also, a private seller is obligated to comply with all other warranties he expressed during the sale.
Note, however, that buying a vehicle from a private seller is risky. You cannot protect your rights when this is the case. State laws certainly oblige these sellers to disclose pertinent information about the car’s condition before selling it. The seller must inform the buyer about any eventualities like when the car has been flooded, stolen, salvaged, or wrecked. Otherwise, concealing such matters will give the buyer a reason to use legal actions against the seller. Filing a civil case for fraud is possible when the seller deliberately cheated on the buyer.
The Lemon Law typically states that a car must be purchased from a dealer or those who are in the business of selling cars in order to file a claim through Lemon Law. Despite this, it is still possible for a party to file a claim against a private seller. This is relatively new and many attorneys would refuse to take cases when the current owner purchased the unit from a private seller. You can call us today if your car exhibits problems or defects that cannot be fixed by the manufacturer. We will evaluate and study the case for free.
Does It Matter If I Don’t Live In The State Where I Purchased The Car?
There are many reasons why buyers purchase cars out of state. Topping the list is finding a dealership that gives the best rate especially for first-time customers. Some may have also found the car that they have always wanted in another state. Doing all the necessary research, and finding the vehicle that you have dreamed of, why not go ahead and purchase that car?
Under the law, lemons are those cars that do not live up to the warranty claims presented by the dealer. Cars that turn out defective and are not reliable for daily transportation are among those that can be used as reasons to claim under the lemon law. Commonly, buyers have the option to either get their money back, have the car fixed, or get a replacement from the manufacturer.
Note that all 50 states in the US have specific laws that cover for such incidences. Extended protections as well as more specific clauses are included in these state laws. All you need to do is understand these protections and what is covered in the state where you bought the car from. Under most state laws, cars qualify as a lemon, when the car has a substantial defect and is covered by the warranty within a specific time or number of miles from when the car has been bought. A car is also qualified if it has not been fixed after a considerable amount of repair attempts.
In case you are not sure about the laws that govern the purchase of your car, all you need to do is call us for help. We can assist you further, and help you evaluate and review the situation for free, before you even file a claim.
Does The Lemon Law Apply To Just Cars? I Have A Motorcycle And A Boat Too, Are They Covered?
Many car owners are concerned if the lemon law applies to their particular cars. Therefore, it is completely understandable that owners of other kinds of vehicles have similar concerns. Many states in America usually have laws that can cover defective motorcycles. However, these laws might differ from those that cover other typical vehicles such as cars or trucks. State laws usually mandate that motorcyles are regarded as consumer goods. This ensures that motorcycles are covered by lemon laws if the buyer has a warranty in writing from the seller that states the coverage, while being purchased predominantly for personal, family, and non-commercial uses. Furthermore, the lemon law states that the manufacturer is allowed to direct you to a motorcycle repair facility for multiple repair attempts. They can then choose whether they want to replace your motorcycle or repurchase it.
Purchasing a water vehicle like a boat or a yacht is an extremely substantial investment to make. It would be undeniably frustrating if you always had to send your precious boat back to its manufacturer every few months if there is something wrong. The lemon law in Florida does not cover boats. However, there are other forms of legal action that consumers can take apart from it, such as the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, also known as the federal lemon law, and the Consumer Protection Act. Under the former act, it is important to note that you have to allow the manufacturer the ample opportunity to repair your boat. It is also crucial to have an attorney because it is mandatory to file a suit under this act. Your attorney can help you to review your warranty and other documents.
Does The Lemon Law Apply To My Leased Vehicle?
Leasing a vehicle has plenty of perks. First, it does not come with a down payment, plus there is no interest to allocate for a loan payment. Those who opt for leasing can also get to drive a newer model without worrying about depreciation after.
Whether you decide to lease or buy a vehicle, there is always that risk of it being defective. The good thing is that purchased and leased vehicles are covered by the lemon law, meaning you can claim against the dealer or manufacturer. Laws may vary a bit in between states, and depending on the details of your claim.
The nature of the defect needs to be considered, thus it is important to make sure that the defect has led to the substantial impairment of the vehicle, which can affect its use, safety, and value. That way, there is a guarantee that you can claim it under the lemon law even when the car has been acquired through leasing.
