The words “lawyer” and “expensive” often find themselves in the same sentence. As a result, you may believe that hiring a lemon law attorney will make your situation worse. Or you could be left wondering, is a lemon law attorney worth the cost? Fortunately, there are flexible, affordable, and even possible no-risk options available, and we can help you find out how much a lawyer costs.
Is a Lemon Law Attorney Worth the Cost?
This article explores the costs, benefits, and other factors that affect the value of hiring a lemon law lawyer. We will provide you with information and advice others have found valuable so you can make an informed decision. Don’t let a lemon vehicle cause you stress and financial burden. Read on to learn more and fight for the resolution you deserve.
Decide if You Want a Lemon Law Attorney
Many people have reservations about getting a lemon law attorney involved. But you do not want to miss out on the opportunity to protect your financial interests, if possible. It may even behove you to know what questions a lemon law lawyer might ask during a consultation. The following are some signs that you may need legal assistance.
- You have taken your car to the shop repeatedly for the same issue.
- The issue makes the automobile unsafe to drive or reduces its value.
- The problem is under warranty.
- The manufacturer or dealer has failed to repair the issue within a reasonable period.
- You have experienced financial losses.
- You feel the manufacturer or dealer has not treated you fairly.
- The manufacturer has issued a recall.
- Your car has safety defects the dealer cannot repair.
- The manufacturer has breached its warranty obligations.
How Does Lemon Law Work?
Lemon law protects consumers who purchase defective automobiles. It requires manufacturers to repair, replace or refund a vehicle if it has a significant defect. This problem usually impairs its use, value, or safety, even after multiple repair attempts. We can help you learn about 5 of the worst cars ever made, so that you can have a better perspective on your case.
While some federal laws apply, many circumstances depend on state legislation. Nonetheless, they typically cover new vehicles bought recently and under a mileage limit. Many regulations apply within the first year of ownership or 12,000-18,000 miles.
The New York Attorney General’s website demonstrates how complicated even this essential requirement can get. Unlike most states, there are mandatory guarantees for used or pre-owned vehicles. The different tiers and durations for the statutory warranties are as follows:
- Automobiles with 18,001 – 36,000 miles at purchase have 90 days or 4,000 miles
- Vehicles with 36,001 – 79,999 miles at purchase have 60 days or 3,000 miles
- Automobiles with 80,000 – 100,000 miles at purchase have 30 days or 1,000 miles
You must report the defect to the manufacturer and allow them to make things right. If the problem persists, you may be eligible for a replacement or refund. Most states allow for 3 – 5 chances to fix the flaw. Regardless, places like California give two repair attempts or 30 days out of service.
In many cases, the manufacturer will offer a settlement to avoid litigation. But you may have no choice but to go through arbitration or a trial.
Costs of Hiring a Lemon Law Attorney
As mentioned, most lemon law attorneys work on contingency. In this case, the attorney’s fees will be a portion of the damages. Generally, they choose the percentage, but it typically ranges from 33% to 40%. But some states dictate the amount legal counselors can charge.
There are also potential out-of-pocket expenses, such as court or expert witness fees. Your attorney may cover these costs upfront and deduct them from your settlement or award. But you will want clarity on this topic before moving forward.
If the attorney charges hourly, you will be billed for their time, regardless of whether you win or lose. The rates can vary depending on the attorney’s experience, location, and the complexity of your case. Alternatively, some firms may prefer to charge a flat fee for their services.
Benefits of Hiring a Lemon Law Attorney
If you are experiencing issues with a vehicle, hiring a lemon law attorney can provide several benefits. For instance, they will likely be up to date on recent lemon cases that could apply to your broken car. Here are some advantages that others in your situation have enjoyed:
- Having someone with experience with the relevant laws, regulations, and procedures on your side.
- You are more likely to achieve a successful outcome. Lemon law attorneys know how to negotiate and can use their skills to get compensation.
- You can save time and effort. Lemon law cases can take a while to resolve, and you should have time to focus on other things.
- It is likely you can find a firm that works on a contingency basis. As a result, your lawyer only gets paid if you win your case. In this case, you do not have to worry about upfront fees or out-of-pocket expenses.
- You can seek the maximum compensation available under the law. Your attorney can help you recover damages for repairs, rental fees, and other expenses.
Finding the Right Lemon Law Attorney
If you have not hired a lawyer previously, you may feel uncertain or even intimidated. After all, how do you know that you hired an experienced lemon law attorney? Consequently, you may find the conviction you need to get started by evaluating them on these factors:
- Experience: Look for an attorney with a proven track record of success handling lemon law cases.
- Reputation: Read reviews and ask for referrals from previous clients. A reputable lawyer should come highly recommended by other locals they have helped.
- Communication: Evaluate whether the attorney communicates clearly and regularly. They should set expectations for how they will inform you of progress and who will answer your questions.
- Fees: Even if they agree to work on contingency, it is still essential to understand the fee structure. You might even consider having legal counsel on retainer.
- Location: A local lawyer will be more knowledgeable about the regulations. Furthermore, they will have an opinion on the jurisdiction that will be more empathetic to your situation.
Schedule a Consultation With a Local Lemon Law Attorney
Now that you have read this article, you likely see the value in hiring a local lemon law lawyer. But you also know your circumstances and what you value better than anyone. As such, it is worth your time to schedule a consultation. You likely will not have to pay anything for the meeting, and you will have more clarity about the situation.