When consumers around California find themselves in an unfortunate situation when they have purchased or leased a lemon vehicle, they are more likely to jump to conclusions about how the processing will end. The first thing on their list should be to find a good California lemon law attorney to handle their case.
Consumers with a lemon often think that they have a surefire win and doubt why they need a California lemon law expert to help them.
The truth of the matter is that the auto industry is a lot more complicated than what meets the eye. It is backed by some of the most influential, powerful legal counsels in the country – especially in California. Consumers must not find it uncommon to have their claims delayed from processing by manufacturers or dealerships. Consumers who think this are probably experiencing their first encounter with a lemon. The manufacturer’s highly trained lawyers handle these kinds of cases day in and out. The good news is that a good California lemon law attorney knows exactly how to counteract their tactics and get to a quick replacement or buyback deal.
It is rather important to know how to find a reliable California lemon law attorney and not just pull a name out of a hat in relying upon the justice consumers seek. The choice the consumer makes, in the beginning, will more often than not determine the outcome of the lemon claim proceedings. There are some main steps that consumers will have to consider in the selection of a California lemon law attorney.
Key Steps to Consider in the Selection of a California Lemon Law Attorney
Let us talk of four major stages that consumers need to make when looking for a California lemon law attorney.
Consumers must do their homework
Being clueless in lemon claims and proceedings, as in any situation, is never a good idea. Even when not considered an expert in California lemon law, consumers should brush up on the filing process and what it entails to resolve a lemon claim as much as they can. As a basic step, consumers need to know the key points of what qualifies for vehicles to be considered a lemon. Remember that lemon laws vary from one state to another. In California however, a vehicle may pass as a lemon with the following criteria:
- The vehicle defect must still be under a manufacturer or dealership’s warranty coverage, and this defect obstructs the safety and functionality of the automobile
- Accordingly, the manufacturer has gone to lengths for two or more attempts at repair for the defect in the vehicle
- The vehicle has been out of service for thirty (30) days or more for the repairs of the defect
- The vehicular defects are not due to the abuse of the consumer
In the California lemon law, it does not necessitate for the defect to happen within the first 1.5 years of owning the said vehicle, or 18,000 miles registered on the odometer. These circumstances though may substantially improve the lemon law claim of the consumer.
The consumer will also have to determine which vehicles are under the coverage of their state’s lemon laws, and how the lemon law process works with used, dealership vehicles.
This advanced research must be done before contacting a California lemon law attorney. Before consulting one, consumers should have as much knowledge of the proceedings as possible.
Consumers must hold on to all records
The most crucial thing to note when it comes to lemon law claims is perhaps the fact that the vehicle manufacturer will have to be responsible for literally all expenses if the consumer’s side prevails. The following expenses may be included:
- All California lemon law attorney fees and other legal fees
- Monthly payments for the vehicle
- The down payment made for the vehicle
- The payment of the loan balance (although late fees on the loan incurred by the consumer may be excluded on the manufacturer’s tab)
- Collateral charges such as finance charging, registration fees, service contracts, sales tax, and the like
- Incidental charges related to the defective vehicle such as car rentals, towing costs, and the like
This is the reason why consumers need to keep all receipts and records as can be related to the lemon automobile. Additionally, consumers must keep a record of their every appointment to the repair shop. Details like what the shop did to the vehicle, the date the vehicle was bought, the reading on the odometer, and how many instances the consumer brought the defective vehicle in the shop and the accompanying costs, and other such pertinent records should be documented. Paper trail of these proceedings is crucial and should be to get the most out of the California lemon lawsuit against the manufacturer.
Consumers should understand the California lemon law attorney’s values
Dealing with lawsuits and legal processes is never easy. When trying to select the best California lemon law attorney, this individual will represent the consumer and their core values will work in the consumer’s favor. Take for example when looking for a criminal defense attorney, the lawyer should have a true passion in law enforcement for identifying negligence.
For lemon law attorneys, they should possess strong values focused on consumer rights and have the courage to stand up to big manufacturing firms. A California lemon law attorney should value quick buybacks and speedy lemon claims processing.
Good lemon law attorneys should empathize with the consumer with how a defective vehicle can be a real frustration to own. Furthermore, they should intuitively understand that consumers getting resolved claims as soon as possible is important to keep crowded roads safer.
Red Flags in Looking for a California Lemon Law Attorney=
To again stress the point, selecting the best California lemon law attorney to handle a consumer’s claim is perhaps the most important part of the picture and as it is, not all lemon law attorneys are equal. When it comes to lemon claims, consumers need to be selective and note the following red flags that should make consumers turn down a certain attorney. And that may be because they:
- Do not specialize in lemon law
- Ask for several out-of-pocket fees from the consumer
- Take the consumer’s case without prior consultations
- Pass consumer cases to paralegals
If these red flags are observed by consumers, they should not hesitate to keep looking for other California lemon law attorneys. Consumers should stop wasting time and money on the wrong one.