With a leased vehicle, there are some exceptions to remember. It is important to note too that the defect must be substantial. Truth is, even a broken door knob, or a defective CD player may qualify depending on certain circumstances. Defects caused by an aftermarket part that has been installed by a third party supplier is not covered. The same is true if the leased ride does not come with an express written warranty. Of course, driver neglect, abuse, or misuse will not qualify owners to claim under the lemon law.
Does The Lemon Law Only Apply to New Cars?
It is imperative for all potential car owners in Florida to understand that there is essentially no lemon law that is specific to used cars. This is to say that if you purchase a used car “as is”, all warranties that might be true to the model of a the car from the actual manufacturer would be disclaimed. Therefore, even if you find that your used car is indeed a lemon, you should not expect any consumer and legal protection. Thus, it is very crucial that if you are looking for a used car, proper and adequate research has already been done on your car seller. To do this, you can check in with the Better Business Bureau to find out if there have been any existing complaints against a potential car dealer. Note that you should never rely on oral promises of a car salesman as their words cannot be enforced legally.
If you are purchasing a used car, insist on receiving a written warranty from your seller. You should also ensure that your car has been properly inspected by an independent car mechanic before your purchase. If your dealer strongly refuses to have the vehicle inspected, you should know that something is dodgy about the deal. Although your dealer might not disclaim all warranties in writing, you will protected by the implied warranties of merchantability. Even if the seller agrees to give you a written warranty, be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully so that you know exactly what the coverage of the warranty. For example, you should know exactly what parts are covered, bearing in mind the deductibles and exclusions.
How Much Can I Recover?
Recovering an amount under the lemon law varies depending on the situation or the listed reasons as to which an owner files a claim. There are various processes considered, and the extent of the defect needs to be identified before getting a considerable amount out of it.
There is such a thing as a lemon buyback. This is when the manufacturer would repurchase the vehicle once it has been identified as a lemon. With this, the manufacturer refunds all the money you spent concurrent with the purchase or lease of the vehicle. The amount covers the down payment, as well as all monthly payments you have made during your ownership of the ride. This also includes tax and all other finance charges, as well as the pro-rated portion of the registration fee.
A usage fee is deducted from the total. This covers the value for the time with which the car was used without any trouble at all. Reimbursement will also be given for all consequential expenses that you incurred as a result of the lemon, among them are towing service expenses as well as car rentals. The remaining balance of the loan pertaining to the vehicle will also be fully paid by the manufacturer.
There are cases when you may also opt to get a new car instead of getting a refund. In that case, there is a need to make arrangements with the manufacturer. You will need to pay the cost of the vehicle less all the amount you have spent on the lemon car, after considering other factors in between.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Lemon Law Attorney?
State and federal lemon laws exist to protect consumers who accidentally purchased or leased a lemon car. Making the most out of this law means hiring a skillful lemon law attorney. Many are concerned about the cost that comes with this.
Experienced lemon law attorneys are expected to understand the ins and outs of the entire process. They guide you effectively when making a claim until such time when you have received the proceeds out of the endeavor. Several times, you may have heard of tremendous lawyer fees.
Basically, it does not cost much hiring a lemon law attorney. In fact, if you hire us, we will not charge any fee for the evaluation and review of your case. We won’t even charge any unless we have won the case for you. We work based on contingency fees, most of the time, where the manufacturer pays for the legal fees, once you have won the case against them.
Lemon vehicle car owners force the manufacturer to pay for attorney’s fees and all other costs that are connected with hiring a lemon law attorney. There is enough reason for you to hire experts to represent you in your case, without worrying about how much you need to pay for attorney’s services. Note, also, that there are no out-of-pocket fees unless you recover the amount that you deserve for your case.
Learn more about lemon law attorneys, and what we can do for you. Call us and we will let you know how the entire process works.
How to File a Lemon Law Claim?
A strong lemon law claim is based on multiple repair attempts covering the same problem. It is important then to take the vehicle in for repairs, and not neglect the problem when it occurs intermittently. You cannot use statements like “I don’t have the time”, or “It is just the same issue” as an alibi in court. It is best to have the car repaired by the manufacturer too.
