The lemon law, which are state regulations in the US, protects consumers if they purchase cars or other consumables (products or services) that fail to adhere to the prescribed quality and performance standards. If you have found yourself in a situation that warrants legal action using lemon law, you will need to hire an experienced attorney.
However, finding a lemon law lawyer is easier said than done. There is an overwhelming number of choices available, which only makes the process more challenging. Although each attorney will claim to be an expert, not all of them are made equal. That’s why you need to be careful when choosing a competent lawyer.
In most cases, asking the right questions during the first consultation can help you find the best legal defense. Here are five important questions that you can ask during your initial consultation.
1. How Much Experience Do You Have?
Each lemon law case is unique. In other words, the more diverse cases a lemon law lawyer has handled, the better. An attorney with years of experience in handling a range of lemon cases likely has in-depth practical knowledge of the law. They also have enough courtroom experience to present your case in the best light, should it go to trial.
So, make sure to ask about what types of cases the lawyer has handled before. More importantly, ask them if they’ve had experience with your particular car manufacturer. Each manufacturer has their own set of obstacles in the lemon law process – and it’s better to hire someone who has worked on cases similar to yours. You can crosscheck the references the attorney offers as court records are often public.
2. Who Is Part of This Team?
Most lemon law cases are complex and require help from experts in various fields other than the law. If you buy a car and it is faulty, you would want to sue the car company. You might need expert testimony from an automobile engineer to strengthen your claim.
As a result, your lemon attorney may need to have a team of paralegals, lawyers, private detectives, and other experts ready to swing into action. It will help increase your chances of winning the lawsuit. So, make sure to ask the lawyer what type of legal team they have.
3. What Is Your Strategy for Handling a Lemon Law Case?
Some attorneys will not offer any legal advice regarding your case during the first consultation. However, you can still ask them about their general approach towards resolving lawsuits like yours. Lemon law varies a bit from state to state. For instance, lemon law only applies to new vehicles in most states.
Some states, like California, offer legal benefits to consumers who bought defective pre-owned vehicles. In this scenario, the consumer should ask a lemon law lawyer in California for a general overview of the strategy they will follow to manage a case for a used vehicle.
if your case goes to trial, it is often a time-consuming and expensive strategy. Most lawyers will try to settle a lemon law lawsuit through a series of intense and highly targeted negotiations. The point is, your attorney should provide you with the best legal strategy based on the circumstances of your case.
4. How Long Will It Take to Resolve My Lawsuit?
As a plaintiff, you obviously want to know how quickly it will take a resolve the case. What happens when we win? How much compensation will you get? Asking about the timeline of the lawsuit will help you prepare yourself mentally for the legal battle ahead.
Unfortunately, no lemon law attorney has a crystal ball showing the future – they cannot tell you an exact timeframe or exactly how much compensation you will get. In fact, if a lemon lawyer does give you bold guarantees in the consultation, this is a huge red flag.
A professional lemon law lawyer should offer an honest opinion and provide some potential outcomes for your lawsuit. Generally speaking, your attorney should be cautiously optimistic – with a goal to resolve the case in about 30 days.
5. How Much Will the Lawsuit Cost Me Upfront?
A good lemon law lawyer will ensure you NEVER have to worry about upfront fees, ever. According to the law, the manufacturer is required to cover ALL of your lawyer expenses, court fees, and everything else tied to the legal process if you win the case. Moreover, a good lemon attorney will not take your case unless they think they can win.
That said, your attorney shouldn’t ask you to pay any out-of-pocket costs, as they will recover the legal expenses once the lawsuit is settled. The fact that the attorney doesn’t demand any costs upfront is a good indication they will work quickly to resolve your case – as they won’t get paid until they do.
If you are filing a lemon law claim, you will need a competent attorney – there’s no way around it. Asking these five simple questions is one of the best ways to find a lawyer that best suits your needs. Most attorneys offer free consultations, allowing you to ask these questions and choose a suitable lawyer. If you are thinking of filing a lemon law claim, start looking for a lawyer now!