Do I Really Need a Lawyer to Settle My Lemon Law Claim?
Can I Do this on My Own?
Anyone can end up with a lemon car, anytime, and when they do-most people find themselves angry and uninformed. Sure, you can resolve a Lemon Law claim on your own, but people who try to handle a Lemon Law case without a Lemon Law lawyer's help typically end up with less than the lawyer can get them. Lemon Law lawyers do this work every day - you don't, and that is the difference. Many lemon vehicle victims are confused about the law and what to do and where to get help or what rights they may have. The don't know how long the process may take or why or what is happening while they are waiting on an answer. There is a reason for that old saying that a man who acts as his own lawyer has a fool for a client. The fact is that if you have a lemon motor vehicle, then hiring a Lemon Law lawyer can be the fastest and cheapest way to get your claim approved and get a new vehicle or your money back.
What if I Can't Afford to Hire a Lemon Law Lawyer?
Don't worry. It is reasonable to hesitate to call a Lemon Law lawyer and wonder if you have to cover the legal costs. You don't. The Lemon Law in every state says that the manufacturer has to pay for your Lemon Law lawyer's help. Because of that, many experienced Lemon Law lawyers don't charge you at all. Instead, they work on a "fee shifting" basis, which means that they keep track of their time and then give their bill to the manufacturer and if the manufacturer doesn't pay it then they ask the Court to apply the law and make them pay it. That's only fair. After all, you didn't build the lemon - they did. But not all lawyers are capable of handling your Lemon Law case correctly and there are several telltale signs you should watch out for before signing up with just any lawyer who wants to handle your Lemon Law case.
Lawyers Taking a Percentage of Your Recovery
A sign that your lawyer may not be for you is the lawyer who says they will take a percentage of your Lemon Law recovery as their attorney fee. Lemon Laws in every state say that the manufacturer has to pay the attorney fees. No lawyer should be taking a percentage of your Lemon Law claim. That money is meant to pay for your damages and not your lawyer. Lawyers should seek recovery of their attorney fees on top of what you get. If they only want a percentage of what you get, then something is wrong.
Watch Out for Lawyers Who Don't Regularly Handle Lemon Law Cases
It takes a lot of education to become a lawyer in any state - but they don't teach Lemon Law courses in law school. It is an area of law that is so unique that the vast majority of lawyers have never handled a Lemon Law case at all. A smart lawyer handles cases that are in the area of law that they know best. Criminal Law lawyers handle Criminal Law cases, Accident Injury lawyers know how to handle accidental injury cases, and so on. Really good Lemon Law lawyers don't handle those other kinds of cases. We do the work that we know how to do. Good Lemon Law lawyers have learned this area of law the only way a lawyer can - through years of experience in handling Lemon Law cases. That's why one of the most important questions you can ask a lawyer is how long they have been handling Lemon Law cases.
Be Careful With General Lawyers Who Seem to Know All the Answers
Although it takes a great deal of education to become a lawyer in any state, what an individual lawyer chooses to do with that knowledge might not always be in your best interest. If you are not talking with a Lemon Law lawyer, watch out for the lawyer who seems to have all of the answers when you first meet. If a general lawyer begins to tell you how much your claim is worth after just meeting you and not having all the facts, that is a good sign that they may care more about their fee than the problems your lemon vehicle is causing in your life. A good Lemon Law lawyer needs to understand your vehicle and its repair history in depth before they can make a judgment on what you might be able to get done. A "60 second case review" is simply not adequate to be able to tell you reliably and accurately what your rights are and what you can get done. The best Lemon Law lawyers do their homework before they can tell you what your case is worth. They don't give wrong answers by guessing.
When You Have a Lemon, Hire a Lemon Law Lawyer - Not a Mechanic
Watch out for lawyers who give mechanical advice. A telltale sign that you might have found a lawyer you don't want to work with is when the lawyer offers you mechanical advice on what is wrong with your vehicle. A good Lemon Law lawyer relies on experienced mechanics to do their job. A good Lemon Law lawyer knows that their job is to use the Lemon Law to get you a maximum recovery in a minimum amount of time. Using the law to help you is what their job is all about. A good Lemon Law lawyer knows that the diagnosis for your lemon vehicle's "illness" is not as important as the history of its breakdowns. An experienced Lemon Law lawyer will give you accurate advice on how to "build" your Lemon Law case so that your legal rights are maximized.
What Should You Look For In Finding A Lemon Law Lawyer?
Look for experience. Look for a partner in your Lemon Law fight. You should feel comfortable and be confident that your Lemon Law lawyer knows your state's Lemon Law forwards and backwards. Their primary interest should be in helping you get rid of your lemon vehicle, quickly and efficiently. They should treat you as a partner in the fight against the manufacturer or the dealer. It is your Lemon Law claim and your Lemon Law case - and the lawyer works for you. You should be able to talk easily with your Lemon Law lawyer and understand everything. Your lawyer should welcome your information and assistance. Winning your case depends as much on what you can do to help win, as it does on the ability of the lawyer to strategically use the law to argue your case. And most of all, you need a Lemon Law who will handle a trial, presenting your Lemon Law case to a judge and jury. Manufacturers know which lawyers never go into the courtroom. The ones who do, those are the ones they fear.