From here, you must accurately report all of your concerns. The report must outline what is reflected on the repair order. You can ask the help of a service advisor to double check the report, in order for necessary and accurate changes to be included in it.
It is also necessary to keep all documents intact. Never leave the repair or warranty claim history in the hands of the manufacturer or dealer. You must have a copy of receipts, invoices, and repair orders. That way, even if the dealership runs out of business in a few years’ time, you have the copy of these documentations.
When you spot a lemon vehicle, you should present your lemon law claim as soon as possible. Once you have taken the vehicle in for multiple repair attempts, there is enough reason to file a claim. The sooner you will do this, the better are the chances of getting results in your favor.
Do not forget to hire a skillful lemon law attorney. He or she can help explain the complications that come with lemon law. The expert will represent you in court, while ensuring that you get the most out of your claims.
I asked the dealer and they told me my car doesn’t qualify as a lemon. Is this true?
If you want to find out whether your car qualifies for the lemon law, the last person you would want to ask is your car dealer. If your car or vehicle is indeed a lemon, it would mean that it is protected by the lemon law. In this case, your dealer or manufacturer would have to dish out money and resources in order to compensate you either with money or a replacement of the car. Either way, your dealer would not be incentivized to tell you the truth about your car. Thus, it is important to do proper research on your car dealer before even making a purchase.
If you do not want to rely on your dealer for such information, then it would be wise to know the coverage of the Florida lemon law and how your vehicle can qualify as a lemon. It is important to know that the lemon law covers defects called non-conformities that can impair the functions of your car and reduce its value. These non-conformities can cause major safety hazards that leave the consumer injured or even dead, forcing them to send the vehicle for repair. In order to make a lemon law claim, these defects of the car must be reported to the manufacturer during the lemon law rights period. This is within 24 months from the date of delivery of the vehicle to the customer. Furthermore, if your dealer does not abide by the warranty after the car being sent for repair multiple times, then they are required by law to buy back the defective vehicle and either give the consumer a lump sum of money or offer a replacement vehicle.
I’ve already taken my car to the dealer two times for repairs in the first two months. Is that enough? I don’t want to keep doing this if I can stop it now!
Call us and we will advise you what to do.
Vehicle that was Purchased Used?
If you purchased a vehicle and we’re not told of any of the following please contact us.
- Prior history of mechanical problems known to the seller and not disclosed to the buyer.
- Previously Salvaged or Wrecked and not disclosed to the buyer.
- Rolled back odometer not disclosed to the buyer.
- Previous Rental car, police car, taxi, ride sharing vehicle not disclosed to the buyer.
- Previous Stolen car and rebuilt; not disclosed to the buyer.
- Previous flood damage not disclosed to the buyer.
What can I get for a Lemon Law case?
Lemon laws are America’s way of protecting the consumer. They apply to most any purchased consumer goods, though they are typically associated with cars, trucks, RVs, motorcycles, etc. When a product has failed repeatedly to meet performance and quality standards, and all other applicable considerations are in effect, lemon laws protect individuals who purchased the goods or products.
Where cars are concerned, it must be a leased or purchased vehicle that has exhibited nonconformities that the dealer/manufacture has repeatedly been unable to fix. Reasonable attempts must have been made and the car must be deemed unusable due to the problems that exist.
In this case, the purchaser would be entitled to a full refund of the purchase price or vehicle replacement.
However, more than just cars, trucks, etc. are covered by the lemon law. As suggested above, general consumer goods (in many cases) are covered, as well. These goods can consist of anything from animals to small electronics. If the purchased goods came with a warranty, cost more than $25, and have showed repeated failure, they could be covered under the lemon law. The purchaser must read their warranty very carefully, however. Manufacturers are allowed to designate warranties as being either “Limited” or “Full”. This designation must be clearly stated in no uncertain terms.
Here, once again, if the product is deemed a lemon, a full refund of the purchase price or replacement of the specified goods is required.
In either of the above stated cases, the purchaser may need to go in front of a judge if they want their lemon law rights represented and enforced. In this case, the purchaser may also be entitled to reimbursement of court costs and attorney fees. Hiring an attorney who is well-versed in lemon laws and experienced in lemon law cases is advisable.
