Taking a do-it-yourself approach is usually a great way to save money on a project or problem around the house. A simple plumbing leak, routine auto maintenance, or a small home improvement project. But when it comes to legal issues, like a lemon law claim, it can be best to leave it to the experts.
Here’s why hiring a lemon law attorney can help you overcome do-it-yourself pitfalls when making a claim.
Navigating the law
The California Lemon Law was passed to help consumers. However, laws are written by lawyers and legislators for lawyers to understand. The basis of the law can be difficult to grasp, not to mention the way it is written. And filing the paperwork isn’t easy either. That’s why many consumers who try to file their own lemon law claim often give up all together or delay the process and miss the deadline to file a claim.
Avoiding risk of rejection
Merely filing a California Lemon Law claim is no guarantee that you will succeed. There are no guarantees the dealership or manufacturer will compensate you with a new car or a sufficient refund. In fact, quite the opposite usually occurs.
Manufacturers will often try to deny claims or offer a nominal cash amount or try to get out of paying consumers all that is owed or due. Why? Because they want to expend the least amount of money as possible. They also know that many people won’t follow through in response to a claim denial. Many consumers are intimidated by the language of the response letter and are led to believe their claim is invalid or weak, so they walk away.
David vs. Goliath
If you decide to handle the claim on your own, it is you against the attorneys for the manufacturer or dealership. The process itself and the legalese can be confusing, overwhelming, and discouraging. A California Lemon Law attorney is very familiar with the next steps to take if your initial claim has been rejected or you have been offered inadequate compensation. They can navigate the process confidently on your behalf.
Maximizing the offer
Many people who file their own California Lemon Law claim are happy to receive any response at all, even if it doesn’t cover the cost of the vehicle and perhaps thousands of extra dollars spent on towing, car rentals and repairs. A common strategy with manufacturers is to prolong the process so that the consumer begins to worry about the claim. Then they offer the vehicle owner a low-ball amount. Owners often accept the first offer for fear it will be the only offer, and they are eager to resolve the claim.
The reality is many of these first offers by manufacturers are woefully inadequate. A seasoned lemon law attorney knows the settlement amounts for every type of lemon vehicle. They know whether a specific manufacturer will offer a refund or a new vehicle in exchange for the lemon. Information the untrained consumer simply does not have access to.
Note about class action lawsuits
If you receive an offer from the auto manufacturer for a class action lawsuit regarding your vehicle, don’t do anything before contacting a California Lemon Law attorney. Settlements from class action lawsuits are seldom good, and if you don’t opt out by the deadline, you might not be able to make a future claim. Instead of accepting a low settlement, it is advisable to take full advantage of working with an attorney.
Obtaining additional reimbursement costs
Under the California Lemon Law, consumers can be reimbursed for expenses beyond the cost of the vehicle. An astute attorney knows how to maximize the value of your claim by requesting reimbursement associated with your efforts to fix your lemon vehicle, including towing, repairs, car rental, sales tax, and the like.
No legal fees
Contrary to common belief, there is no cost to the consumer to retain the services of a lemon law attorney. And the lawyer does not receive a percentage of your compensation the way personal injury attorneys are compensated in civil suits.
Rather, according to the California Lemon Law, you receive 100% of any refund you receive from your claim. The manufacturer of the lemon automobile is the one responsible for paying your attorney fees and costs. Perhaps the most compelling reason to skip the DIY when you think your car is a lemon.
Think you have a claim? Check out Lemon Law Attorney Sotera Anderson’s quick free quiz here or get a free, no-obligation case evaluation from Sotera L. Anderson, California Lemon Law Attorney, here or call 1-855-96-LEMON, or (858) 247-0050.