The Importance of Having a Lemon Law Attorney

Lemon among vehicles

If you've purchased a vehicle with a persistent problem or defect that can't be repaired, you may start to wonder if you were sold a lemon. You may be aware that California has a lemon law to protect you from the hassle and inconvenience of being stuck with a car that doesn't conform to its warranty. However, it can be confusing to know what steps you need to take in order to invoke your rights under this law — and how to navigate the complex legal process. This is why having the guidance of a proficient lemon law attorney is essential.

Here are some of the advantages of having the representation of an experienced California lemon law attorney.

An Attorney Can Determine Whether You Have a Valid Lemon Law Claim

Working with a lemon law attorney has many advantages. Importantly, you will have an advocate on your side who understands the complex nuances of the lemon law. An attorney who focuses on lemon law claims can evaluate your case and determine whether the defect causes your car to rise to the level of a lemon — before you put your time and energy into pursuing a claim.

While it can be stressful and aggravating to deal with a vehicle that has a problem, the issue may not automatically make it a lemon. There are specific criteria that must be satisfied under the law. Significantly, the defect must be one that substantially impacts the safety or value of the vehicle. A lemon law attorney will be able to assess whether the issues with your car are the kind of problem that could make it qualify as a lemon.

In addition, to have a valid lemon claim in California, you must establish:

  • That you purchased the vehicle in the state
  • The car was under warranty when the defect was discovered
  • The manufacturer was provided with a reasonable opportunity to make repairs

Even if you aren't able to raise a claim under the California Lemon Law, an attorney can advise you concerning any other legal remedies that might be available to you.

A Lemon Law Attorney Can Help You Build a Solid Case

A law attorney will be familiar with the strategies that a manufacturer will use in an attempt to get your case dismissed. They may try to argue that the problem with the vehicle arose from wear and tear, rather than a defect that the car left the dealership with. Since the manufacturers are used to challenging lemon law claims, it's best to have the representation of an attorney who has experience handling these cases.

Despite how evident it may be that your car is a lemon, you still need to build a solid case, and a lemon law attorney will know the evidence and documentation that you will need. While the manufacturer must be given a reasonable opportunity to remedy the issue, the number of trips to the repair shop can vary depending on the type of defect.

Usually, four trips to the repair shop are sufficient — or only two in cases where the defect could pose serious safety risks. A car might also be a lemon if it spent a total of 30 days or more in the shop. Your attorney will be able to advise you on how to properly document these repair attempts to help ensure a successful outcome to your case.

They Will Know What Legal Arguments to Make

There is a presumption that a car in California is a lemon if the defect arose within the first 18 months of the vehicle's delivery or 18,000 miles on the odometer. Although the legal presumption makes it easier for consumers to bring a lemon law claim, the manufacturer can still offer an argument in rebuttal. A lemon law attorney will know how to effectively counter any argument the manufacturer might make to help you get the refund or replacement you're entitled to by law.

It's crucial to be aware that your car can still qualify for protection under the lemon law outside the presumption period — as long as the defect arose at any time while the vehicle was under the original manufacturer's warranty. A good California lemon law attorney will know precisely how to strategize in your specific case and how to obtain evidence from the manufacturer.

A Lemon Law Attorney Can Help You Navigate the Legal Process

The legal process associated with filing a lemon law lawsuit may seem overwhelming. Not only does it require having knowledge of certain legal procedures, but you also need to be aware of the applicable statute of limitations for your case. An attorney can guide you through the process and take the burden off your shoulders.

An attorney will know how to draft and file the commencement papers for your case. They will also know how to go through the discovery process and obtain critical information from the manufacturer. Additionally, an adept lemon law attorney will have extensive experience preparing for trial — and the skill to persuasively argue on your behalf in the courtroom.

When You Work with a Lemon Law Attorney, You Can Maximize Your Compensation

When you hire a lemon law attorney for your case, there is a better chance that you can maximize the amount of recovery you obtain. An attorney will know what a fair settlement offer is, and can help ensure you don't settle for any less than you deserve. A lawyer who negotiates with vehicle manufacturers on a daily basis will know how to advocate for your rights and effectively resolve your claim.

When an attorney is involved, you also have more negotiating leverage with the manufacturer — and they have more incentive to settle your case. Since manufacturers are required by law to repay your attorney's fees, out-of-pocket expenses, court costs, and a civil penalty in some cases, they recognize that they could end up paying out a substantial amount of money if your case goes to trial.

Contact an Experienced Southern California Lemon Law Attorney

If you bought a new or used vehicle that doesn't conform to its warranty, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit under the lemon law. Critically, having a California lemon law attorney by your side can make all the difference to the outcome of your case. The lemon law attorneys at The Ledbetter Law Firm are committed to ensuring their clients secure the maximum recovery to which they're entitled under the law, whether by settlement or trial.

The Ledbetter Law Firm helps consumers in Southern California who have experienced lemon law issues obtain the refund or the replacement that they deserve from the manufacturer. With offices conveniently located in Torrance and San Diego, California, telephone and video conferencing options are also available. Call (310) 507-7022 to schedule a consultation with a California Lemon Law attorney today.