What Documents Do I Need to Prove A Lemon Law or Breach of Warrant Case?
First and foremost, you must decide whether or not you are covered by the lemon law or if a breach of warranty is involved.
As it applies to cars, the lemon law states that if a vehicle deemed a lemon is leased or purchased and has issues that the dealer/manufacturer has not been able to fix, the consumer must either receive a full refund of the purchase price or the vehicle must be replaced. A substantial number of attempts must have been made to remedy the situation before the lemon law will apply. Additionally, the car must be deemed unusable as a result of the nonconformities involved.
That said, to successfully pursue a breach of warranty or lemon law case, you will need certain documents. More often than not, this will include repair orders/receipts for services rendered on your vehicle. What you are setting out to do is prove that a) you’ve had the required number of attempts made to fix a nonconformity or b) you have had all recommended maintenance done on your car, even if the vehicle was not specifically serviced at a dealership. Any and all repairs or maintenance done on your vehicle should be recorded and you should always save the receipts. These receipts should include the following information:
A detailed description of services performed.
A clear description of parts supplied.
Any and all dates of service.
It never hurts to have a written copy of your warranty, be it the manufacturer’s warranty or what was perceived as a manufacturer’s warranty given to you by the seller. The following information should be included in a warranty:
How to remedy disputes with the warrantor.
The warranty expiration date.
Responsibilities of the consumer and warrantor.
Specific identity and description of what the warranty covers.
Who is covered by the warranty.
What if I start having problems after the second year or “Lemon Law Rights Period”?
Technically speaking, if a vehicle has been deemed a lemon, the problems involved must be reported to an authorized service agent (dealer) or to the manufacturer during the Lemon Law Rights Period. This period of time applies after the date of motor vehicle delivery to the consumer consisting of no more than 24 months. If within that time the problem is reported, the proper number of attempts have been made to fix the issue, and the nonconformities still exist, the lemon law will be in effect. The rights of the purchaser would be protected by this Act. The seller or manufacturer would be required to either replace the vehicle or refund the full purchase price.
A dilemma for an attorney, and a question for the customer, will be the determination of what course can be taken if the Lemon Law Rights Period has expired. The answer to this predicament can depend on several factors – one of which is fraud.
Is there a fraud case involved? You may have a case against the seller of the vehicle if they have been involved in the fraudulent sale of your vehicle. The following could constitute fraud:
- Inoperative or missing safety systems such as antilock braking systems, airbags, etc.
- The vehicle cannot pass inspection.
- Nondisclosure of prior substantial accidents.
- Deliberate concealment of material defects.
- Odometer tampering or rollbacks.
Note: Typically, because the manufacturer’s warranty is not the same as an extended service contract, lemon law rights are not extended or prolonged by an extended service contract. The Act deals only with (and exclusively represents) consumer versus manufacturer rights.
The bottom line is this – if you’re getting close to the end of your allotted filing time, and even if you’re within limits, your best bet is to hire a reputable attorney who is experienced in lemon law cases.
What is Florida’s Lemon Law?
Laws that offer a solution for people with purchased consumer goods (such as cars) – so that they can be compensated if those goods fail repeatedly to meet performance and quality standards – are referred to, in America, as lemon laws.
Specifically, Florida’s lemon law says that a “lemon” is leased or purchase, demonstrator or new motor vehicle, possessing nonconformities that the dealer or manufacturer has not – after a reasonable number of attempts at repair – been able to fix. Nonconformity must be a condition or defect by which the vehicle’s use is substantially impaired.
If at least three unsuccessful attempts were made by the manufacturer or authorized service center to fix a warranty covered problem, these are looked upon by Florida law as the above-stated “reasonable number of attempts at repair”. If your vehicle is out of service for a cumulative total of 30 days because of the efforts to repair the problem, your vehicle can be presumed to be a lemon. For recreational vehicles, it is 60 days.
Depending on which you choose, the manufacturer will have to either refund the full purchase price or replace your vehicle if it is deemed a lemon. Both remedies include related reasonable expenses and manufacturer’s payment.
You may be helped by Florida’s lemon law if:
- You gave one final chance to the manufacturer to address the issue.
- After reasonable attempts, your car’s deficit hasn’t been fixed by the dealer or manufacturer.
- You have a right to use the warranty.
- Your vehicle doesn’t conform to an express written warranty by the manufacturer.
- The vehicle is used by you primarily for household, family, or personal purposes.
- A Florida dealer or the first Florida-owner of the car is the person from whom you leased or purchased it.
What is Florida’s Warranty Act?
The requirements of a warrantor are outlined by the Florida Warranty Act. You may also hear this referred to as the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act. In essence, it details how consumers are not required – in order to maintain a warranty – to complete repairs at a dealership or use branded vehicle parts. The vehicle can be serviced by independent repair shops. The Federal Trade Commission enforces this consumer protection law.
Included in a warranty, you should find the following:
- The manners in which to remedy warrantor disputes.
- The expiration of the warranty.
- Both consumer and warrantor responsibilities, including how and where maintenance and repairs can be performed.
- A clear identity and description of what’s covered in the warranty.
- Who the warranty covers.
Maintenance schedules, in order to maintain your cars dealer/factory warranty, should be followed. This refers to the maintenance schedule put forth by the manufacturer. However, any certified repair shop can take care of this type of maintenance. You do not have to go to a dealership to get services that are non-warranty related.
For the completion of warranty-covered repairs, the dealer or manufacturer may require you to use repair shops that are more select or specific. That is, if, under the warranty, you want the services to be provided for free.
How do you prove that the recommended maintenance was done on your car if you don’t have it serviced at a dealership? Any repairs or maintenance done on your vehicle should be recorded and service receipts saved. On the receipt should be the following information:
- Detailed description of service performed.
- Clear description of parts supplied.
- A clear date of the service.
What Should You Look For When Determining if Your Car is A Lemon?
Purchasing a car that does not work according to the promises of a dealer is very disgusting. Also called a lemon, such a condition will definitely be a waste of time and money. How do you determine if your car is in this condition?
Start with getting a vehicle history report even before you purchase a new vehicle. There are different report services that you can use. Regardless of which one you choose, always give regard to the one that provides you a comprehensive report that includes all the vehicle’s previous owners, as well as accidents that the car may have encountered in the past. The report must also include the details on much-needed repairs. A title that certifies the car is a lemon will make you back out from the purchase in order to avoid the problem.
Make sure that the car works. This is part of the pre-purchase inspection and is crucial in ensuring that the vehicle works. Inspect the car personally, and send it to a mechanic for repair, in case you feel it has been mislabeled as a lemon. The mechanic will check everything from the interior to the exterior, to the suspension, engine, and every component in it.
Some of you may also be tempted to bargain with the manufacturer or dealership if you find negligible defective parts in the vehicle. This can save you in terms of investment, but will it be worth it? If you do not want filing a case and having headaches later on, spot the lemon before you own one.
What Types of Products Are Covered By The Lemon Law?
An act or a law that provides a solution for individuals who have paid for consumer goods – that essentially protects their rights guaranteeing them some type of compensation if those goods repeatedly fail to meet performance and quality standards – is referred to as a lemon law in America.
For those who live in Florida and wish to apply the lemon law to a vehicle, the Act states that if a vehicle deemed a lemon is leased or purchased and possesses nonconformities that the dealer or manufacturer hasn’t been able to repair, that consumer is protected by Florida’s Lemon Law. The vehicle must be either a demonstrator or new motor vehicle. A reasonable number of attempts must have been made to fix the nonconformity. Additionally, the vehicle must be substantially impaired by the nonconformity, defect, or condition.
However, trucks, cars, and RVs are not the only things covered under lemon laws. These laws apply to general consumer goods. If the goods purchased repeatedly show signs of being faulty, and came with a warranty, and the goods cost more than $25, the lemon law would apply. A variety of different products can be covered under lemon laws ranging from animals to large and small electronics! In these cases, the manufacturer/seller of the goods in question would be required to either refund the full purchase price or replace the item in question. However, under the Act, the manufacturer may designate if warranties are either “Limited” or “Full”. Either designation must be very clearly stated.
Of course, lemon laws by themselves sometimes are not enough to protect the consumer. Someone who feels they may have rights, entitlement, and compensation coming under the lemon laws should seek the advice and representation of an attorney.